Readers’ Corner: The time for new beginnings – May 2023

By Bonnie McCune and Kathleen Duhamel ~

The Paris Apartment, by Kelly Bowen, has the misfortune of sharing a title with at least three other books. The Bowen version is the one I prefer because it contains several compelling and related stories with characters and plotlines embedded in WW II and post-war. Aurelia inherits an opulent Paris apartment from her grandmother with a hidden treasure trove of famous art and couture gowns. She wants to return stolen items and starts working with Gabriel, an art restorer. The time lines and relationships across generations, along with mysteries from the Nazi period, keep readers eagerly following clues to solve puzzles and cheer for the good guys.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote is an American classic and gave birth to an equally popular movie starring Audrey Hepburn, as Holly Golightly, good-timing socializer. A woman who reinvents herself and has a new beginning with every new man or new situation in her life, she crosses paths with a recent tenant in her brownstone and quickly becomes entwined in his life. A search for a wealthy husband, the loss of her brother in the war, along with challenges from an exotic lifestyle supply her with challenges. Her charm and idiosyncratic personality have established her as an unforgettable character in the literary pantheon. 

The Bean Trees. Barbara Kingsolver’s 1988 debut novel made an ardent fan of this reader. Kingsolver has the ability to create memorable, relatable characters such as Taylor Greer, a smart and capable young woman who leaves her stifling Appalachian home in search of a different life. During her cross-country trip, she acquires an abandoned three-year-old Native American toddler, whom she names Turtle, and eventually settles in Tucson when her car breaks down. As in some of Kingsolver’s later novels, one of the book’s themes explores the question of family: is it strictly biological, or much more? 

Find author Kathleen Duhamel at and Bonnie McCune at

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