“The Marriage Portrait” is a beautifully written piece of historical fiction revolving around the marriage of 13 year old (15 in the novel) Lucrezia di Cosimo de’Medici to Alfonso II d’Este, Duke of Ferrara in 1560.

The novel begins with 16 year old Lucrezia and her husband, not quite a year into their marriage, traveling to the Duke’s hunting lodge. Lucrezia suddenly realizes why they are there. “This is the reason for their sudden journey to such a wild and lonely place. He has brought her here, to this stone fortress, to murder her.”

The novel then moves back and forth, chapter by chapter, from Lucrezia’s birth to the moment that brings her to the lonely lodge and her fear of what is about to happen there.

Lucrezia, the fifth child of Eleanora and Cosimo, was a wild child and for a time was banished to the servant’s quarters. Ultimately she is returned to the nursery to be raised by Sofia, along with her many brothers and sisters. Lucrezia’s life is one of privilege, living in a grand palazzo in Florence. Her father keeps a sort of menagerie in the basement and one day Lucrezia sees a tiger arrive. When their father takes some of the children, including Lucrezia to see the animals, Lucrezia, to the horror of the servants and her father, actually pets the tiger.

Through her studies in the Palazzo Lucrezia discovers that she has significant artistic talent. She spends as much time as she can painting all sort of creatures and ideas.

Her sister, Maria, is engaged to Duke Alfonso but before they are married she contracts a fever and dies. Alfonso tells the family he would like to marry Lucrezia. She is 12 years old at the time of this request and he is approximately 27. Lucrezia and Sofia scheme to delay the marriage, but ultimately they are married when Lucrezia is 15 years old. The two spend the first weeks of their marriage in a villa before moving to the palace where Alfonso runs state. It becomes clear that Alfonso is keen to produce an heir as soon as possible to cement his position. However, Lucrezia is warned that although he has been very active with other women, Alfonso has never produced an heir. It also becomes clear that Alfonso expects complete devotion from his wife. “’You are my wife and I scarcely need to remind you that your first and foremost duty must always be to me. No one else…’”

Alfonso is alternatingly kind and nasty with Lucrezia. One day while he is out and Lucrezia is wandering in the villa, she hears a noise and finds a man has fallen. She is able to revive him with honey and he is grateful. He is an apprentice to a famous artist who has been retained by Alfonso to paint Lucrezia’s marriage portrait. The process of creating the portrait is a significant part of the story.

Ultimately Lucrezia and Alfonso move to the family palace where Lucrezia becomes close to Alfonso’s older sister Elisabetta. Elisabetta is having a forbidden romance with Ercole Contrari, the head of the guardsmen in the palace. When Alfonso discovers the romance the extent of his cruelty is on display.

The story ends in the bleak hunting lodge where Lucrezia is certain that Alfonso is trying to kill her, in part because of her independent nature (which he deplores) and in part because she has not yet given him an heir. Even though I know how the story ends (it is historical fiction after all), I was still on pins and needles at the end. The novel is perfectly written and is a nerve wracking page turner! You can reserve this novel at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking here.

“Lessons” is a story of a life, its influences, its twists and turns and all of the changes that occur with the passage of time. The novel is pure Ian McEwan.

Roland Baines is the product of a complicated family life. Roland has a half-sister, Susan and a half brother, Henry, children from his mother’s first marriage. His father, Captain Robert Baines, a stern military man, has a warm and a soft side. His mother, Rosalind, appears meek and fearful. But Rosalind has some secrets, which are slowly disclosed throughout the novel.

Roland’s parents both quit school at the age of 14. They wand better for Roland and send him to a boarding school when he is 11 years old. His father insisted that he take piano lessons and it turns out that Roland is an extremely talented pianist. His lessons begin with Miriam Cornell. Miss Cornell is inappropriate toward Roland and he avoids her for many years. But ultimately, an intimate relationship develops between them which has lasting consequences for Roland’s future.

When the reader first meets Roland, he and his infant son, Lawrence have been deserted by his wife, Alissa, and the police suspect foul play. Roland is their primary suspect. Roland, who at this point is, among other things, a poet, has written some poetry with the lines “She won’t go away. Just the wrong time, when I need calm. She must remain dead.” Of course this poem is not about Alissa—it is about Miriam.

Alissa’s family life is also complex. Her father, Heinrich, was a German student during World War II and distantly involved with an antiNazi group and her mother, Jane had been a journalist until she met Heinrich and married.

