All posts tagged: Fathers

Alexandra Burt begins Shadow Garden as a ‘thought experiement’: Does wealth and privilege sway moral corruption? Do we risk more if there’s more to lose, plus gorgeous prose, houses and homes, plus memory and tragedy

By Leslie Lindsay  A dark, haunting and atmospheric read about memory and twisted family dynamics set amidst luxury. ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ I’ve read all of Alexandra Burt’s stunning books and when SHADOW GARDEN (Berkley, July 2020) came to my attention, I knew I had to get my hands on it. This is such a haunting read that feels claustrophobic and uncomfortable at every turn. Burt is absolutely gifted at atmospheric prose, psychological detail, gorgeous turns-of-phrase, and generally giving readers dark intrigue. Here’s the quick take: Donna Pryor has lived a life of luxury, being a ‘lady of leisure.’ Her husband is a successful plastic surgeon. Her only daughter is grown, she has a housekeeper who caters to every whim. She lives in a gated complex, her home is beautifully decorated. But. Something’s off. Donna is recovering from a recent hip surgery. Her memory isn’t what it used to be. Her daughter never calls. She and her husband are estranged. Her only companions seem to be the caregivers and housekeepers who manage her luxury neighborhood. What’s going on? Immediately, I …

Can you sense what animals are feeling? Maybe. R.L. Maizes discusses this, plus abandonment, father-daughter relationships, how pets inspire, reading jags, and so much more in OTHER PEOPLE’S PETS

By Leslie Lindsay  Highly inventive, charming tale about a young woman, her criminal father, a love for animals and how animals are sometimes part of our destiny. ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS| ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Charmingly off-beat and slightly quirky, OTHER PEOPLE’S PETS by R.L. Maizes, a Pushcart Prize-nominated author, (Celadon, July 14 2020) is told with such wonder, such sparse–yet focused–details, I couldn’t help by empathize with the situations Maizes constructs in her story. La La (Louise) Fine is a fourth year vet student and she relates to four-legged creatures more than the human ones–the only exception being perhaps her father, Zev. Having been abandoned by her mother as a young child, La La grew up with a single dad who was a locksmith turned thief. She went along with him on his “jobs,” and tended to the animals, stood as the watch-out, and often left treats for the animals. But that’s all in her past. Now, she has a promising career as a vet, an adoring fiancé, and she’s mostly come to terms with her mother. …

WeekEND Reading: Celebrating Family, Food, and Dad with Dawn Lerman’s MY FAT DAD, how childhood memories are attached to food, growing up in 1970’s NYC, and so much more

By Leslie Lindsay  “Every story and every memory from my childhood is attached to food.” Dawn Lerman spent her childhood constantly hungry. She craved good food as her father, 450 pounds at his heaviest, pursued endless diets, from Atkins to Pritikin, and everything in between—and insisted the rest of the family do the same, though no one else had a weight issue.  On the other hand, Dawn’s mother could barely be bothered to polish off a can of tuna standing over the kitchen sink, corded phone in hand. She didn’t understand why Dawn was obsessed with “good” food, spending money frivolously on expensive pears, cleaning the house, and helping her father maintain his diets. A chaotic and lonely childhood, Dawn helped her younger sister get starring roles in Broadway plays, sending her on the road for a couple of years, and later a stint on the popular show, “Charles in Charge.” Set alternatively in Chicago and New York City, MY FAT DAD is more than the title suggests, but a memoir of love, family, and …