Category Archives: Lightning Speed Reviews!

My Wish List by Grégoire Delacourt

my wish list

What would you do if you won the lottery?

This is exactly the question facing Jocelyne, owner of a fabric shop in small-town France. Resigned to a life different than she had dreamed of as a young woman, Jocelyne’s unexpected win forces her to re-evaluate the meaning of her life – is she living it the way she wants? Would she change anything? And when the unthinkable happens, what will she do?

A beautifully-written rumination on what makes a life valuable, Delacourt’s Wish List  will make you ask yourself “what would I do with 18 million euros??”

Cancer Vixen by Marisa Acocella Marchetto

One of the great things about working in a library is finding great material through the interests of our patrons. Would I have ever found this gem on my own? Probably not! Thank goodness for the library.

Marchetto’s comic memoir (literally – she is a cartoonist for The New Yorker and Glamour) about her experience with breast cancer and the resulting treatments is a poignant and hilarious window into the life of an NYC “it” girl – and what happens to her life after it is upended by her diagnosis. Fashion, food, illness, family, love – Marchetto’s life is vibrant and full, even when she thinks it is falling apart, a vibrancy only enhanced by its comic form.

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Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid

We all know and love Jane Austen but what happens when a Scottish crime writer changes the setting and time period of a beloved favorite?  Well, one gets Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid.

McDermid has transplanted Catherine Morland (Cat for short) to present day Edinburgh for the Edinburgh Festival.  Cat has been home schooled by her mother and is in Edinburgh as a companion for her neighbors, Mr and Mrs Allen.  Cat meets Bella Thorpe and the Tilney siblings, Henry and Ellie.  Hi-jinx ensue and Cat must figure out which friends are her true friends and which are not.  Throw a little romance in as well as an obsessions with vampires and zombies and you have a light-hearted retelling of Austen’s posthumously published final novel.

I really enjoyed this novel and read it quickly.  Perhaps the best thing is that McDermid acknowledges at the end that fiction is not read to learn lessons but simply to entertain.  And Northanger Abbey certainly entertained.