LitPicks Book Reviews—May 2008

Theme—Wherefore Happiness?
What is happiness? How does one attains it, who deserves it, and how does one hold onto it? Is happiness realistic—or simply a trope of fiction? This month's works consider happiness—using vastly different lenses and reaching very different conclusions.
Labels: A Lighter Touch


The Jane Austen Book Club
Karen Joy Fowler
288 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
May 2008

Change of plans. I'd actually been working on a different theme for this month, one more serious, profound. But then I finally got around to reading Fowler's book (finished it an hour ago) and decided I really wanted to talk about it.

One of the primary motifs in The Jane Austen Book Club is happiness—and it came to me that happiness, as an ideal, is profound in its own way.


Saying Grace
Beth Gutcheon, 1995
320 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
May 2008

I recently got an email asking me to put up a Reading Guide on a work by Beth Gutcheon. Who's this, I wondered?...only to be surprised to find that she was born and raised in the small town I live in now.

I was more surprised to see the extent of Gutcheon's work (7 novels)...and even more surprised that she's not more widely talked about in book club circles. She's an extremely intelligent, gifted writer: perhaps, a writer's writer.
Labels: Great Works


A Doll's House
Henrik Ibsen, 1879
80 pp. (varies)

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
May 2008

Talk about theatrics—or drama queens—Nora Helmer is the real thing, bless her heart.

Nora's slammed door at the end of Ibsen's play became known as the "slam heard around the world"—affronting Victorian values and igniting suffragette hopes everywhere. It signaled a revolution in the Western World and eventually led to the female vote.

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