I belong to a group of women meeting regularly for conversation. The group began to help young immigrant women improve their English. That focus continues, but the group has become much more—a group of friends sharing the ups and downs of life during good times and bad. In addition to our conversations, we all write short articles following a prompt and share the results of our writings. We decided to add reading a book to our meetings, and we choose a book we can all enjoy. Our most recent choice is Heidi by Johanna Spyri.
I hardly need to summarize the plot to Heidi. The book has been well-known since it was published in 1881. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Spyri wrote Heidi in four weeks. Words like beloved, uplifting, comforting, engaging, and touching all describe Heidi, the little orphan girl and her whole story.
Spyri suffered the loss of her husband and only child, a son, in 1884. She spent the rest of her life working on charitable causes. She continued to write and published more than fifty additional stories for adults and children. She died in 1901 and is buried in Zurich.
I received a copy of Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel from Random House. When the book arrived, I was in the midst of reading two other books, so I set it aside temporarily. Then Kaye, a friend in my book club mentioned the book in one of our Zoom meetings. She said the story was surprisingly gripping. That comment prompted me to pick up Darling Rose Gold and read it.
Readers looking for a book with a dual story and told by two unreliable narrators will find Darling Rose Gold a satisfying read. Two women, mother and daughter, who should love and support one another find themselves at odds with one another. Who can readers believe?
At the beginning, Patty Watts is in prison serving five years for aggravated child abuse. In a trial, she was found guilty of keeping her daughter Rose Gold ill for her entire life. Watts suffers from Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Rose Gold even takes the stand to testify against her mother. To Patty, that was the ultimate betrayal because she feels she has done nothing but love and protect her seriously ill daughter.
Rose Gold endured one medical treatment after the other starting in her infancy. By age two, she had a feeding tube. Her frequent vomiting spells ruined her teeth. She could eat almost nothing and relied on her mother’s feeding her through the feeding tube.
When Rose Gold comes home from school in first grade with bruises, scrapes, and torn clothes from being bullied, Patty decides to homeschool Rose Gold. Having Rose Gold at home constantly allows Patty to find even more illnesses so she can take Rose Gold to doctors, the ER, and the hospital.
Throughout all of Rose Gold’s many illnesses and doctors’ visits, Patty portrays herself as the long-suffering mother who will do anything to protect her daughter. Throughout the town of Deadwick, an appropriately named town, people see Patty as a person helping the community, always up front to volunteer for charitable organizations.
The townspeople’s attitude changes drastically once Patty is on trial and then convicted of aggravated child abuse. The people feel duped and become angry, not only because of the abuse Rose Gold has suffered, but because Patty fooled them. Now, they want revenge.
Another twist in the story occurs when Rose Gold meets her biological father, Bill Gillespie. He has read about Patty’s conviction and seeks Rose Gold out at her workplace, Gadget World. Patty has always told Rose Gold that her father was David Smith who died of a drug overdose. Clearly, another of Patty’s lies has surfaced.
Oddly, after not seeing her mother in the prison for four years, Rose Gold begins visiting each week. When her mother is released, Rose Gold is the one who picks her up and allows Patty to live with her. Rose Gold has bought the old house Patty grew up in, a house that was not a home, but a place of extreme abuse from which Patty has not recovered even though both of her parents are dead.
I became extremely nervous about Rose Gold’s decision to allow Patty to live with her because by now, Rose Gold, 23, has an infant son of her own. With Patty in the home, will Rose Gold and Adam, the child, be safe?
Stories abound about mothers with Munchausen syndrome by proxy. One highly publicized case ended in the mother’s murder when her daughter meets a boy online and they plot to kill the mom. The murder occurred in Springfield, MO. The full story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard and her mother, Dee Dee, is portrayed on Biography: https://www.biography.com/news/gypsy-rose-blanchard-mother-dee-dee-murder. Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee’s story has several parallels to Rose Gold and Patty’s story.
Both the fictional Patty and the real Dee Dee were known as “do-gooders,” always volunteering for community events and raising money for charity. Both mothers took their daughters to a number of doctors, changing doctors when the doctor would not go along with the mothers’ diagnosis. In both cases, a home computer and access to the Internet will change the girls’ lives.
Still, Darling Rose Gold portrays its own story of a mother with Munchausen syndrome by proxy and a daughter caught in her mother’s web of lies. Rose Gold’s story and Gypsy Rose’s story end quite differently—an ending readers will discover for themselves. In the end, “nobody wants to hear the truth from a liar.”
