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FAW Book Reviews

Book Reviews

By Louise Erdrich

Hardcover, 384 pages, Harper; First Edition edition (May 10, 2016)

Reviewed by Ida Hagman
January, 2017

"Our son is your son now." These words are spoken by Landreaux Iron, one of the main characters in LaRose, Louise Erdrich's most recent novel. The novel follows the consequences of an unthinkable tragedy. The best novels, such as LaRose, attempt to answer the difficult questions of life such as how do we transcend grief, how do we make reparations, when and how can we forgive and love again. ...more

By Ian McEwan

Hardcover, 208 pages, Nan A. Talese; 1 edition (September 13, 2016)

Reviewed by Christine Spatara
November, 2016

I read this book so quickly that I feel I should read it again. It grabbed me completely, and I was overwhelmed. Once I started, I could not stop reading. So, I binged until the early morning hours. This is one of those MUST READ books. ...more

Enchanted Islands
By Allison Amend

Hardcover,306 pages, Nan A. Talese, 2016

Reviewed by Shirley Baugher
September, 2016

Have you ever dreamed of spending time on a faraway island with the person of your dreams? Well, Frances Conway did just that, and later wrote about the experience in her memoirs. Midwestern author Allison Amend, inspired by Conway's recollections, framed a novel around them which she called Enchanted Islands, the story of an independent American woman whose path takes her far from her native Minnesota when she and her husband, an undercover intelligence officer, are sent to the Galápagos Islands at the brink of World War II. ...more

What's New with Our Past Award Authors?

March, 2016

As most of you know, FAW gives annual awards to emerging authors who have published no more than three books. Here are some of these authors' works published since they received our recognition. ...more

Memoir of the Sunday Brunch
By Julia Pandl

Paperback, 256pp., Algonquin Books (November 13, 2012)

Reviewed by Roberta Gates
November 27, 2012

A tender and amusing memoir. The author, the youngest of nine children, writes with humor and pathos about her father, a well-known Wisconsin chef. All nine of the Pandl kids got their first taste of (unpaid!) work helping out with their father's Sunday brunches. ...more

The Forgotten Soldier
By Guy Sajer

Hardcover, 508pp., Potomac Books Inc., 2000

Reviewed by Roberta Gates
Jan 15, 2012

I have a special interest in World War II and am always looking for diaries, letters or autobiographies that, I hope, will tell me the way it really was. Unfortunately, war stories are often boastful (we got those Japs) or just plain boring (pincer movements, etc.). But Guy Sajer's autobiography, entitled Forgotten Soldier, is neither. In fact, I would say it comes close to being a masterpiece in its closely observed moments, acute psychological insights and masterful writing. ...more