The Next Full Moon by Carolyn Turgeon – Carolyn Turgeon is one of my newest favorite novelists. I first read her book, Mermaid, and absolutely loved it. Turgeon is known for adding more depth and complexity to already known fairy tales-this book is a take off the lesser known swan maiden fairy tales. Unlike her other books, this is a book for preteens, but it is still worth a read. There is a lot of boy crazy dialogue, which usually annoys me in a book, but perhaps because this book was so well written, I didn’t mind it at all. My only complaint about the book was that it was way too short! I felt like there were many details that I would have loved to see fleshed out more fully and the ending definitely left me wanting more. The story was beautiful, but it felt incomplete and I am hoping that Turgeon purposely wrote it that way so that she could follow it up with a sequel. In fact, if she doesn’t come out with one soon, I may have to write her telling her to finish letting her readers know what happened to Ava, the main character! I recommend this book to preteen and teen girls, as well as adults.
Evidence by Mary Oliver – Speaking of new favorites, Mary Oliver is one of my newest favorite poets. I was introduced to her at my church, because sometimes my minister will read some of her poems before the sermon. In fact, I have heard that many progressive ministers incorporate Oliver’s poetry into the service. Her poems tend to be about spirituality and nature, but her language is not so lofty as to be off putting. In fact, I would say her use of language is very calming and comforting. I copied many of her passages into my inspirational quotes book.
The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman - This was the book my feminist book club picked out and I am glad they did! Even though it is over five hundred pages, I read it very quickly, because I was so absorbed in the story. The book is about the four women who take care of the doves in the Jewish settlement at Masada. The true story about Masada is very well known-the Romans built a huge ramp to access the city, but when they got there almost everyone had already killed themselves-only two women and five children remained. The book is divided into four parts, each part told by the point of view of one of the dovekeepers. All of the women are strong, likeable characters and it was terrible knowing that two of them were going to die, although it certainly kept me reading the book to see who would make it out alive. Many of the details in the book are based on artifacts that have been found in the area, which made the novel even more intriguing to me. Besides a riveting story, Hoffman’s language is absolutely beautiful, reminiscent of poetry. I heartily recommend this book-it’s not nearly as depressing as it sounds and it actually ends on a very uplifting note, in my opinion. I have heard that Hoffman’s other novels are also beautifully written and so she is another author that I want to read more of.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde