Braille Book Review

September-October 2001
Books for Adults--Fiction

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Note: For the information of the reader, a notice may appear immediately following the book description to indicate occurrences of strong language, explicit descriptions of sex, or violence. The word "some" before any of these terms indicates an occasional or infrequent occurrence, as in "some strong language."


The Dark Light BR 12667
by Mette Newth
2 volumes
When thirteen-year-old Tora is committed to the lepers' hospital in Bergen, Norway, in the early 1800s, she still appears healthy. Although her body deteriorates, Tora's inner strength grows as she tends to other patients and finally learns to read. Some violence. For senior high readers. 1998.

Golden Palaces: The Royal Pavilions, Book 2 BR 12692
by Linda Chaikin
3 volumes
In this sequel to Swords and Scimitars (BR 12691) Helena has been betrothed to Prince Kalid of Antioch in a plot by her aunt Irene to separate her from Irene's son, Philip. Helena turns for help to Tancred Redwan, a man she fears yet must trust. For senior high and older readers. 1996.

Behind the Veil: The Royal Pavilions, Book 3 BR 12693
by Linda Chaikin
2 volumes
In this sequel to Golden Palaces (BR 12692) Tancred Redwan, believing his beloved Helena Lysander and her mother are safe, is proceeding to find his brother's murderer and clear his name. Meanwhile, Helena is being held by the Moslem prince she is supposed to wed. For senior high and older readers. 1998.

The Way People Run: Stories BR 12737
by Christopher Tilghman
1 volume
Six stories about people confronting personal problems, set in the Chesapeake Bay area and the American West. In "Something Important," Peter's older brother Mitch wants to meet at the family cottage. But instead of needing support, Mitch is there to provide it for an unsuspecting Peter. Some strong language. 1999.

The Book of Happiness BR 12738
by Nina Berberova
1 volume
A Russian exile in Paris recounts her three great loves. Sam, her childhood sweetheart in the years before the Russian revolution, writes to her before committing suicide; Alexander Albertovich, her demanding invalid husband, releases her by his death; and Karelov, a married man, becomes the father of her child. 1999.

Snake Dreamer BR 12740
by Priscilla Galloway
2 volumes
Recurring nightmares about snakes so disturb Dusa that she becomes a research subject for two psychologists. Dusa is admitted to their clinic on a Greek island hoping to be cured, but mysterious happenings fill her with foreboding as she recalls the myth of Medusa. For senior high readers. 1998.

Mag--Marjorie and Won Over: Two Novels BR 12745
by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
3 volumes
Two novels by an early feminist, first serialized in 1912 and 1913 in the Forerunner. In Mag--Marjorie, a seduced and abandoned young girl is rescued from ruin by an older woman. In Won Over, a sheltered housewife rediscovers her love of writing and achieves emotional independence. 1913.

Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life among the Lowly BR 12749
by Harriet Beecher Stowe
5 volumes (Reissue)
First published in 1852, abolitionist Stowe's depiction of the moral injustice of slavery and the evils of materialism. Tom saves little Eva's life, and years later she tries to help him gain his freedom. Eventually, Tom's protection of runaway Eliza costs him his life at the hands of the brutal ex-Yankee Simon Legree. 1965.

"N" Is for Noose BR 12760
by Sue Grafton
3 volumes
Kinsey Millhone is hired by a detective's widow to investigate the last few weeks of her husband's life in tiny Nota Lake. Millhone discovers uncooperative neighbors and a connection to an old murder case in her own hometown of Santa Teresa. Some violence and some strong language. Bestseller 1998.

The Mysterious Island BR 12761
by Jules Verne
5 volumes
During the Civil War, engineer Cyrus Smith, a Northerner, is captured. He escapes by hot-air balloon, along with three men, a boy, and a dog. After a storm blows them to an island, mysterious events help them survive. Sequel to Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea (BR 9469). For senior high and older readers. 1874.

