1. “When Women Were Dragons” by Kelly Barnhill

Author Kelly Barnhill’s first adult novel ‘When Women Were Dragons imagines a fiery response to female suppression. In this fantasy novel, the subject is women transforming into beasts, in an age of conformism of the late 90s. The mass dragoning incident set to happen in 1955, where 300,000 women abruptly changed into dragons and soared to the skies, despite the fact that the issue is taboo. Alex Green is looking for information despite her mother’s protectiveness, her family’s assertion that her aunt didn’t actually exist, and her own link to the bizarre incident that altered the course of history. The Author threw in some bit of history that adds to the lore of dragoning. Though not as clearly as in Alex’s day, women have been turning into dragons throughout history. The book’s concept had some trouble being carried out. At first glance, it appears that dragoning is a symbol of female wrath. But that isn’t exactly accurate, because the meaning evolves throughout the narrative. Instead of enhancing Alex’s coming-of-age story and helping her decide what type of person she wanted to be, it was a distraction. Otherwise, it’s a terrific read that you should add to your list of must-reads for feminists and LGBTQ people.

2. “Finlay Donovan Knocks ’em Out” by Elle Cosimano

Finlay Donovan, a single mother of two children, is once again seen struggling to finish her next book and maintain her life course from the sequel “Finlay Donovan is Killing It”. On the plus side, she can rely on Vero, her live-in nanny, and confidante, and the only body she has recently dealt with is her daughter’s pet goldfish. On the less positive side, someone is trying to have her ex-husband Steven removed from the picture. Permanently. Steven is a fine father, whatever else he may be, but defending him will lead her down a dark alley of hit women posing as soccer moms and a little closer to the Russian mob than she’d want.

Detective Nick Anthony is determined to reenter Vero’s life while she continues to hold secrets. Although he may be a hot officer, Finlay’s top interest is keeping her family from having affairs with fish, and if that necessitates breaking a few laws, so be it.

Finlay is soon reaching her breaking point because of the impending deadline for her upcoming book and the need to care for her ex-husband. She can only pray that it doesn’t lead to a noose.

3. “One Italian Summer” by Rebecca Serle

Rebecca Serle brings out the agony of a daughter losing her mother and coping with the fact of a wistful course of events. Just two weeks before their scheduled trip to Positano, Italy to honor Carol’s 60th birthday, Katy lost her mother and best (only) friend, Carol, to cancer. She is inconsolable and regrets everything, especially her marriage to Eric, her loyal and devoted spouse. She chooses to travel to Italy, a country with significant significance to Carol since it was originally scheduled. Once there, things suddenly take a bizarre turn.

From the beginning, Katy comes across as whiny, and immature, and her expression of grief seems a little excessive. Her mother played a HUGE (controlling), almost obsessional, role in her life. But it appears that Katy is stepping things up a notch.

Staff Reporter

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