The Midnight Line

Synopsis Reacher takes a stroll through a small Wisconsin town and sees a class ring in a pawn shop window: West Point 2005. A tough year to graduate: Iraq, then Afghanistan. The ring is tiny, for a woman, and it has her initials engraved on the inside. Reacher wonders what unlucky circumstance made her give... Continue Reading →

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Dialogue & the Reviewer

Dialogue & the Reviewer Communication is present in all species, but perhaps the most challenging to capture is that between humans. Dialogue is defined simply as “a conversation between two or more people,” but in a novel, it is the backbone of character interaction. Dialogue is not just a record of the words said. A... Continue Reading →

Walk to Paradise Garden

Synopsis The world goes mad in 1914. And in the chaos, on the blood-soaked fields of the Ypres Salient, young humanitarian John Armitage meets a British nurse, Evelyne Grenville, a lady with admirable courage and a secret. Could they possibly make a difference, offering solace at the Western Front? Will Evelyne's secret life bring calamity... Continue Reading →

The Professor & the Madman

Synopsis It is known as one of the greatest literary achievements in the history of English letters. The creation of the Oxford English Dictionary began in 1857, took seventy years to complete, drew from tens of thousands of brilliant minds, and organized the sprawling language into 414,825 precise definitions. But hidden within the rituals of... Continue Reading →

Writing & the Reviewer: Trope

Trope & the Reviewer As a rule, all stories adhere to a similar ebb and flow, rise and fall, building sequence of events. Trope is a term often used with negative connotations, but themes and devices are common throughout literature. A story is simply a restructuring of those common themes and devices that are retold... Continue Reading →

Slaughterhouse-Five

Synopsis Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner... Continue Reading →

Les Misérables

Synopsis Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean—the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread—Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it, Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the... Continue Reading →

Writing & the Reviewer: Prose

Prose & the Reviewer As a reviewer who is also a writer, I am keenly aware of an author’s prose in the books I read. The Oxford English Dictionary defines prose as “written or spoken language in its ordinary form, without metrical structure.” I define it as the composition of an author’s writing:  the style,... Continue Reading →

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