Alissa has left to pursue her dream of becoming a novelist and she does, in fact, become a great novelist. She believes that the only way to create great literature is to focus exclusively on writing and wants nothing to do with her son even as he tries to reach out to her. She is considered Germany’s greatest novelist. But is the price too high?

Throughout the novel Roland has many romances but none stick until he finally marries his close friend Daphne late in life. Roland leads a long life and a lot of things happen in the world during that time. The Berlin wall falls, parents die, stories evolve, efforts are made to tackle climate change, children grow, marry and have children, England leaves the European Union and there is a pandemic. Each thing touches on Roland’s life and yet life goes on. Miriam’s influence on his life flows throughout the novel.

The novel ponders early life influences and human resilience despite the tugs of politics and loss. The story is typical Ian McEwan in its treatment of external influence on fate and yet it also has a certain level of hopefulness based on family, love and human empathy. The novel is dense and long and it is not an easy read, but it is worth the effort. You can reserve “Lessons” at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking here.

Lucy by the SeaLucy by the Sea is an amazing rumination on life during the COVID pandemic from the perspective of Elizabeth Strout’s well known character, Lucy Barton.

Lucy Barton is a famous novelist, recently widowed and living in the Manhattan apartment she shared with her New York Philharmonic cellist husband David. David has been gone for almost a year and a half. Readers of the Lucy Barton series know that Lucy has a very close relationship with her ex-husband William, from whom she has been divorced twenty years and with whom she has two daughters, Chrissy and Becka.

Lucy had cancelled a European book tour that would have begun in October of 2019 and was supposed to have been in Germany and Italy in March of 2020. Instead, in March of 2020, William demands that Lucy leave Manhattan and go to Maine with him. Lucy has a hard time comprehending the fuss. “What is strange as I look back is how I simply did not know what was happening.”

William and Lucy rent a battered house in Maine on the water. William’s friend and lawyer, Bob Burgess, arranged for them to rent the house and Lucy and Bob become close friends. The community is not at all welcoming of New Yorkers, fearful of the virus.

Lucy hates the house. “The house should have been lovely, I mean you could see it had been lovely at one point…but as I walked inside I felt what I always feel about being in someone else’s house: I hated it.” Lucy finds peace only by taking long walks. “I walked without seeing people…It seemed strange to me that the world of New York would remain so beautiful as all those people were dying.”

Lucy stays in touch with her daughter and communicates with her sister and brother. William stays in touch with his ex-wife Estelle and their daughter Bridget. The pandemic prevents them from seeing each other but ultimately they are able to visit outside and at a distance. And in the meantime, William and Lucy are growing closer.

The novel runs through the worst part of the pandemic, the George Floyd murder and the arrival of the vaccine. The novel addresses the personal side of the politics of division and the importance of treating people with decency regardless of perspective. But perhaps the most amazing aspect of this truly wonderful novel is that, despite everything—the pandemic, political trauma, distance—life goes on and people continue to change and grow. Lucy describes this continuity of life as ping pong balls bouncing around randomly and randomly hitting one another. “My point is, if we are lucky we bounce into someone. But we always bounce away again, at least a little.” And yet, there are still things you can only experience alone.

This novel is simply spectacular. It evinces a sense of unreality that we all experienced during the pandemic and yet it also highlights our adaptability and ability to make the most of the time we have. I cannot recommend this enough, although you may want to start with “My Name is Lucy Barton” and work your way up to this novel. Lucy by the Sea can be reserved at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking here.

Horse“Horse” is a work of historical fiction about horses, race, wealth and art. The novel focuses on a historic racehorse, Lexington. The story spans three different time periods and ties together disparate people and incidents.

The novel begins with Theo in 2019, a Georgetown PhD candidate with diplomat parents and a privileged upbringing. Theo grew up overseas, went to boarding school and played polo. Despite his education and privileged upbringing, he feels that he is constantly the target of racism. He lives across the street from an older couple who sneer at him each time they see him. After the husband dies, the wife puts a number of household items on the curb. Theo takes a portrait of a horse out of the pile. That horse is the famous Lexington.

Jess is from Australia and works for the Smithsonian “managing their vertebrae Osteology Prep Lab at the Museum Support Center in Maryland.” Jess receives a call advising that a researcher from the Royal Veterinary College in England is looking for an articulated skeleton of a horse. That skeleton also happens to be Lexington. Theo and Jess meet accidently but discover they have the horse in common. They commence a romantic relationship which is fraught with racial tension.

