Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
An Asperger's-afflicted woman finds the keys to life and her family history in the kitchen after her parents die in McHenry's inspired if uneven debut. Ginny Selvaggio has lived a sheltered life: unable to maintain eye contact, make friends, or finish college due to her undiagnosed condition, the 26-year-old lives in her parents' home, surfing the Internet and perfecting recipes. But after her parents die, Ginny and her sister, Amanda, disagree about what to do with the family home—Amanda wants to sell, Ginny doesn't. As they bicker about what to do with the house and the problems caused by Ginny's awkwardness, Ginny comforts herself by cooking and soon learns that the dishes she prepares can conjure spirits. The ghosts, including her grandmother, leave clues about possible family secrets, as do a box of photographs Ginny discovers tucked away. McHenry's idea of writing an Asperger's narrator works well for the most part, but the supernatural touches undermine her admirable efforts and add a silly element to what is otherwise an intelligent and moving account of an intriguing heroine's belated battle to find herself.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011
On a snowy evening in New York City, handsome, charming, self-centered Sandy Portman is killed as he makes his way to the animal rescue clinic where his wife, Emily, volunteers. His plan was to take her to dinner and, very civilly, announce his intention to divorce her. As he lay dying in the slushy street, he is visited by a strange old man who gives him one last chance to be better than he was. There’s a slight wrinkle – he has to do it as a dog. Emily and Einstein, by Linda Francis Lee, is the story of how Sandy Portman finally gets it right.
Recommended for adults and older teens.