Saturday, May 21, 2016

WHY READ FICTION?



Those who love to read always think it is scintillating to discover new titles.  When the titles are fiction it presents an opportunity to jump into creative waters which don’t always exist in non-fiction. Ginni Chen, The Literary Lady, wrote “the recently departed Nadine Gordimer, Nobel Prize winner in literature, once said ‘the facts are always less than what happened.’ Here are some sparkling new fiction books at the Monrovia Public Library.

A debut novel with great reviews, The Nest is the story of a dysfunctional family (aren’t they all?) who are awaiting the 40th birthday of the last sibling so the 4 brothers and sisters can, at last, have the inheritance their late father set up for them. The problem is that their mother used the money to help the oldest and wealthiest son avoid a law suit prompted by his reckless and drug-induced activities. Now the other children want their money. Author Cynthia Sweeney mines family dynamics and how the subject of finances often becomes the elephant in the room.  Although the characters are not always likeable, readers will laugh and cringe as humor mixes with tragedy. 

Concepts of living life to the fullest and what culture means when adopting, may seem very different,  but they mix in the new novel Don’t Let My Baby do Rodeo by Boris Fishman. This story of a Ukrainian immigrant whose dreams are submerged when she marries a Russian man from New Jersey, centers on their adoption of a baby from Montana, about whom they know nothing other than the odd note his mother left with him—“don’t let my baby do rodeo.” When the child’s behavior becomes strange the couple journey to Montana to find the mother and make sense of their son. The trip has an unexpected and liberating effect on the family.

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