Darling Rose Gold received a great deal of advance praise: A most anticipated book of 2020 by Newsweek, Marie Claire, Bustle, Shondaland, PopSugar, Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping, BookRiot, and She Reads. Stephanie Wrobel lives in England and loves to read and to travel. Her Web site offers more information: https://www.stephaniewrobel.com/.
I have long been a fan of Anne Tyler’s books. I just had not read one for a while. As I looked at the offerings on RBdigital, I discovered Redhead by the Side of the Road by Tyler. I enjoyed the narrator’s voice and the story itself. That I liked the narrator’s voice is am important point because I have stopped listening to some audio books when I found the narrator’s voice irritating.
Falling into the story, I discovered Tyler’s signature character in Micah Mortimer who is committed to his routines. He has a certain day for thoroughly cleaning the kitchen, another day for laundry, and yet another for other cleaning of his apartment. Micah calls himself the Tech Hermit and makes his living helping people solve their computer and printer problems.
Micah lives rent-free in a basement apartment because he manages the apartments for the absent landlord. Micah also has a woman friend who is an elementary teacher. He says since he is forty, he cannot call her his girlfriend.
Micah’s life turns upside down when a teenage boy, Brink, shows up at Micah’s door.it turns out, Brink’s mother and Micah dated in college, but their relationship ended more than twenty years earlier. For some misguided reason, Brink feels Micah could be his father since his mother has not told him who is father is. She was unmarried when Brink was born but has since married and had two more children. Brent feels out of place in the high-achieving family.
Micah is surprised, of course, since he has not even thought of Lorna, his college flame, in years. He assures Brink that he cannot be the boy’s father. Still, Brink is at loose ends and reluctant to return home. Micah allows Brink to stay overnight which sets off a chain of events with the current woman friend.
Anne Tyler fans will recognize Micah’s tendencies to keep everything pigeon-holed in his routine. Will he ever understand the teasing he receives when he is at his large, extended family gatherings? Will he change enough to allow someone fully into his life? By the end of the story, readers will have answers to these questions. Redhead by the Side of the Road is a satisfying read. Who is the redhead by the side of the road? No spoilers here; read the book!
Tyler, http://annetyler.com/books, has published over twenty novels. Dipping into any of the twenty will be rewarding to a reader.
I enjoy finding books by authors new to me. I read about The Stationery Shop by Marja Kamali and instantly became interested in reading the book which begins in 1953 in Iran and follows the main character Roya, then 18, through her life.
The Stationery Shop is not exactly a Romeo and Juliet story, but it does involve young lovers who lose one another through the machinations of another, the young man’s mother. No, they do not die, but they are separated and go on to live very different lives from the one they had planned together.
Roya and Bahman meet in Mr. Fakhri’s stationery store in Tehran in 1953. The stationery shop sells beautiful writing paper and pens, but Mr. Fakhri also stocks novels, particularly novels from the West. After their first, fleeting meeting, Roya and Bahman, both 18, continue to meet each Tuesday in Mr. Fakhir’s shop.
Then they begin to venture out into the world together, going to a coffee shop where they sit drinking coffee and talking, getting to know one another. Quickly, they fall in love. Bahman asks for Roya’s hand in marriage and her family agrees.
Bahman’s mother is outraged by Bahman’s actions because she has another girl in mind for his wife; she thought the matter was settled. While Bahman’s father agrees to the marriage with Roya, Bahman’s mother only pretends to acquiesce.
The young lovers face more trouble than that posed by Bahman’s mother because political unrest in Tehran in 1953 is rampant. Bahman has, in fact, been part of the protests. His political activity puts him at risk. Bahman’s family leaves the city unexpectedly to spend time in their vacation home. Bahman writes to Roya that he will return on a certain date and arranges to meet her in a particular place in the center of town.
Roya goes to the meeting place certain that Bahman will return and that they will be married. Crowds gather as protesters from all sides shout and fights break out. Clearly, the square is not a safe place for Roya, but she continues to hope that Bahman will find her. Finally, the dangers are too great and she goes home.
Roya then receives a letter saying that Bahman is breaking their engagement because he is marrying the woman his mother has chosen. Naturally, Roya is heartbroken and cannot understand this complete change of heart, but she has no choice but to accept his decision.