My Father, Dancing: Stories BR 12763
by Bliss Broyard
2 volumes
Eight short stories about fathers and daughters. In the title piece, Kate visits her father, who is in a hospital dying of cancer. She finds it difficult to converse but fondly remembers how well they communicated while dancing--starting when she was little, riding on his feet. Some descriptions of sex and some strong language. 1999.

Gulliver's Travels BR 12766
by Jonathan Swift
3 volumes (Reissue)
Eighteenth-century British satire enjoyed both as a children's fairy tale and as "the morose and misanthropic vision of a gloomy dean." It follows the travels of Captain Lemuel Gulliver into remote and fanciful regions of the world, beginning with his voyage to Lilliput, a land of miniature people. 1991.

Quicksilver BR 12774
by Judith Reeves-Stevens and Garfield Reeves-Stevens
5 volumes
The testing of the new super weapon QUICKSILVER goes terribly wrong. Then a busload of midshipmen is ambushed and killed on the way to the Pentagon. Now the Pentagon is under attack by terrorists. It is up to two people, one inside the building and one outside, to insure America's survival. Violence and some strong language. 1999.

Jason's Gold BR 12786
by Will Hobbs
2 volumes
When fifteen-year-old wanderer Jason Hawthorn decides to join the Klondike gold rush, he learns that his older brothers beat him to it. Jason spends a difficult year trying to find them, befriending writer Jack London and others along the way. Some violence. For junior and senior high readers. 1999.

The Baboon King BR 12792
by Anton Quintana
2 volumes
Always feeling like an outsider because of his mixed Kikuyu and Masai parentage, Morengáru "the hunter" unintentionally kills a Kikuyu. Banished from his village, Morengáru further questions his existence while living with a troop of baboons. Some violence. For junior and senior high and older readers. Mildred L. Batchelder Award. 1998.

A Good Story and Other Stories BR 12798
by Donald E. Westlake
2 volumes
Eighteen short mystery stories with surprising twists. In the title piece, a man in the Andes is captivated with a beautiful blonde--leading to his demise. In "The Mother of Invention Is Worth a Pound of Cure," a conniving wife tries to get her lover to murder her husband. Some violence. 1999.

Stargirl BR 12801
by Jerry Spinelli
1 volume
When formerly home-schooled tenth-grader Stargirl enters Mica High School, her classmates shun her as an eccentric. Her boyfriend, Leo, urges her to stop playing the ukulele and conform, so she'll fit in. He learns only too late that popularity isn't what matters most. For junior and senior high readers. 2000.

The Last Precinct BR 12803
by Patricia Cornwell
4 volumes
In this sequel to Black Notice (BR 12389), Dr. Kay Scarpetta has escaped death from the serial killer "Werewolf" and continues investigating crimes committed by his French syndicate. But then the doctor herself faces a murder accusation. Violence, strong language, and some descriptions of sex. Bestseller 2000.

The Girl at the Lion d'Or BR 12814
by Sebastian Faulks
2 volumes
France, 1930s. When Anne Louvet leaves Paris to work at a country hotel, she is penniless and haunted by her family's shameful past. Charles Hartmann, a married lawyer renovating a nearby manor house, is also burdened with wartime memories as he and Anne fall in love. Guilt and secrecy plague their affair. 1989.

Midnight Sun: The Northern Lights, Book 3 BR 12818
by Lisa Tawn Bergren
3 volumes
In this sequel to Deep Harbor (BR 13142) faith is tested many times as individuals pursue happiness. Kaatje travels through the Alaskan wilderness searching for Soren. Elsa seeks solace following Peder's death. Tora must face old demons before she can marry Trent. And Karl hopes to regain a lost love. 2000.

The Left Hand of Darkness BR 12827
by Ursula K. Le Guin
3 volumes
Human envoy Genly Ai visits the cold and snowbound planet Gethen, whose people function in an androgynous society without sexual prejudices. Twenty-fifth anniversary edition with new afterword and appendixes by the author. Hugo and Nebula Awards. 1994.

