Sunday, August 24, 2014

Controlled Hallucinations by John Sibley Williams

John Sibley Williams teases the senses and tantalizes the imagination in Controlled Hallucinations. Williams poems invite the reader to read and reread the lines that paint images one may dismiss until the next one brushes up against it. Controlled Hallucinations pushes the reader into new areas of comprehension. Williams, at times, presents strings of words that stop the readier in mid-thought waiting for the hidden revelation just on the tip of the reader's consciousness. At other times, Williams offers lines that will have the reader nodding in acknowledgement of shared experience and wondering if perhaps all of life is really just one large shared controlled hallucination.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Body Surfing by Anita Shreve

Body Surfing by Anita Shreve drops the reader into calm waters with violent waves waiting just below the surface to create turmoil. As Sydney recovers from personal loss she becomes entangled in the tidal pool that is the Edwards family. Sydney has been hired to tutor the youngest Edward child, Julie, to prepare her for a future no one has asked her if she wants. When the two Edward sons,Jeff and Ben, arrive, Sydney ends up in the middle of a lifelong competition that results in much confusion and chaos. Smack in the middle of family dysfunction built around family secrets and heartache, Sydney is pulled between the family members as she navigates her place in the family. Shreve writes characters that feel as if they could step off the page at any moment. In a story that feels like it should end before it does, the reader is glad it doesn't when the end finally comes. Body Surfing stays with the reader long after reading the final page with its hauntingly realistic look at pain, loss, and family life.