Roya’s parents then decide to send both of their daughters to California to attend college. The girls fully expect to return to Tehran once they have graduated from college. Throughout her college years, Roya has no interest in dating. Her sister, on the other hand, does date a number of American boys.
Near the end of her senior year, Roya meets Walter, who is from Boston and attending college in CA. They meet in a coffee shop when Roya accidently spills Walter’s coffee; with a fresh cup of coffee in hand, Walter asks if he can sit with Roya because the coffee shop is crowded. He expresses an interest in learning about Iranian food. Their relationship begins as Roya teaches Walter about foods she loves from home. Over time, their friendship turns to love and they marry when the two graduate.
The story begins in 2003 with Roya going to see Bahman who lives in a nursing home in Boston. Then the story quickly reverts to 1953 when Roya and Bahman meet, allowing readers to discover the full story of their falling in love and then the separation.
At the end, the story returns to the present day and a second meeting between Bahman and Roya in which all becomes clear about the broken engagement.
The story is beautifully told in both parts. Readers will sympathize with the young lovers and hope for their success. Then when that clearly will not occur, readers will hope for Roya’s future happiness.
Marjan Kamali has lived as a citizen of the world. Her parents are Iranian, but they were living in Turkey when Kamali was born. Subsequently, the family lived in Kenya, Germany, Iran, and the US. Kamali has a degree in English literature from UC Berkeley ad an MBA from Columbia U. She also earned an MFA from New York U. Her second novel is Together Tea. Discover more on her website: marjankamali.com.
Discovering a new author is a delight, especially when the writer turns out to be talented. Mudbound, a debut novel, was not on my radar until my library book club leader chose it for our July discussion. As I began reading, I discovered the story is set on a farm near Greenville, MS following WWII.
Before I finished Mudbound, I wanted to know more about Hillary Jordan. I found her website, https://www.hillaryjordan.com/, and discovered that she had lived in Muskogee, OK. She also visited her grandparents who lived in Lake Village, AR, a town 25 miles from where I grew up in AR. Too, Greenville, MS, is only 35 miles from my hometown.
Mudbound takes place in 1946 in a decidedly Southern area, and Jordan tackles racism, injustice, and mistreatment of women head-on. Henry McAllan marries Laura, a woman who has decided she will most likely be a spinster. By the time Henry and Laura have two daughters, Henry without so much as a conversation with his wife buys a farm near Greenville, MS, and moves his family there.
Adding to the insult of taking Laura and his daughters to an isolated farmhouse with no running water and an outhouse, Henry also tells Laura that Pappy, Henry’s dyspeptic, critical father, will be living with them. How much more can Laura stand? The old man sits watching Laura constantly, offering unsolicited advice on raising children, cooking, and cleaning. He never lifts a finger to help and particularly enjoys teasing his granddaughters, especially the younger one. His teasing is NOT good-natured in the least though. He enjoys frightening his grandchildren and they stay well out of his reach, constantly wary of him.
Jamie McAllan, Henry’s much younger brother, returns from Europe where he stayed for some months after the war ended. Today, we would understand that Jamie is suffering from PTSD, but that was not the case then. To combat the feelings he has from his having been in the war, Jamie drinks too much alcohol. He also befriends Ronsel Jackson, a young Black man, who has also returned to the area from the war. That friendship causes trouble for both men.
Mudbound is a difficult story to read. Readers are confronted with the rampant racism of the day, time, and place including Ronsel’s treatment by a group of KKK members. In these days when the Black Lives Matter protests are taking place across the country, we see how many of the old prejudices still remain. While the US has made strides toward equality, there is much to be done yet.
Mudbound also addresses the inequality women faced then. To think that Henry would invest in a farm without even consulting Laura creates tension, yet Laura must not protest, but go along with the choice Henry has made.
The characters in Mudbound stand out vividly. Laura calls on strength she probably did not know existed when she has to make a home for her children on a farm with no amenities. She must constantly keep Pappy placated by talking sweetly to him when he criticizes her for all manner of what he considers her failings.
My favorite character is Florence Jackson, Ronsel’s mother. She is raising her family with her husband Hap as sharecroppers. Florence is also a local mid-wife. The strength of her character is remarkable. She is smart and wise.
Mudbound creates tension and fear for the characters readers will come to love and hate—I Pappy’s case. Jordan has created a story that engages the reader as well as enrages the reader over the injustice of the day. She has developed characters that will remain in the readers’ memory for a long time.
