Some other books I learned about this weekend at the Go On Girl Book Club annual weekend:
Black Water Rising, a thriller by Attica Locke. James Ellroy, author of L.A. Confidential calls it "A superlative debut...the best bad town novel in some time. Attica Locke is a stand-out in every imperative-young-writer way."
From Harvey River by poet Lorna Goodison. A memoir about a mother and her life in Jamaica. The New York Times book review said, "Like sitting down at the family dining table...You'll stay for the day then on into the evening as each new character pulls up a chair. You could not be in better company."
Wounded: A Love Story by Claudia Mair Burney sounds fascinating. From Publisher's Weekly: Burney's offbeat story, which explores what it might mean to literally share in Christ's suffering, demonstrates an edginess that both attracts and repels. Burney's protagonist, Regina Gina Dolores Merritt, is a 24-year-old black, health-conscious, bipolar, once suicidal single mom with fibromyalgia and migraines and a history of mental illness. It's a lot to put on one character. When she appears to receive the stigmata on Ash Wednesday at her Vineyard Church in Ann Arbor, Mich. (perhaps based on real-life pastor Ken Wilson and his church), a circus of sorts ensues. Druggie Anthony Priest shows up to help, as does Priest's alienated mother, Veronica Morelli. Events catapult toward an unexpected conclusion. Burney pushes the boundaries for her faith fiction audience sexually, especially in references to Christ as lover. The multiple first-person perspectives work well, but stories about saints seem inserted rather than integral, and a few characters feel overdrawn. However, Burney's unusual voice, gritty themes, and ecumenical blending should help this uninhibited novel find a home, especially with emergent church readers.