Braille Book Review

January-February 2002
Books for Adults--Fiction


Kirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia BR 12732
by Mike Resnick
3 volumes
Ten tales of a utopian planet inhabited by former residents of Kenya. In 2123 Koriba, a European-educated witch doctor, becomes disenchanted with the modernization of Kenya and colonizes the planet of Kirinyaga. There he reinstates ancient customs and decides the fate of his people, while still maintaining a link to Earth. Some violence. 1998.

Talk BR 12741
by Laura Van Wormer
3 volumes
At first it irritates talk-show host Jessica Wright that her security is tightened just because a fan calling himself Leopold begins sending odd letters. But when the notes appear in secure places and then her secretary is murdered, Jessica becomes angry and frightened. Strong language, violence, and some explicit descriptions of sex. 1998.

Comanche Moon BR 12758
by Larry McMurtry
6 volumes
In this sequel to Dead Man's Walk (BR 12567) and prequel to Lonesome Dove (BR 6198), Texas Rangers McCrae and Call aid white settlers as they face Comanche raids and attacks by bandits in the struggle to survive frontier hardships. Some violence and some strong language. Bestseller 1997.

First Snow on Fuji BR 12780
by Yasunari Kawabata
2 volumes
Collection of nine short stories and a play by the Japanese Nobel laureate, translated into English for the first time. In the title piece, published in 1958, two former lovers take an overnight trip together some years later, exploring the changes that time and separation have wrought. 1999.

Someone to Watch over Me: Stories BR 12799
by Richard Bausch
2 volumes
A dozen poignant short stories. Marlee, the younger second wife in the title piece, is upset that Ted chooses to celebrate their first anniversary in a lavish restaurant recommended by his first wife. Marlee's anger and behavior provoke an unexpected reaction from Ted. Some strong language. 1999.

Blameless BR 12877
by Lisa Reardon
2 volumes
Mary Culpepper, thirty-four, is on leave from her job as a school bus driver after finding one of her passengers dead from a beating. As she awaits the trial, Mary finds respite from night terrors and family issues in an illicit affair. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2000.

In Her Defense BR 12897
by Stephen Horn
3 volumes
A former New York prosecutor has inexplicably left his father-in- law's prestigious Washington law firm and consequently endured an unwanted divorce. His struggling new practice receives an unexpected boost when a comely socialite hires him to defend her in a front-page murder case. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2000.

Who Do You Love: Stories BR 12906
by Jean Thompson
3 volumes
Fifteen disquieting short stories explore the basic human need for love. In "Fire Dreams," a bored single woman begins an affair with a married fireman, a convenient neighbor from the next-door fire station. In "Antarctica," a lonely woman reevaluates the dynamics of her family while she drives her grandmother to view a nursing home. Some strong language. 1999.

Hope Was Here BR 12927
by Joan Bauer
2 volumes
Sixteen-year-old Hope and her aunt Addie, a professional waitress/cook team, move to Wisconsin to help G.T. Stoop run his restaurant. Soon they become involved in removing the corrupt mayor from office, and Hope finds the father she needs. For junior and senior high readers. Bestseller 2000.

The Cat Who Smelled a Rat BR 12928
by Lilian Jackson Braun
2 volumes
Moose County awaits the first snowfall, hoping it will end the drought that may be the cause of a rash of fires. Columnist Jim Qwilleran suspects arson when his Siamese cats Koko and Yum Yum demand his attention with catfits. Then a murder occurs, and the local bookstore goes up in flames. Bestseller 2001.

The Constant Gardener BR 12929
by John Le Carré
4 volumes
After his young wife Tessa's murder in Kenya, British diplomat Justin Quayle investigates her death and the disappearance of her African colleague. He eventually discovers that Tessa had uncovered a scheme involving a multinational pharmaceutical company that unethically tests drugs on the local populace. Strong language. Bestseller 2001.

Round Robin: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel BR 12935
by Jennifer Chiaverini
3 volumes
In this sequel to The Quilter's Apprentice (BR 12533), the Elm Creek women of Waterford, Pennsylvania, expand their craft by opening an instructional camp. Sarah continues to have problems with her mother, Sylvia encounters love again, and all find comfort in one another's support. 2000.

Both Sides Now BR 12940
by Ruth Pennebaker
2 volumes
High school sophomore Liza is an optimist like her physician father, and takes cues from him in dealing with her mother's fight against breast cancer. But as increasingly aggressive treatments fail, Liza gradually begins to feel empathy for her mother. For junior and senior high readers. 2000.

Persuasion BR 12975
by Jane Austen
3 volumes (Reissue)
Austen's last novel is a temperate comedy of manners. At twenty- seven, a woman regrets that, persuaded by her elders, she had broken her engagement to the navy captain she loved at nineteen. When she and her father are forced to rent their family home and move to Bath, she meets her former love again. 1816.

Dark Dance: First in the Blood Opera Sequence BR 12978
by Tanith Lee
3 volumes
The terrifying tale of Rachaela Day, who reluctantly complies with her vampire father's demand that she live with his family. Details the events that lead to her daughter's destruction of some family members. Prequel to Personal Darkness (BR 10865). Violence, some explicit descriptions of sex, and some strong language. 1992.

Henry of Atlantic City BR 12981
by Frederick Reuss
2 volumes
Six-year-old Henry lives in an Atlantic City casino where his father is director of security. Having been introduced to the Gnostic gospels by a blackjack dealer, Henry not only hears angels talking in his ear but tries to communicate their teachings--not always welcomed in his gaudy surroundings. Some strong language. 1999.

