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Bookworm In Your Ear: A House Is Not a Home

In these two novels, the sayings ‘There’s no place like home’ and ‘You can’t go home’ clash and commingle in unique ways.

 

Broken River by J. Robert Lennon

(available on Amazon.com)

 

We open in a modest home in upstate New York. A young couple is frantically leaving their house with their toddler daughter; and what follows is a grisly gangland execution with said daughter the sole survivor. Fast forward a dozen years later, and an artist couple is moving in with their young daughter. She's a writer, and the husband a philandering sculptor, this is them trying to salvage the marriage. The daughter is obsessed with the unsolved crime of yesteryears and goes online at Cybersleuths. She even insists that some new town arrival is Samantha, the toddler survivor now grown up. When this online activity ruffles the feathers of the perpetrators of that unsolved rub out, events with dire consequences come into play. Dark, unsettling, and a great read!



Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

(available at Fully Booked)

 

It's 1954 Chicago, and Army vet Atticus Turner is worried about his missing father who travelled South on business. Along with Uncle George, author and publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide, Atticus travels to the heartland of white supremacist America. It's easy to forget that this was the reality of 1950's America. Author of Bad Monkeys and Sewer Gas & Electric, Ruff takes on serious themes and issues but with a wry, off the wall sense of humor. This is evident when we reach the home if Samuel Braithwhite, where one of Atticus' ancestors was indentured as a slave. This tale of family and power, about the dark arts and freedom, is a page-turner that blends social commentary with the absurd. The scariest part is that it's still relevant today!