June Book Reviews
"Faith: A Novel", by Jennifer Haigh.
How often have we heard that things are not always what they seem? How often are we too quick to judge based on rumor instead of fact? What if the facts are covered up or too complex to be explained by a sensationalized sound bite on the news?
The author explores all of these in her latest book Faith, set in the early 2000s during the sexual abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church in America, most particularly the Boston archdiocese.
Sheila, the sister of two brothers, and the only one to flee the stifling Irish-Catholic Boston world she grew up in, returns home to try to make sense of the accusations that have torn her family apart. The more she probes what she initially believes are simple questions, the more she discovers the multiple layers of secrets and silence at the very heart of her family and everything she was taught growing up.
This emotionally thought-provoking novel explores the complexity of family and faith amidst a scandal that continues into the present leaving both personal and institutional scars far beyond those individually impacted.
This novel may be found in the Adult New Fiction section.
"The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark",
by Deborah Diesen, illustrated by Dan Hanna.
This is a fun picture book of a whimsical underwater world for children told through hilarious rhymes. The story begins with Mr. Fish promising to help his friend Ms. Clam retrieve the pearl that escaped when she yawned, “A doozie of a drowsy made Ms. Clam yawn. Then a big current whooshed and her pearl was GONE!”
And so the big adventure begins as Mr. Fish searches all over the ocean for the pearl while meeting so many hilariously drawn sea creatures who also want to help him.
“As his heart flit-fluttered” he has to swim farther and deeper into dark mysterious places on the ocean bottom and his fear of the dark soon begins to overwhelm him.
Just when he thinks that he is not brave enough to continue, “I won’t keep swimming in this heap-deep black! I know I made a promise, but this fish is headin’ back!”, Miss Shimmer and Mr. Lantern come to the rescue and encourage him not to give up.
Together they shine light into the darkness as they descend to retrieve the missing pearl. Afterwards, they swim around in a big circle celebrating each other’s bravery by singing “The ocean is wide, and the ocean is deep. But friends help friends- that’s a promise we keep.”
This is a great read-aloud book and always a big hit at story time. It may be found in the Lee Library’s jE section in the Children’s Room.
Rosemarie Borsody, Public Services Librarian.
There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.