Hillary Jordan is an author to watch. Mudbound, Jordan’s debut novel, wo the 206 Bellwether Prize which Barbara Kingsolver founded. Mudbound has also been made into a movie. Jordan’s second novel is When She Awoke. It is set in the future and is quite a departure from Mudbound.
Becky, a friend, loaned me Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai. Becky thought I would enjoy the book, and she was right. Thanhha Lai has written a lovely prose poem that is both heartbreaking and heartwarming.
Lai creates a fiction based on her own experiences of fleeing Vietnam in 1975 with her mother and eight older siblings. Inside Out & Back Again, the fictionalized version, describes Ha’s journey from Vietnam to Montgomery, AL, with her mother and three older brothers. Their sponsor in AL wears a large cowboy hat which makes Ha believe the man has a horse and will take her to ride the horse.
Ha is ten-years-old ad recounts the escape from Vietnam and her first year in America. Learning English is difficult. Ha’s descriptions of the strangeness of English will certainly engage readers. Even native speakers will sympathize with her. She says English rules make no sense. She explains, “Why no s for two deer, but an s for two monkeys?” The last line on that page sums up her frustrations with English: “Whoever invented English should be bitten by a snake.”
Then Ha ponders the strangeness of verbs. She says, “Some verbs switch all over just because: I am, she is, they are, he was, and they were. Would be simpler if English and life were logical.”
Ha must endure bullying by some of the children who find her strange. Her teacher is not very sympathetic, but she meets Miss Washington, a neighbor and retired elementary teacher. When they meet, Miss Washington puts her arms around Ha and invites her to come to her home for extra tutoring in English.
Over time, Ha makes friends. Too, her brothers protect her as much as they can from the bullies who chase Ha after school. The story ends on a happy note and readers can expect that Ha and her family will assimilate into life in Montgomery.
Inside Out and Back Againwon a number of well-deserved honors: #1New York Timesbestseller, a Newbery Honor Book, and a winner of the National Book Award. Readers will understand that the story is fiction, but it is based on Thanhha Lai’s own experiences.
Thanhha Lai has also published two other books: Butterfly Yellow and Listen, Slowly. Discover more on her Website: https://www.thanhhalai.com/.
Hanna Casey believes she is living the perfect life in London with her barrister husband and teenage daughter, Jazz. Then Hanna discovers her husband has been having a long-term affair with a family friend. In a fit of anger and desperation, Hanna throws a few clothes into bags for her and Jazz and the two return to Hanna’s childhood home in Finfarran, Ireland. Hanna and Jazz live with Hanna’s widowed mother while Hanna comes to terms with her life and her disappointment.
The Library at the Edge of the World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy takes place in the fictional town of Finfarran, located on the West Coast of Ireland. Luckily, Hanna finds a job as librarian of the Lissbeg Library. Jazz is now an adult and working as a flight attendant, sharing a flat with coworkers in Paris, but she makes frequent trips to see her mother and grandmother.
I have a fondness, one might even say a weakness, for books about libraries and book stores, so the title The Library at the Edge of the World caught my eye. The fact that it is set in a beautiful part of Ireland was also a draw.
Hanna feels in many ways that her life has been on hold since she fled from London and a bad marriage. Suddenly, she discovers reasons to be involved and active again. The first is that she decides to renovate a house she inherited years ago from her great-aunt. The house has sat abandoned for years, but the structure is sound. Hanna finds a local carpenter who is actually an artisan with a talent for finding excellent bargains which he purchases for Hanna’s home project. He is saving Hanna money, but she takes her time understanding that Fury, the carpenter, has her best interests at heart.
Then Hanna’s livelihood is threatened because a larger nearby town has caught the Council’s eye. The Council members think if they pour resources into Carrick, they can save money and draw tourists. Of course, this plan comes at a cost to Finfarran and the Lissbeg Library. Hanna and others in Finfarran decide to develop their own plan to save the town as well as the library and to provide much-needed services to the whole community.
The Library at the Edge of the World is a feel-good-story. And I felt a great need for such a story during this pandemic.
Felicity Hayes-McCoy has been compared to one of my favorite authors: Fannie Flagg. Both Hayes-McCoy and Flagg capture small towns and the people who live there with skillful descriptions. Having grown up in a small town myself, I am fond of reading about people who live and succeed in such towns. Read more about Felicity Hayes-McCoy and her other books: http://felicityhayes-mccoy.blogspot.com/.
