The Chaperone

The Chaperone

Arts & Culture, Books, Uncategorized
A Book Review by Laurie Fundukian Laura Moriarty, who teaches creative writing at the University of Kansas, has written three other novels, but The Chaperone garnered the most critical and fan attention. It was published in 2012 and became a best-seller, but it wasn’t on my radar until my book club selected it this summer. Better late than never! The Chaperone follows the trend of books such as The Paris Wife, Loving Frank, and Z, which give a fictionalized narrative about real people (Hemingway’s first wife, Frank Lloyd-Wright’s mistress, and Zelda Fitzgerald, respectively). The Chaperone looks at the real-life characters of Louise Brooks, who was a silent film star in the 20s, and Cora Carlisle, and focuses mostly on Cora (a “matron” at age 36!), who has the privilege of…
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The Sandcastle Girls

The Sandcastle Girls

Arts & Culture, Books
A Book Review by Laurie Fundukian Chris Bohjalian, with his sixteenth novel, has managed to tell the horrific tale of the Armenian Genocide while maintaining a wonderfully plotted novel, complete with a sweeping love story circa 1915, and a glimpse into how modern Armenians view the tragic slaying of their people—a story that almost no one knows about today. We know about the Holocaust, and we know about the slave trade, but somehow 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered after World War I, and it is a piece of history that is buried in the sand, so to speak. “The women look like dying wild animals as they lurch forward, some holding on the walls of the stone houses to remain erect. She has never in her life seen people so…
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Book Review: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Arts & Culture, Books
A good baseball game can keep us on the edge of our seats. So can a good love story. Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding has both, along with a cast of well-drawn, fascinating characters. Together, these elements combine to keep readers eagerly turning the pages of this beautifully crafted bestselling first novel. Henry Skrimshander is a quiet kid from a no-name South Dakota town who has been unobtrusively developing into a supremely talented shortstop. One summer, while playing in an amateur league tournament, he catches the eye of Mike Schwartz, the catcher from an opposing team, who is also the captain of the baseball team at Westish College in Wisconsin. Mike sees Henry’s talent and orchestrates his admission into Westish. There, Henry’s life becomes intertwined with the lives of…
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