In 1850, Dr Warfield has a horse farm and Harry Lewis is a free black man who manages horses for Dr. Warfield. Dr. Warfield purchases Jarret, Harry’s son, at Harry’s request. The horse Lexington is born on Dr. Warfield’s farm and Jarret has a natural relationship with Lexington from the moment of the horse’s birth.

Thomas Scott is an artist who is commissioned to paint Lexington at various points during Lexington’s life. He first meets Lexington and Jarret when both are young, but Scott is a constant presence in their lives.

Lexington is sold a number of times and each time Jarret is sold along with the horse. Each time Jarret is sold, the chapter about Jarret is named differently. First, Warfield’s Jarret, then Ten Broeck’s Jarret, then Alexander’s Jarret, and finally, Jarret Lewis.

Lexington becomes the fastest horse in history and wins a number of races until his failing eyesight causes him to leave the racetrack. Lexington then becomes a stud horse and sires some of the fastest horses in history. Lexington and Jarret’s story continue through 1875, well past the Civil War and into Jarret’s life as a free man in Canada. Lexington’s story is a story of racing, animal cruelty, and Jarret’s dedication to the horse. Thomas Scott’s paintings are also a significant part of the story.

The third segment of the novel involves Martha Jackson, from 1954 through 1956. Martha Jackson comes from a well to do family and her mother was a devoted equestrian until her unfortunate death in a riding accident. Her horse was a descendent of Lexington. Martha runs an art gallery and is close friends with Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock’s wife. Martha’s housekeeper asks Martha to value a painting of a horse owned by her family. She wants to sell the painting to raise funds to enable her brother to go to medical school. Martha gives her sports car to Jackson Pollock in exchange for two of his paintings, enabling her to buy the horse painting. The painting is done by Thomas Scott and is a painting of Lexington.

The novel tells the story of Lexington and Jarret in parallel with the story of Jess and Theo. There is some happiness in the novel and an awful lot of tragedy. Portions of the story are based on actual events and the author includes an Afterword and a really interesting section entitled “Lexington’s Historical Connections.”

I am a big fan of Gerladine Brooks, and although this is not my favorite of her novels, it is, like everything she does, very very good. So if you are a fan of horses, a student of the Civil War or passionate about art, this is the novel for you.

You can reserve Horse at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking here.

TrustTrust is a unique novel about perception v reality, wealth v greed, gender equity and the complexity of relationships.

The story is told in three segments. The first segment is a separate novel within the novel by fictitious author Harold Vanner. Vanner tells the story of Benjamin Rask, the ancestor of an extremely wealthy New York City tobacco family. “Because he had enjoyed almost every advantage since birth, one of the few privileges denied to Benjamin Rask was that of a heroic rise.” Benjamin has no interest in the tobacco business and soon discovers a passion for investing. He becomes incredibly wealthy and builds a limestone beaux arts mansion on Fifth Avenue. Enter Helen Brevoort.

Helen’s family “were an old Albany family whose fortunes had not kept up with their name.” The family leaves America in an attempt to avoid their bad fortunes and goes to Europe where they move around from place to place, staying with other Americans. Helen’s father’s mental condition rapidly deteriorates and her mother checks him into a sanatorium in Switzerland (Dr. Bally’s Medico-Mechanic Institute at Bad Pfafers). Her father wanders off never to be heard from again.

Helen is befriended by an employee of Benjamin Rask and ultimately Helen and her mother return to New York City. Helen is introduced to Benjamin and they marry. Helen uses some of Benjamin’s wealth to support philanthropic causes in the arts. She holds small private concerts in her home and sponsors authors and musicians. When the stock market crashes, Benjamin profits and his reputation is viewed somewhat askance. In fact, he is blamed for causing the crash.

As a result of the controversy over Benjamin’s actions, musicians and performers start to decline Helen’s invitations and her mental health begins to deteriorate. Ultimately, Benjamin has her admitted to Medico-Mechanic Institute at Bad Pfafers in Switzerland for her psychological issues. The story does not end well.

The second part of the novel is the unpublished memoir of Andrew Bevel. Andrew Bevel is the wealthy financier upon whose life Benjamin Rask is based. The memoir is effectively written by Ida Portenza, who is hired by Bevel to assist him in telling his story. Bevel has lost his wife, Mildred, and is furious over the Vanner novel. He uses his wealth to ensure that the Vanner novel is destroyed and never seen again. He wants Ida to help him tell his true story and Mildred’s true story. Mildred did not end her life due to mental health issues and he wants the record set straight. He presents himself as civically minded and always interested in the greater good. He presents Mildred as a quiet unassuming woman who requires his assistance with her philanthropic goals.

