Literary Fiction

Mr. Flood’s Last Resort by Jess Kidd

The old man is a curmudgeon – he is estranged from his son, the death of his wife has isolated him in his own house, and he hasn’t thrown out a single thing since last century – and against his will, both he and his house are being rehabilitated preparatory to his moving to an old folks home. Into his life comes a house cleaner, who thinks she can ease the transition, and dispose of much of the old man’s trash. It’s set in Ireland, though, so the ghosts of saints and sinners move throughout the house, influencing and offering commentary on all their thoughts. It tended to be precious at times, but that’s the problem with novels written with irony and humor: it’s a heavy load to maintain throughout an entire book.


Literary Fiction, Mystery

The Chief of Rally Tree by Jennifer Boyden

This story follows Roal, a college professor, whose wife recently left him. Roal’s wife, Dina, left him to go into the forest to “embrace the consciousness of trees”. There is an element of danger and mystery as Dina left to go help a man who spent significant time living with wolves and is thought by some to be a bit crazy, perhaps dangerous. Roal is concerned about Dina’s safety and goes in search of her, at turns quite adventurous. Along the way, Roal uncovers and learns about his true self, coming to terms with his life and gaining a sense of focus even amidst his loss. I loved the eco-conscious topics throughout, especially with the main focus on trees. Thought provoking for sure. An enjoyable read by a local SJI author.


Literary Fiction

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

I loved everything about this book. It is funny, warm and compassionate. A fictional story of an unconventional family. Three siblings and their bond. The subject matter portrayed in the 374 pages deals with teenage pregnancy, adoption, fear and courage. I could not wait to get to the conclusion and was sad when the story had ended. A moving story.