Jim the Boy BR 12831
by Tony Earley
2 volumes
North Carolina, 1934. Anecdotes trace a year in the life of ten- year-old Jim Glass, who lives with his widowed mother near her three bachelor brothers. Follows Jim as he views the ocean for the first time, celebrates the town's electrification, and sees his best friend contract polio. 2000.

Remembering Blue BR 12837
by Connie May Fowler
3 volumes
After her young fisherman husband, Nick Blue, dies at sea, Mattie describes their blissful relationship. Previously unloved, Mattie found comfort on Nick's Florida island surrounded by his nurturing family. In turn, she helped Nick overcome his dread of falling victim to his family's curse. Some descriptions of sex. 2000.

The Industry of Souls BR 12843
by Martin Booth
2 volumes
On his eightieth birthday, a British citizen and gulag survivor who has lived for twenty years in a Russian village is presented with an unexpected choice from the outside world. Shurik, as he is fondly called, reminisces about his time as a prisoner and the meaning of freedom and friendship. Booker Prize finalist. 1998.

Journey BR 12848
by Danielle Steel
3 volumes
In her fiftieth novel, Steel explores the secrets of Washington, D.C., anchorwoman Madeleine Hunter, and her husband, Jack, head of the network. Publicly they appear happy, but Madeleine must face reality when she works on the First Lady's Commission on Violence against Women. Explicit descriptions of sex and strong language. 2000.

To Kill a Mockingbird BR 12850
by Harper Lee
3 volumes (Reissue)
Classic tale of injustice, friendship, and coming-of-age in 1930s Alabama. Six-year-old Scout and her friends are fascinated by the mysterious Radley place and its reclusive occupant. But their focus shifts when Scout's attorney-father is called upon to defend a black man accused of rape. For senior high and older readers. Pulitzer Prize. 1960.

The Train Now Departing: Two Novellas BR 12873
by Martha Grimes
1 volume
Two novellas involving lonely women. In The Train Now Departing, an emotionally detached woman periodically lunches with a travel writer who hates to go anywhere--until one day he doesn't show up. In When "The Mousetrap" Closes, an actor betrays a middle-aged woman he has befriended. 1997.

Rebellion BR 12907
by Nora Roberts
2 volumes
Since 1735, when an Englishman raped her mother, Serena MacGregor has hated the English. When her brother Coll arrives home with his English friend Brigham Langston, earl of Ashburn, Serena hates him on sight. Yet there is a mutual attraction neither can deny. Explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller 1988.

A Darker Place BR 13112
by Laurie R. King
4 volumes
Years ago, professor Anne Waverly's husband and young daughter were victims of a cult's mass suicide. Since then, Anne has been assisting the FBI by infiltrating other groups. Now undercover in Arizona, she becomes attached to two young siblings. Strong language, some explicit descriptions of sex, and some violence. 1999.

The Unburied BR 13113
by Charles Palliser
3 volumes
Victorian England. While visiting an old school pal and conducting a search for a lost document at the cathedral library, Dr. Edward Courtine, a professor of medieval history, becomes involved in murder and embroiled in a centuries-old mystery. (A list of characters appears at the end.) Some violence. 1999.

The Trophy Wife BR 13141
by Diana Diamond
3 volumes
Banking executive Walter Childs is about to elope with his young mistress when his wife Emily is kidnapped for ransom. Walter and a bank security official maneuver to get around their institution's antiterrorist policy, while Emily endures a sadistic captor. Violence, strong language, and some descriptions of sex. 2000.

Deep Harbor: The Northern Lights, Book 2 BR 13142
by Lisa Tawn Bergren
3 volumes
Tora's virtuous aspirations are waning, as is her relationship with Trent. Elsa is enjoying life at sea with her husband and son, until disaster strikes. And Kaatje struggles to survive without her husband. Yet life improves for all as they turn to God. Sequel to The Captain's Bride (BR 12820). 1999.

