It’s already time to be thinking about ghosts, goblins and our October Read. See below for a brief overview of our October, read “What she Left Behind” as well as another reading suggestions from Bridget.
“What She Left Behind” By Marie Wiseman
Captivating in its complexity, this novel brings together the strengths and suffering of two young women born more than 60 years apart. Told in alternating perspectives, the story reaches a place of immense emotional depth and psychological turmoil, culminating in an unexpected, heartrending ending.
Seventeen-year-old Izzy Stone has been in the foster care system for almost a decade, ever since her mother fatally shot her father and was sentenced to life in prison. When Izzy’s new foster parents have her help catalog the contents of a long-shuttered state asylum, Izzy becomes captivated by the story of Clara Cartwright, feeling tied to Clara by her own story. At age 18, a sane Clara’s life was drastically altered when her family committed her to the asylum. As Clara’s story unfolds, Izzy is forced to face her own demons, and long-hidden secrets for both young women are uncovered.
“Captivating in its complexity, this novel brings together the strengths and suffering of two young women born more than 60 years apart. Told in alternating perspectives, the story reaches a place of immense emotional depth and psychological turmoil, culminating in an unexpected, heartrending ending.”–RT Book Review
“She’s done it again. At this time last year, Ms. Wiseman’s first novel The Plum Tree was released. It was excellent and received deservedly wonderful reviews. It is rare that a writer’s follow up work is as good as their first. Such a rarity has been accomplished with What She Left Behind.
What She Left Behind screams with authenticity, depth, and understanding of human behavior and what can and has, been done to others to maintain control and image for some, while negating and hiding the lives of others.”–NY Journal of Books
About the Author
Ellen Marie Wiseman’s debut novel, The Plum Tree, was inspired by her mother’s childhood in Germany during the Second World War. Originally from Three Mile Bay, New York, she now lives on Lake Ontario with her husband. Visit Ellen atellenmariewiseman.com.
Other Picks from Bridget:
“The Pieces We Keep” By Kristina McMorris
Though The Pieces We Keep centers on the unlikely premise of past lives manifesting in a child, its impeccable research into similarly reported accounts and real World War II particulars, and plenty of accurate details, ground the story in reality. Each chapter alternates between a grieving single mother in the present, and a tragic lost-love story during WW II, exploring similar themes of loss and recovery. With nearly every chapter ending on a mini-cliffhanger, readers will have a hard time putting this absorbing book down.
Still grieving two years after her husband’s sudden death, Audra Hughes is desperate to start over with her young son Jack in a new city. The plans are put on hold, though, when Jack’s violent fear of flying suddenly manifests — while the plane is in the air. Soon after, he starts having night terrors and drawing horrific war scenes in school. Audra picks up snippets that seem connected to WW II and works to unravel a mystery in the hope that it’ll help her understand what’s happening to her son.