Readers in the mood for a modern story with a few ghosts thrown in for good measure should pick up Charleston Green by Stephanie Alexander. Alexander’s first published book is The Cracked Slipper which created quite a stir. She has continued to write for magazines, been a ghost writer, and enjoys joining book clubs for a discussion of her books with the members.
Alexander is quite accomplished, earning a bachelor of arts from the College f Charleston, SC. She completed a master’s in sociology from the American University in DC. After being a stay-at-home mom with her three children, Alexander returned to earn a degree in law. Alexander maintains a robust website: http://stephaniealexanderbooks.com/.
Charleston Green features Tiffany, Tipsy, Collins, a newly divorced mother of three, artist, and clairvoyant. Tipsy divorces her husband because of his controlling behavior and having to walk on eggshells around him all the time. She decides that having their children in such an environment is not healthy.
Tipsy endures a lot of criticism from her mother-in-law in particular. Ayers Collins, Tipsy’s now ex-husband, also expects Tipsy to return to him. He says as much to the children behind Tipsy’s back until she confronts him about what he says to the children is harmful.
Until she can figure out a more permanent home, Tipsy and the children move into Miss Callie’s old home, now owned by Tipsy’s former brother-in-law. He plans to renovate the home and sell it, but he is allowing Tipsy and the children to live there until Tipsy can sort out her life.
As Tipsy is moving her things into Miss Callie’s home, still replete with Miss Callie’s furnishings, Tipsy meets Jane a ghost who died in the home in 1929. Tipsy learns that Jane is certain Henry, Jane’s husband, killed her and then killed himself. Soon, Tipsy meets Henry who says he could not possibly have killed Jane because he loved her.
Tipsy finds herself caught up in the story of Jane and Henry’s tumultuous marriage and she feels determined to figure out what really happened that Jane and Henry both died of gunshot wounds with most people of the day accusing Henry of the murder-suicide.
Besides contending with ghosts, Tipsy must also continue to battle Ayers over custody of the children. When Ayers hires a PI to shadow Tipsy, Tipsy feels betrayed. Too, the PI takes pictures of Tipsy apparently talking to herself in the cemetery. Of course, readers know she has found another ghost, but she fears Ayers will use the photos against her to take the children into his full custody.
As the story unfolds, readers become concerned about Tipsy’s health because some encounters with the Jane and Henry in Miss Callie’s home leave Tipsy exhausted almost catatonic for a period after the encounters. Tipsy also meets Will and the begin dating. Ayers also tries to use that new relationship to prove that Tipsy is unfit to care for the children.
I felt sure I knew who had actually killed both Jane and Henry and made the scene look like a murder/suicide. I was wrong! That is the sign of a good story since the author gives clues and I put them together incorrectly. I like the surprise of “whodunit.” And in 1929, not many police detectives would have pursued the case since Jane and Henry were known to have a volatile relationship.
For those who like a good ghost story mixed with a modern-day family story, Charleston Green will fit the bill.
After listening to The Doughnut Fix by Jessie Janowitz for my book club, I discovered the sequel, The Doughnut King, was also available on RBdigital, so I checked it out. I was eager to discover how Tris and Josh, his best friend in Petersville, NY, would handle the success of their doughnut business.
The same cast of characters show up in the beginning: Tris’s parents, Tris’s brainy sister Jeanine and baby sister Zoe along with grouchy Winnie, who gave Tris the doughnut recipe in the beginning. The doughnut business is successful; the problem is Tris cannot keep up with demand. The only negative comments on the doughnut business website are posted by people who arrive too late and find the doughnuts are sold out.
Tris and Josh would like to expand their business, but how? Tris discovers they could buy a doughnut machine which would churn out hundreds of doughnuts quickly, but the machines cost $50,000. That money is simply not available to two twelve-year-olds.
Tris has read Business for Dummies, so he considers asking for investors to help the company buy the machine. The other problem he and Josh hope to solve is that Petersville, like many small towns, is drying up. More people are moving away than moving into the town. Tris would like to be able to sell more doughnuts, bringing people into the town along with other businesses.
Tris discovers an immigrant has built a large, prosperous tea business in another small NY town, thus saving the town. Tris writes a very reasoned email asking the man to help fund the doughnut machine, but he receives a negative response from the man’s assistant.