Ali and Nino BR 13147
by Kurban Said
2 volumes
In Azerbaijan Ali Khan, a Muslim youth, falls in love with Nino, a Christian princess. They overcome their parents' objections and marry. But their real enemy is the force of history and the war that engulfs their country after the Russian Revolution. 1970.

Lolita BR 13157
by Vladimir Nabokov
3 volumes
Poignant, witty novel of erotic obsession by a master stylist. Middle-aged professor Humbert Humbert, incarcerated and awaiting trial, tells of his fascination with "the perilous magic of nymphets"--girls on the cusp of adolescence--and his bizarre journey into the heart of America with twelve-year-old Dolly Haze. Some descriptions of sex and some violence. 1955.

This One and Magic Life BR 13170
by Anne Carroll George
2 volumes
The Sullivan family converges on the Mobile Bay town of Harlow, Alabama, for the funeral of fifty-eight-year-old Artie. As her twin, Donnie, and younger brother, Hektor, reminisce over the deceased, the siblings revisit the secret and terrible crime they committed years ago on their parents' behalf. 1999.

Letters from Yellowstone BR 13193
by Diane Smith
2 volumes
Collection of letters portraying the formation of a scientific expedition in the summer of 1898 and the team's subsequent misadventures. Group leader Howard Merriam almost rejects the field botanist A.E. Bartram when he realizes Bartram is a woman. As the work proceeds, the diverse group becomes a unified "science clan." 1999.

The Tiny One BR 13208
by Eliza Minot
2 volumes
Via Revere recaptures the day her mother died and her world changed. She is only eight, but she recalls that day hour-by-hour in vivid detail, remembering as much as she can about her "Mum" because the memories must last forever. 1999.

Champagne at the Murder BR 13211
by Joan Lowery Nixon and Kathleen Nixon Brush
1 volume
Stacy Champagne returns to her family's Colorado hotel when the town is threatened by Will Knight, who wants to reopen the silver mine. After Knight is murdered at the hotel, Stacy works with Deputy Gonzales sorting through suspects. Grade 1 braille. For junior and senior high and older readers. 1998.

Champagne with a Corpse BR 13212
by Joan Lowery Nixon and Kathleen Nixon Brush
2 volumes
Stacy Champagne, new chief of security at her family's Colorado hotel, discovers a corpse during a museum fund-raiser. As Stacy investigates with her fiancé, Deputy Gonzales, they realize many townspeople had motive to commit the murder. Grade 1 braille. For junior and senior high and older readers. 1999.

Champagne at Risk BR 13213
by Joan Lowery Nixon and Kathleen Nixon Brush
1 volume
Stacy Champagne, head of security at her family's Silver Ridge Hotel, is concerned about the mystery writers' award dinner being held there. Last year, at another hotel, the award check was stolen. But Stacy soon has bigger problems--a writer is murdered. Grade 1 braille. For junior and senior high and older readers. 1998.

The Nightmare Chronicles BR 13223
by Douglas Clegg
2 volumes
Thirteen chilling horror stories. In "The Rendering Man" a young girl's acquaintance with the local disposer of dead animals turns into a lifelong gruesome obsession. "The Night before Alec Got Married" tells about choosing the wrong stripper for a bachelor party. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. 1999.

Scar Vegas: And Other Stories BR 13226
by Tom Paine
2 volumes
Ten tales by a prize-winning author about ordinary people in unusual twentieth-century situations. In the title story ex-con Johnny Loop goes to Las Vegas for his sister Fruit's wedding to a football player. Johnny misses the ceremony, but gains an impressive "lucky" scar. Some strong language. 2000.

A Painted House BR 13239
by John Grisham
3 volumes
Arkansas, 1952. Seven-year-old Luke Chandler, who lives with his parents and grandparents in a house that has never been painted, recounts the events during cotton-picking season. As Luke faces the daily grind of harvesting, he witnesses a murder, a birth, and a storm that changes their lives forever. Some violence. Bestseller 2001.

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