Brooklyn : a novel

From Alicja Feitzinger
author: Colm Toibin
Brooklyn : a novel
Eilis Lacey grew up in a small Irish town. Her father passed away a few years ago, her brothers immigrated to England and she lives with her mother, deep in the shadow of her charismatic sister Rose. She is attending bookkeeping classes at a local vocational school. She is more preoccupied with her studies than with her appearance.  At one of the dances she meets Jim Farrell, who is rude to her. She also learns a bitter lesson of human prejudice  while working in a local shop for cool and calculating Miss Kelly.

At this point, an offer to move to Brooklyn is presented to her and she agrees to embark on a journey to a foreign land.  She works and studies in Brooklyn while living in a boarding house.  Most unexpectedly, she falls in love with Tony, but devastating news from Ireland  brings her back home for a long visit, where she is faced with most difficult choices. 

This is a very quiet, but touching novel, full of interesting and believable characters. It targets dilemmas of human heart, common to all immigrants and people who moved away from their hometown.

Governors Island : the jewel of New York Harbor

From Alicja Feitzinger
author: Buttenwieser, Ann L.
Governors Island : the jewel of New York Harbor
 This is a beautifully illustrated and well annotated history of Governors Island. It’s almost hard to believe that this small, 92 acre island has such rich history.  For more than 200 years the island was used as a military facility by British and American forces, utilizing its strategic location, but now it can be visited and enjoyed by the public. The book is worth glancing through before the visit to the Governors Island.

Three Stations

From Eileen Effrat
author: Smith, Martin Cruz
 Three Stations
Arkady Renko, Moscow’s homicide investigator extraordinaire, is still on the job after 30 years.  Politically and socially things have not changed much in those thirty years.  Putin’s “New Russia” is just as corrupt  as Renko’s  first police investigation in Gorky Park.  Only the bureaucrats names have changed.  In the series 7th book, a baby is abducted and a dead prostitute is found at Three Stations.  Or is she a prostitute? Renko suspects the two crimes are related. As he probes the world of Moscow’s rich and famous and its underworld of drug dealers, thugs, and homeless street urchins, he uncovers a sophisticated web of death and kidnapping.

As always, Smith ‘s dark sense of humor adds a touch to this suspense thriller.

Before I Fall

From Joanna, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Oliver, Lauren
Before I Fall
 Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver revolves around eighteen year old Samantha Kinston and the last day of her life – over and over again. Cupid’s Day should have been just another day for Sam. She’d go to school with her best friends, park in the best parking spot, and get a rose from her gorgeous boyfriend as well as every other admirer in the school. Then she dies. Seven times, actually. Over and over again Sam relives the very last day of her life changing everything to save herself. Seven chances, seven tries, and only one way to get it right.

First impressions lead you to think that Sam is just another popular girl who has everything she could have ever wanted – and she is, at first. She makes judgments upon association and what it takes to stay at the top. After she dies, though, everything changes. Getting the opportunity to repeat the same day gives Sam a chance to make good on some of the mistakes she has made. She takes the opportunity to see people for who they really are and realizes that saving herself had nothing to do with what she thought it had.

I would recommend this book to everyone. Reading about the same day seven times may seem boring, but the way she lives it makes all the difference. The emotions are raw and the characters three-dimensional. Towards the end, when everything starts to fall into place, you’ll want to finish reading it, every period and comma.