In April 2002, Janine Latus’s youngest sister, Amy, wrote a note and taped it to the inside of her desk drawer. today Ron Ball and I are romantically involved, it read, but I fear I have placed myself at risk in a variety of ways. Based on his criminal past, writing this out just seems like the smart thing to do. If I am missing or dead this obviously has not protected me…
That same spring Janine Latus was struggling to leave her marriage- a marriage to a handsome and successful man. A marriage others emulated. A marraige in which she felt she could do nothing right and everything wrong. A marriage in which she felt afraid, controlled, inadequate, and trapped.
Ten weeks later, Janine Latus had left her marriage. She was on a business trip to the east Coast, savoring her freedom, attending a work conference, when she received a call from her sister Jane asking if she had heard from Amy. Immediately, Janine’s blood ran cold. Amy was missing.
Helicopters went up and search dogs went out. Coworkers and neighbors and family members plastered missing posters with Amy’s picture across the country. It took more than two weeks to find Amy’s body, wrapped in a tarpaulin and buried at a building site. It took nearly two years before her killer, her former boyfriend Ronald Ball, was sentenced for her murder.
The year is 1570, and in the convent of Santa Caterina, in the Italian city of Ferrar, noblewomen find space to pursue their lives under God’s protection. but any community, however smoothly run, suffers tremors when it takes in someone by force. And the arrival of Santa Caterina’s new novice sets in motion a chain of events that will shake the convent to the core.
Ripped by her family from an illicit love affair, sixteen-year-old Serafina is willful, emotional, sharp and defiant- young enough to have a life to look forward to and old enough to know when that life is being cut short. Her first night inside the walls is spent in an incandescent rage so violent that the dispensary mistress, Suora Zuana, is dispatched to the girls cell to sedate her. Thus begins a complex relationship of trust and betrayal between the young rebel and the clever, scholarly nun, for whom the girl becomes the daughter she will never have.
Hobbie, the narrator of this endearing debut novel, prefers the company of his beloved mutt, Terry, to the companionship of most humans. Hobbie, who has a blistering case of chronic acne, and Kari, his obese girlfriend of 20 years, continually aggravate their situations: Hobbie picks at and further inflames his bad skin while Kari eats in response to a shared tragedy from their youth. When the novel opens, Kari’s ensconced at a weight-loss clinic hundreds of miles from their temporary north Georgia home, and Hobbie lives like a hermit until he’s attacked by a bear. While recovering, he’s sucked into the messy world of Kari’s father, Roth, and slowly, clumsily becomes part of Roth’s family once Kari goes missing from the clinic. (Publisher’s Weekly)
The dust storms that terrorized America’s High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never fully been told. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, going from sod homes to new framed houses to huddling in basements with the windows sealed by damp sheets in a futile effort to keep the dust out. He follows their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black blizzards, crop failure, and the deaths of loved ones. Drawing on the voices of those who stayed and survived- those who, now in their eighties and nineties, will soon carry their memories to the grave- Egan tells a story of endurance and heroism against the backdrop of the Great Depression.
That’s what I picked out this week. If you have read any of them what did you think? If you haven’t which one sounds the most interesting?