What I’ve Been Reading Lately…

“The Swan Thieves,” Elizabeth Kostova

   Known for her first novel, “The Historian,” about a girl
searching for her mother and the brief encounters with the history of Dracula
that that entails, Kostova makes another splash with her second novel, “The
Swan Thieves”. Set in an entirely different place and time period, her novel
delves into the depths of the mind of an artist who is obsessed with a 19th
century Impressionist painter, not because of who she is—her beauty or her
talent—but because of what happens to her and how she subsequently deals with
it. What links Kostova’s two novels is her ability to craft a story and form a
narrative. I love her writing style, and I now consider who one of my favorite
(if not favorite) authors.

“The Guardians,” Ana Castillo

   “The Guardians,” by Ana Castillo is a slim novel that depicts
life on the border between the U.S. and Mexico, and the lives of both citizens
and non-citizens trying to cross over or simply trying to survive on either
side. Although written almost 10 years ago, the issues described in her book
are a real portrayal of life in that area today, and although her characters
are fictional, they all too easily describe the people living through these
things every day. Her story follows a woman taking care of her nephew as they
try to find out what happened to her brother when he tried to cross the border
one too many times.

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