Then Jeanine, Tris’s brainy sister, sends a video of Tris making doughnuts and selling them in his business to Can You Cut It, a TV cooking competition for kids. Tris is angry at Jeanine, but he reluctantly agrees to go for the interview because he does not think he has a chance to get on the show.
At this point, the story becomes much more complicated than the plot in The Doughnut Fix. However, those complications only add to the readers’ enjoyment of the story because of the unexpected turns that will surprise the readers.
By now, Tris is fully involved in life in Petersville and hopes to help save the town by winning on Can You Cut It? because the prize is $100,000. Chef JJ, the host of the show is mean, especially to Tris. Readers will be interested in discovering why.
Read both The Doughnut Fix and The Doughnut King to learn the full story of Tris and his doughnuts. You will be glad.
Jessie Janowitz explains on her website that she writes stories for kids “because those are the ones I’ve always loved best.” Janowitz majored in comparative literature at Princeton and followed up by going to law school. Discover more at this link: https://www.jessiejanowitz.com/.
Why do I have this sudden urge to eat a doughnut, a sweet treat I rarely allow myself? Perhaps it has something to do with reading The Doughnut Fix by Jessie Janowitz. I am an eclectic reader, so when my library book club leader said we would read a book for kids, The Doughnut Fix by Jessie Janowitz, for our August discussion, I was delighted. I enjoy reading a wide variety of books for all ages.
Tristan has two younger sisters, Jeanine, the gifted and talented genius, and Zoe, the cute baby of the family. They live with their mom and dad in NYC, a life they are all completely happy living. Then dad loses his job through no fault of his own.
Tristan’s parents move the family to Petersville in upstate NY, a very small town which does not even sell bagels except the frozen kind. Food is an important part of the family’s life because mom is a chef. The children all learn to cook at an early age, making whatever is age-appropriate. Tristan, especially enjoys trying new recipes and experimenting with ingredients. He has become quite an accomplished baker.
In Petersville, Tristan explores the main street, a place of mostly boarded up, empty buildings. He sees a sign advertising chocolate-filled cream doughnuts. When he asks Winnie, the store’s owner, about the doughnuts she tells Tristan, who prefers to be called Tris, that she no longer makes the “life-changing doughnuts.” She has, however, kept the sign just because.
In truth, Tristan would like to change his name to Jax and thinks when he is of legal age, he will do just that.
Tristan’s parents decide that Tris and Jeanine will not start school until after the Christmas holidays. Instead, they will spend the two months until they return to school engaged in creating a project of their own choosing. Jeanine, the gifted and talented member of the family, quickly chooses a project. Tris flounders trying to find a project. He thinks he just needs to tell his parents a half-formed plan and all will be well.
Tris decides to ask Winnie for her life-changing doughnut recipe. He will tell his parents he wants to start a doughnut business. What Tris doesn’t realize is that this decision will set him on an unchartered course that will lead him to create a business plan, make the doughnuts, make friends, and find a life in Petersville.
Tris does get the life-changing doughnut recipe from Winnie; then he tries the recipe and remembering some advice from his mother, he figures out a way to make the recipe his own. In the process of making the doughnuts, he also makes a friend in Josh, a boy his age. Josh’s mom is the town librarian and Josh is often in the library when Tris goes there to do research. Josh has never cooked, but he is interested in Tris’s experiments and he also agrees to teach Tris how to play ice hockey.
Can Tris and Josh come up with a viable business plan to suit Winnie who must receive part of the profit since the original recipe was hers? Will Tris’s parents approve the plan? However, the most looming question of all lies in whether the doughnut business will be a success.
The Doughnut Fix is a story about family, friendships, and food. Tris’s parents are loving and generous; they expect their children to be resilient and to work out problems on their own with some guidance from them. Tris is my favorite character and he narrates the story. His sister Jeanine, the gifted and talented child, is more than a little irritating because she is a know-it-all. Baby sister Zoe is a tad annoying in that she constantly gets into mischief.
Jessie Janowitz explains on her website that she writes stories for kids “because those are the ones I’ve always loved best.” Janowitz majored in comparative literature at Princeton and followed up by going to law school. Discover more at this link: https://www.jessiejanowitz.com/. The book trailer for The Doughnut Fix is found at this link: https://youtu.be/ah0LQRAZA_o. Enjoy watching Janowitz talk about The Doughnut Fix in this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/A-Zb0R7Ze5w.