In the third part of the novel, Ida tells her story. Between the second and third parts of the novel we learn portions of the true story.  Bevel’s memoir is not published and years later, Ida acquires access to some of Mildred’s notebooks. Ida shares the content of the notebooks. Mildred’s notebooks tell the real story!

The novel is brilliant in concept and execution. The story is a lot of fun and tells the reader quite a bit about the early twentieth century and the challenges for women during that time. Definitely give this a read. You can reserve Trust at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking here.

Sea of TranquilitySea of Tranquility asks the question of whether this life is real or whether we are living in a simulation. The story is influenced by the COVID pandemic, the increasing importance of artificial intelligence and the rise of authoritarianism.

The story begins in 1912, when Edwin St John St. Andrews is banished from his home in England due to his radical views about England’s presence in India. Edwin makes his way to Canada, where he travels about looking for his place. Ultimately he finds himself in Caiette. One day he goes for a stroll and enters a forest, where he sees a maple tree. “He steps forward—into a flash of darkness, like sudden blindness or an eclipse. He has an impression of being in some vast interior, something like a train station or a cathedral, and there are notes of violin music, there are other people around him, and then an incomprehensible sound—“

When Edwin returns to himself he walks to a church where he meets Father Roberts, a substitute for the Church’s regular priest. Father Roberts asks him to tell him about his experience, but when the church’s real priest arrives Father Roberts disappears.

The story then moves to the year 2020. A composer, Paul Smith, during a performance shows a video his now deceased sister made in Caiette. The video shows his sister walking toward an old maple tree. Then “the screen went black, just for a second, and there was a brief confusion of overlapping sounds—a few notes of violin, a dim cacophony like the interior of a metropolitan train station…” Mirella attends Paul’s performance because she is hoping to track down his sister, Vincent, not knowing that she had died. After the performance, Paul, Mirella and two men, Daniel McConaghy and Gaspery Roberts go for a drink. Mr. Roberts is very interested in the video. Mirella thinks she recognizes Gaspery.

The story then moves to 2202, when Olive, an author is doing a book tour in what we now know as the United States, but in the novel is the Atlantic Republic and other countries. Her travels and the talks make her exhausted. She lives in a moon colony with her husband and daughter and is anxious to return to them. Her husband is an architect and is designing a new university building, which suspiciously includes tunnels attached to the government security building. Olive’s book, Marienbad, is about a pandemic. Her last interview of the trip is in Philadelphia with a gentleman named Gaspery Roberts, which strikes Olive since a character in her book is named Gaspery-Jacques. The interview goes off record.

The book then moves forward to the year 2401 and backward at the same time. In 2401, a gentleman named Gaspery has lost his mother and is working in security. His sister, Zoey, is a physicist at the university. Gaspery goes to work for The Time Institute and becomes a time traveler. It is in this part of the story that everything comes together. I will leave it here and let you enjoy the surprises.

The novel is very enjoyable and thought provoking. “If we were living in a simulation, how would we know it was a simulation?…How do you investigate reality?” If you are a fan of Emily St. John Mandel you will recognize some of the characters from her last novel, The Glass Hotel. You can reserve this book at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking here.

The Book of Form and Emptiness“The Book of Form and Emptiness” is a story about love of books,  understanding,  nonjudgmental tolerance  and the insignificance of material things. In general, the story is told by the book, which may sound obvious, but in this case, the book is a form of being. And the book is telling the story of Benny’s life (except when Benny chimes in).

After Benny stabs himself with talking scissors, he is hospitalized in the pediatric psychiatry ward of Children’s Hospital. While there he meets Alice. Alice leaves him strange notes and when he comes out of the hospital those notes cause him to start going to the main Library of his unidentified west coast town.

At the Library, he meets the Aleph and the Bottle Man (the b-man). He decides to stop going to school all together and goes to the library instead. At the library, he has all sorts of adventures. “The Library always felt like a mirror of the world.”

In the meantime, Annabelle has bought a book entitled “The Ancient Zen Art of Clearing Your Clutter and Revolutionizing Your Life.” Unfortunately, the book does very little to help Annabelle clear her clutter, but she begins to communicate with its author.

Although Benny is rehospitalized and child protective services threatens to place him in foster care because of the condition of their home, everything turns out okay in the end.

The novel is less about the story than about all of our stories and our distraction with material things instead of focusing on each other. The novel also highlights the importance of libraries and the very special people who are librarians. And of course, the importance of books!

