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The Book by Keith Houston We may love books, but do we know what lies behind them?
The Underground Railway by Colson Whitehead Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits.
A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny When an intricate old map is found stuffed into the walls of the bistro in Three Pines, it at first seems no more than a curiosity.
By Gaslight by Steven Price London, 1885. In a city of fog and darkness, the notorious thief Edward Shade exists only as a ghost, a fabled con, a thief of other men's futures -- a man of smoke.
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class

Featured Book

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

The_DovekeepersThe Dovekeepers, Alice Hoffman, Scribners, $18.00

The first novel I read by Alice Hoffman was Practical Magic. I was smitten immediately , even though the many covers the book has had over the years leave much to be desired -- I even threatened to wrap every one of them in brown paper!  Most of her books have been past Features, not all though because as much as I love her work and the lyricism of her writing, she can be a bit uneven at times.  But in taking on the full weight of a historical novel -- much less the tragedy of Masada two thousand years ago, she has launched herself to a whole new level of storytelling.  One she takes on with her impressive gift for character, language and insight. ,
Told from the perspective of four women, she brings to life the story of nearly one thousand Jews who fled from the advancing Romans to a mountain, Masada in the Judean desert.  They held out for months until the Romans finally broke down the walls only to find them all dead, choosing suicide to butchery and slavery.  As each narrator tells her story: Yael, (daughter of an assassin), Shirah; (herbalist and wise woman), Revka and her mute grandsons, and Aziza, (raised as a boy and determined to fight the Romans) -- we fall away into a time of fear and passion, resignation and magic told with such fervor and talent -- it takes your breath away.

Comparisons have been made to Anita Diamant's "Red Tent" but I would also compare it to Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Mists of Avalon".  But believe me when I say the history of her past novels only slightly prepares you for this book.  In tackling such a subject and taking on not just one fiercely independent and strong woman, but four unique aspects of the archetype, she has created a "women's" masterwork that will be loved by book clubs and course work alike.  In tying to explain the complexity of this novel, I am once again struck by how hard it is to do justice in a review.  So here goes: "Just read the damn thing, you'll be passing it around to friends for years to come".

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News and Events

Ottawa International Writers Festival

Check out the exciting line-up for pre-Fesival Events. Visit the Ottawa International Writers Festival website and pick up your tickets in the store. Several Pre-Festival events begin as early as September 13th when Alexandre Trudeau launches his new book with us. The final week of September sees some great writers coming to our city. Check out the website and book early!

 

Anne DesBrisay

..... will be visiting Perfect Books on Monday, September 26th from 4:30 to 7 p.m. to sign copies of her new book, Ottawa Cooks. Several of the chefs featured in this beautifully crafted edition will be in the store to appear with Anne. The book, especially a signed copy, will make an excellent gift.

 

Barbara Fradkin and Linda Wiken

Two of our favourite local authors are co-hosting a launch party at the Heart and Cown Pub on Clarence Street on Wednesday, September 28th from 7 to 9 p.m. Both launch a new mystery series. Perfect Books will be there. Join us for readings, book signings and much laughter!

 

 

Stephen Maher

Stephen is launching his new book, Salvage, at the Metropolitain Brasserie on September 28th at 6 p.m. It's a terrific thriller set in Nova Scotia. Rough seas, rough trade and tender hearts!!

 

Marion Dewar by Deborah Gorham

After a wildly successful launch of this wonderful new biography (the bookseller ran out of books - shame on me!) we have convinced Deborah to come to the store on Sunday, October 16th from 1 to 3 p.m. to sign copies and to meet customers and chat about Marion.

 


 

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