A LITERARY BLOG
How they affect us.
How they shape our lives.
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Novels, books, and musicals
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Wednesday, December 28, 2016
4:20 pm est
Still Life with Bread
been carrying this book around with me, you see, for about a month now. Every night up the stairs to read before falling asleep,
but I was waylaid by a game or two of Word Chums or Gin Rummy Plus. Every morning I’d tote it back down the stairs,
where I put it on the coffee table thinking I’d catch a chapter or two before dinner. But, again, I was waylaid by household
chores, FrankieBernard walks, and all the trappings of Christmas. But… But! Yesterday was a rainy morning, so I finally
settled in and opened the covers of Still Life with Bread Crumbs: A Novel by Anna Quindlen and couldn’t close them until I had finished reading.
Not only a prolific writer
(seven novels, eight works of non-fiction, and two children’s books, as well as being columnist for Newsweek)
Quindlen is a talented, insightful writer whose plot lines are unique and whose characters are so real they seem to be drawn
from reality. Who, in this case, is the main protagonist Rebecca Winter inspired by the author in an earlier age when she
began to question the meaning of each stage of a woman’s life. Her life, the life of Rebecca, who, at first, is valued
by her work assayed by others, not by herself. Once renowned and rich, our sixty-year-old heroine is reduced to financial
straits; forced to lease out her New York City apartment and rent a run-down cabin in the rural woods. Rebecca finds herself
bereft of luxuries, lacking amenities, and “reduced” to fending for herself.
In the process of going
from “riches to rags” (and living on the edge of poverty), puzzled into an existence she never knew before, Rebecca
learns more from life as she discovers who she really is. All of this may sound like a bit of lofty banality, but this author
is a master of couching the major, deeper meanings of life in minor events; all of which are somehow, sometimes humorously,
interwoven. Sarah, the tea shop and bakery proprietress; Jim Bates the roofer; Polly, Jim’s sister; small white crosses
with talismans inexplicably placed in the forest; Jack, the dog; Sonya, her father’s maid and companion; and Ben, Rebecca’s
son. Each is complex with his/her own philosophy; each with their own deepening message in which Rebecca comes to find the
true meaning of her own.
For those of you who would deem this a “chick lit” romance novel, think
again. It is a well thought out and well-written literary gem that sparkles in the dark recesses of the mind and lights up
the gloomiest winter chambers of the heart. And, unlike most of Quindlen’s other novels, she moves its moments of darkness
into light richness with a very satisfyingly moving happy ending.
I would call this the perfect holiday read;
but as the last days of December are quickly passing into the uncertain nether regions of the coming new year, I recommend Still Life with Bread Crumbs as an anecdote to what
may be many dismal weeks ahead. A breath of spring time reading in the midst of the winter of our own discontents. Who knows?
You may find hope and solace within the covers of this novel. Just as I did.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
2:43 pm est
Novel and Appearance Schedule
six months of research and “living” with a tall, unconventional character who “told” me her name was
Faith Little, my fourth novel and the third in the historical Novels of Phoenixville… series, has been published!
Just in time for your holiday gift giving!
Columbia Hotel: A Novel of Phoenixville during the Early 1900s is set in at the turn of the last century, with flashbacks and recalls to historical events and (most interesting) character
backgrounds that occur in the 1800s. Not to brag (but I will), I just have to say that three of my advanced readers really
liked it! And these three, folks, are my worst critics. Issued by B’Seti Pup Publishing, this intriguing romantic novel,
which is really a mystery (my first?), is available for purchase in both paperback and Kindle formats on amazon.com. Just
click the cover photo in the side panel or the title at the beginning of this paragraph. And for those of you in the Phoenixville
area, copies will also be available at both Gateway Pharmacy (165 Nutt Road) and the Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area (204 Church Street; Hours: 9 to 3 Wednesday
and Friday and on First Fridays and Sundays).
Now, I’m beginning to get a bit of reputation around town
as the historical novelist of the area. And, as such, I am now on local television (information below), doing yet
another few book signing, and have even been invited to participate in the local library’s literary series.
Television Interview: The Prisoner's Portrait: A Novel of Phoenixville during World War II with Dr. Lou Beccaria, the host of And Now You Know, is airing three times a day (egad!) on the local
TPN channel (22 on Comcast; 29 on Verizon). Here are the times:
Sun: 7:30am 5:00pm 9:00pm
Mon: 7:30am 5:00pm 8:00pm
Tues: 7:30am 5:00pm
7:30am 5:00pm 9:00pm
Thurs:7:30am 5:00pm 8:00pm
Fri: 7:30am 5:00pm 8:00pm
Sat: 7:30am 5:00pm
And for those of you who are not in the area, here's
a link to the video online (of all places...YouTube!): https://youtu.be/Y8JYw9_dNG8
Book Signing: Saturday, January 14, 2017, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Gateway Pharmacy,
165 Nutt Road, Phoenixville, PA 19460. Copies of all four of my novels will be available for personalized encryptions and
Phoenixville Library Lecture Series: Monday, February 13, 2017, 7:00
p.m. at the Phoenixville Library, 183 Second Avenue, Phoenixville, PA. German
Prisoners during War World II at Valley Forge General Hospital. Lecture by Jack Ertell from the Historical Society of
the Phoenixville Area and discussion of my novel, The Prisoner’s Portrait.
are the dates and times so far. So, please mark your calendar and join us!
And now, back to work on yet another
novel about Phoenixville! Teaser: This one is told by a mansion…
Have a great day and enjoy all your reads!
J. McInerney, the host of this Literary Blog, is
an author, poet, and librettist. Her currenty published works include a novel, a book of spiritual inspirations,
volumes of poetry, stories
for children (of all ages) and
a variety of children's musicals. Her titles include:
Hotel: A Novel of Phoenixville during the Early 1900s
the Schuylkill Monster: A Novel of
Phoenixville in 1978
The Prisoner's Portrait: A Novel of Phoenxville during World
Rainbow in the Sky
of Oreigh Ogglefont
The Basset Chronicles.
Cats of Nine Tales
Water: A Collection of Poems
Exodus Ending: A
Collection of More Spiritual Poems
We Three Kings
Beauty and the Beast
Peter, Wolf, and Red Riding
Originally from the New York metropolitan area, June currently lives near Valley Forge Park in Pennsylvania with her constant and loving companions, FrankieBernard and Sebastian Cat. She
is currently working on her fifth novel.