LitPicks Book Reviews—November 2007

Theme— Sons & Mothers
A connection like no other—born of intensity, bound by love, and fed by dreams. This month's selections explore how the lives of three men are shaped, for better or worse, by their mothers' ambitions.
 
Labels: A Lighter Touch

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The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute
to His White Mother

James McBride 1996
362 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
November 2007

For years James McBride was puzzled, even slightly repulsed, by his mother. She was strange.

The mother of 12 African-American children, she rode a bicycle, spoke Yiddish and was, as she put it, "light skinned." She evaded any question about her background with "God made me." She was, in fact, far stranger than McBride suspected.

 

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Empire Falls
Richard Russo, 2001
496 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
November 2007

There seems to be no end to my use of superlatives when it comes to  describing Richard Russo as a writer: lucid, funny, humane, poignant perceptive, trenchant.... It's an embarrassment of adjectival riches.

What I'm trying to say is simply this: Empire Falls is a good book—a wonderful book. It's the story of stifled dreams or, more precisely, of those afraid even to have dreams.
 
Labels: Great Works

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Sons and Lovers
D.H. Lawrence
481pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
November 2007

If you've never read Lawrence, this is a good place to start—Sons and Lovers is an early novel, more conventional than his later works. It is also somewhat autobiographical.

The book recounts the struggle of young Paul Morel, the son of a miner, to establish himself in the middle-class and to break free—or not—of his mother's domineering love.
 

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