Readers’ Corner: March Winds will blow minds in these books

By Bonnie McCune and Kathleen Duhamel ~

Demon Copperhead. From the first page, the title character in Barbara Kingsolver’s latest novel speaks in a clear, bold voice that compels the reader to go along on his remarkable journey. Inspired by Dickens’ classic story David Copperfield, this version follows Damon (i.e. Demon), an orphan living in an impoverished Appalachian town, who wants a better future for himself. Jobs are almost non-existent, but opioids (and drug addiction) are plentiful. Despite the sometimes-grim storyline, the book is filled with warmth and humor. A masterful job from one of America’s best-loved novelists.

Wool, a post-apocalyptic novel, made history by becoming a best-seller after Hugh Howey self-published. The author completed four novellas in the series, then obtained a publishing contract. The action takes place in a silo, a 144-floor underground community of humans. Air above ground is toxic after an unknown catastrophe. Those who attempt to go out and others being punished for misdeeds are “cleansed.” Juliette, a new mayor, attempts to rectify the many social and personal problems of the society but seems doomed to failure. Her battle to survive herself, as well as save the remnants of civilization, leads readers to question the value of our way of life.

The unusual in Shuggie Bain isn’t the location (Glasgow) but the social milieu. Shuggie’s dysfunctional family moves from place to place and winds up in a council flat for mine workers where he’s bullied as a clear misfit. Father leaves, mother blossoms into alcoholism, and Shuggie becomes her caretaker. After his mother’s death, Shuggie soldiers on, eventually living alone in a tiny flat and finding a job. Leanne, the daughter of another alcoholic woman, and he establish a close friendship. “A heartbreaking story of addiction, sexuality, and love,” author Douglas Stuart creates a touching tale, winning the Booker Prize and other prestigious awards for this triumph. 

Author Kathleen Duhamel writes humorous contemporary romance featuring seasoned characters. Her newest is Fed Up. Author Bonnie McCune’s latest is Never Retreat, a suspenseful romance in Colorado’s wilderness.

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