The Ladies from St. Petersburg: Three Novellas BR 12983
by Nina Berberova
1 volume
Three stories about Russian lives disrupted by wars. Written in 1927, the title piece depicts a mother and daughter on vacation in the country, just as political turmoil erupts. Their fateful trip marks the young girl's sudden transition to maturity. 1998.

The Fated Sky BR 12984
by Henrietta Branford
1 volume
Ran, a sixteen-year-old Viking girl, is blamed for her mother's death and selected for sacrifice to Odin. Toki, a blind musician, helps her escape and the two flee Norway for Iceland. Unfortunately, their enemy, Vigut, reappears. Some descriptions of sex and some violence. For senior high readers. 1996.

The Man Who Ate the 747 BR 12985
by Ben Sherwood
2 volumes
J.J. Smith, authenticator for The Book of Records, is in Superior, Nebraska, where farmer Wally Chubb is grinding up and eating a Boeing 747 cargo jet to prove his love for local newspaperwoman Willa Wyatt. Despite his scientific mind, J.J. is soon falling for Willa too. Some descriptions of sex. 2000.

Elizabeth and After BR 12997
by Matt Cohen
3 volumes
Carl McKelvey returns to the small Ontario town of his birth to renew his relationship with his seven-year-old daughter. But now his ex-wife, Chrissy, is living with an abusive rival, his father is dying, and his neighbors still hold him accountable for his mother's death. Some strong language. Governor General's Award. 1999.

Scandalmonger BR 13233
by William Safire
5 volumes
Political scandals of the late eighteenth century revealed by James Thomson Callender, a Scottish fugitive and journalist hired to write incendiary articles regarding men of power. Selecting Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson as his primary targets, he describes their alleged sexual indiscretions. 2000.

Free Fall BR 13237
by Kyle Mills
4 volumes
Suspended FBI agent Mark Beamon is hired by ruthless presidential aspirant David Hallorin to find professional rock climber Darby Moore, who is on the run with stolen government files that could destroy Hallorin's reputation. Sequel to Storming Heaven (BR 12356). Strong language, some explicit descriptions of sex, and some violence. 2000.

English Passengers BR 13238
by Matthew Kneale
4 volumes
In the 1850s, British customs' exorbitant fines force Illiam Quillian Kewley, captain of a smuggling band, to charter his ship. His two passengers are on a quest to prove that the actual Garden of Eden was Tasmania. But they do not arrive at any paradise. Booker Prize nominee. 2000.

Motherhood Made a Man out of Me BR 13243
by Karen Karbo
2 volumes
Brooke has a six-month-old daughter and a husband who would rather play computer games than help out with the day-to-day parenting. Meanwhile, Brooke's best friend Mary Rose learns she's pregnant, and then discovers the father isn't quite as divorced as he claims to be. Some strong language. 2000.

Truth or Dairy BR 13249
by Catherine Clark
2 volumes
Courtney's boyfriend breaks up with her because he doesn't want a long-distance relationship while attending college a half-hour drive away. Heartbroken, Courtney vows to give up dating, run for student council, and stay vegan. But her life remains a comical mess. For junior and senior high readers. 2000.

The Tale of the Unknown Island BR 13254
by José Saramago
1 volume
Allegory of a man who petitions his ruler for a boat with which to discover an island--any unknown island. When the king finally grants his wish, a cleaning lady insists on joining the crew and together they dream of sailing away. By Portugal's Nobel laureate. Translated by Margaret Jull Costa. 1999.

Midnight Champagne BR 13259
by A. Manette Ansay
2 volumes
Valentine's Day at the Great Lakes Chapel overlooking Lake Michigan. Elmer Liesgang is horrified that his daughter is marrying a man she barely knows and that the wedding is in a former whorehouse. While the guests (including the bride's former fiancé) contemplate love, a marriage ends abruptly in the nearby lodge. Some strong language. 1999.

In the Drink BR 13260
by Kate Christensen
2 volumes
Claudia came to New York to become a reporter, but ended up ghostwriting the books of an aging and aggravating society woman. Now deeply in debt and drinking heavily, Claudia realizes she's secretly in love with her friend, William. Some descriptions of sex and some strong language. 1999.

The Dwarfs BR 13265
by Harold Pinter
2 volumes
Only novel by noted English playwright is set in London and comprised mainly of conversations between three male friends and occasionally the woman friend of one of them--conversations that lead to shifts in the relationships. Some strong language. 1956.

4:50 from Paddington BR 13283
by Agatha Christie
2 volumes
While returning by railroad from Christmas shopping in London, Mrs. McGillicuddy observes a man strangling a woman in a passing train. When Mrs. McGillicuddy returns home, she tells her friend Miss Marple, who initiates an investigation. (Previously titled What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!). Some violence. 1957.

The Plato Papers: A Prophesy BR 13314
by Peter Ackroyd
1 volume
The year is A.D. 3700, the place is London, and the speaker is Plato, an orator and scholar. He lectures about the Age of Mouldwarp, which ended in A.D. 2300, but fundamentally misinterprets the culture of that era. Then Plato must defend himself against accusations of spinning lies. 1999.

P Is for Peril BR 13363
by Sue Grafton
3 volumes
Private investigator Kinsey Millhone is hired by prominent physician Dowan Purcell's ex-wife to find him. Medicare investigators are looking for the elderly doctor, too, although his current wife isn't. Also, Kinsey is curious about her office landlord's past when she discovers he's suspected of patricide. Some strong language. Bestseller 2001.

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