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At the Library: Sojourns skips March 18

By Staff | Mar 10, 2015

Wednesday, March 18, Captiva Memorial Library’s Afternoon Sojourns, a series of artist talks, music, independent and foreign films, lectures, author presentations and book signings, will not be held. Afternoon Sojourns will resume Wednesday, March 25 at 4 p.m. Charles Sobcazk is the featured March 11 speaker, with Stuart Symington, Jr. headlining the March 25 presentation.

Intriguing novels that might not catch your eye the first time around:

* “The Sisters Weiss” by Naomi Ragen

“In 1950s Brooklyn, sisters Rose and Pearl Weiss grow up in a loving but strict ultra-Orthodox family, never dreaming of defying their parents or their community’s unbending and intrusive demands. Then, a chance meeting with a young French immigrant turns Rose’s world upside down, its once bearable strictures suddenly tightening like a noose around her neck. In rebellion, she begins to live a secret life a life that shocks her parents when it is discovered. With nowhere else to turn, and an overwhelming desire to be reconciled with those she loves, Rose tries to bow to her parents’ demands that she agree to an arranged marriage. But pushed to the edge, she commits an act so unforgivable, it will exile her forever from her innocent young sister, her family, and all she has ever known. Forty years later, pious Pearl’s sheltered young daughter Rivka suddenly discovers the ugly truth about her Aunt Rose, the outcast, who has moved on to become a renowned photographer. Inspired, but nave and reckless, Rivka sets off on a dangerous adventure that will stir up the ghosts of the past, and alter the future in unimaginable ways for all involved. Powerful, page-turning and deeply moving, Naomi Ragen’s ‘The Sisters Weiss’ is an unforgettable examination of loyalty and betrayal; the differences that can tear a family apart and the invisible bonds that tie them together.” *

* “Indigo” by Clemens Setz

“In the Austrian state of Styria lies the Helianau Institute, a boarding school for children born with a mysterious condition known as Indigo syndrome. Anyone who comes near them immediately suffers from nausea and vertigo. Clemens Setz-a fictionalized doppelgnger of the author-is a young math teacher who loses his job at the school after attempting to investigate the mysterious “relocations” of several children. Fourteen years later, Robert, a former student, discovers a newspaper article about Setz’s acquittal for the murder of an animal abuser. Could there be a connection between this story, which continues to haunt Robert, and the puzzling events of the past?” *

* “There Must Be Some Mistake” by Frederick Barthelme

“Wallace Webster lives alone in Kemah, Texas, at Forgetful Bay, a condo development where residents are passing away at an alarming rate. As he monitors events in the neighborhood, Wallace keeps in touch with his ex-wife, his grown daughter, a former coworker for whom he has much averted eyes, and a somewhat exotic resident with whom he commences an off-beat affair. He sifts through the curious accidents that plague his neighbors, all the while reflecting on his past and shortening future. Required to reflect upon his own mortality, he wonders if ‘settling for’ something less than he aspired to is a kind of cowardice, or just good sense. Beneath the arresting repartee and the ever-present and often satisfying banality of our modern lives — from Google searches to real-life mysteries on TV — lies Frederick Barthelme’s affection for and curiosity about our human condition.” *

* “Limbo” by Melania G. Mazzucco

“It’s Christmas Eve and twenty-seven-year-old Manuela Paris is returning home to a seaside town outside Rome. Years ago she left to become a soldier. Then, Manuela was fleeing an unhappy, rebellious adolescence; with anger, determination, and sacrifice she painstakingly built the life she dreamed of as a platoon commander in the Afghan desert. Now, she’s fleeing something else entirely: the memory of a bloody attack that left her seriously injured. Her wounds have plunged her into in a very different and no less insidious war: against flashbacks, disillusionment, pain, and victimhood. Numb and adrift, she is startled to life by an encounter with a mysterious stranger, a man without a past who is, like her, suspended in his own private limbo of expectation and hope. Their relationship — confusing, invigorating –forces her to confront her past and the secrets she, and those closest to her, are hiding. In chapters that toggle between Manuela at home, grappling with her new life, and Manuela in Afghanistan, coming to terms with her role as a leader of fighting men and a peacemaker in a country that doesn’t seem to want her help, Melania G. Mazzucco limns a story of love and loss, death and resistance in terms both surprising and cathartic. ‘Limbo’ asks its readers, no less than its protagonist, what it means to be a daughter, a sister, a woman, a citizen, a soldier–or, more simply, a human.” *

* “Deeper Than the Grave: A Tai Randolph Mystery” by Tina Whittle

It’s taken almost a year, but Tai Randolph has her new life together. She’s running a semi-successful Atlanta gun shop catering to Civil War re-enactors. Her lover, the sexy-if-security obsessed Trey Seaver, is sorting out his challenges. There’s not a single corpse on her horizon, and her previously haphazard existence is finally stable, secure and unsurprising. Then a tornado blows by a Kennesaw Mountain cemetery, scattering the skeletal remains of a Confederate hero. Assisting the bones recovery effort is a job her late Uncle Dexter would have relished, as does Tai. Does she hit the jackpot on discovering a jumble of bones in the underbrush? No. The bones reveal a more recent murder, with her deceased uncle leading the suspect list. As Tai struggles to clear Dexter’s name- and save the business he left her- she uncovers deadly secrets were also buried in the red Georgia clay. And realizes there’s a live murderer on the loose, a clever killer who has tried to conceal the crimes of the present in the stories of the past. As she risks her own life to unravel two mysteries-one from a previous century, one literally at her doorstep-Tai rediscovers her dangerous taste for murder and mayhem.” *

* “Sweet Sunday” by John Lawton

“Turner Raines is not a typical New York private eye. He’d tell you so much himself, “I may not be the greatest gumshoe alive, but I’m a good listener.” He is a has-been-among the things he has been are a broken civil rights worker, a second-rate lawyer, and a tenth-rate journalist. But as a detective, he’s found his niche. In the summer of 1969-the hottest, sweatiest in history, the American summer in the American year in the American century-the USA is about to land a man on the moon, and the Vietnam War is set to continue to rip the country to pieces, setting sons against fathers, fathers against sons. If your kid dodges the draft, hooks up with a hippie commune, makes a dash for Canada, Turner Raines is the man to find him. He won’t drag him back, that’s not the deal, but he will put you in touch with your loved one. That turbulent May of 1969, as Norman Mailer runs for mayor of New York, Raines leaves the city, chasing a draft-dodging punk all the way to Toronto. Nothing goes as planned. By the time Raines gets back to New York, his oldest friend is dead, the city has changed forever, and with it, his life. Following the trail of his friend’s death, he finds himself blasted back to the Texas of his childhood, confronted anew with the unresolved issues of his divided family, and blown into the path of certain people who know about secret goings-on in Vietnam, stories they may now be willing to tell. Lucky for Raines, he’s a good listener.” *

* Book jacket/publisher description

Senior Librarian Ann Bradley is branch manager Captiva Memorial Library.