“Every person is trapped in their own particular bubble of delusion, and it’s every person’s task in life to break free. Books can help. [Books] can make the past the present, take you back in time and help you remember. [Books] can show you things, shift your realities and widen your world, but the work of waking up is up to you.”

The novel is the recent winner of the Women’s Prize and can be reserved at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking here.

French BraidIf you love Anne Tyler as I do, you will love French Braid, which is pure Anne Tyler and a breath of fresh air.

The novel starts in March of 2010 with Serena Drew and her boyfriend, James, in the Philadelphia train station. Serena sees someone she thinks might be her cousin and James intercedes and introduces himself to the man, Nicholas, who is in fact Serena’s first cousin. James thinks it odd that Serena is so unfamiliar with her cousin, and maintains a distant relationship with her family. James’ reaction causes Serena to think back over her family’s history. The rest of the novel is the story of that history.

Serena’s mother, Lily, is the middle child of Mercy and Robin Garrett, of Baltimore. Lily’s older sister, Alice, was always the adult of the family and her younger brother, David, always maintained a distance. Lily was somewhat wild in her younger years and experienced a number of questionable romantic relationships. Serena is the result of an affair with a married man who ultimately divorces his wife and marries Lily.

Mercy is an artist and rents a studio where she slowly moves all her possessions and ultimately, to Robin’s chagrin, makes her permanent residence. She returns to the family house periodically to do laundry and to ensure that Robin is taken care of.

Alice marries and has two children and appears to lead a traditional life. David goes off to college and the family sees very little of him. After graduation, David teaches English and drama at a high school outside Philadelphia. He never travels home. Then, in 1982, he calls the family and says he would like to visit for Easter. He travels to Baltimore and brings with him his older girlfriend, Greta, and her daughter, Emily. Ultimately Greta and David marry, although there is no family wedding. None of the Garrett children seem to be particularly close.

The family again comes together in 1990 to celebrate Robin and Mercy’s 50th anniversary (yes, even though they live apart they stay married). Time goes by and grandchildren are born and people die. Yet despite the family dysfunction and seeming lack of closeness, they come together periodically in a variety of different ways, like French braids, where the crimps in the hair show even after the braids are undone. “…that’s how families work…You think you’re free of them, but you’re never really free; the ripples are crimped in forever.”

And that is the story of French Braid. No matter how independent you believe yourself to be, and no matter how dysfunctional you believe your family to be, the impact of your family is always with you. This is a delightful, short, completely enjoyable novel. You can reserve it at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking here.

Oh William!“Oh William” is Elizabeth Strout’s third Lucy Barton novel. The novel focuses on family, the importance of formative years and the lifelong process of filling in the holes of knowledge about ourselves and others.

Lucy is now 62 years old, divorced, widowed and the mother of two adult daughters. Lucy has a close friendly relationship with her ex-husband William, who is 69 years old at the start of the novel and who has a much younger wife, Estelle, and a six year old daughter, Bridget. Lucy is a famous novelist and William is a semi-retired parasitologist. Lucy’s second husband David Abramson, came from a Hasidic Jewish background and was a cellist with the philharmonic. David died prior to the start of the story. “But there is this: Both with the discovery of David’s illness and then again with his death, it was William I called first.”

Throughout the novel Lucy is contemplating her difficult childhood and her relationship with William and William’s sophisticated mother, Catherine, as well as the lives of her daughters. William calls Lucy and they meet for coffee periodically. She knows that his father had fought with the Nazis and he later tells her that his father had been a member of the Hitler youth. She recalls their visit together to Dachau.

At Christmas time Estelle gives William a subscription to Ancestry. He is very disappointed with the gift and calls Lucy to complain. “This was the William who was tiresome to me, the petulant boy beneath his distinguished and pleasant demeanor…And when I hung up I thought: Thank G-d. And I meant about him being no longer mine.”

Despite Lucy’s humble background, William’s mother, Catherine had been very welcoming. “She was vibrant. Her face was often filled with light…I thought her house was remarkable…” But Catherine had a secret, and William and Lucy would discover that secret together.

Estelle leaves William and through her Ancestry gift, William learns that he has a half-sister. He asks Lucy to travel with him to Bangor Maine to learn more about his past and his half-sister. In Bangor, they learn a great deal about Catherine’s upbringing and history, which answers a lot of questions that they did not even know they had. “And then William begins to close down.”

Throughout the novel Lucy claims that she feels invisible. While giving a reading at a library to a lot of people, she thinks “…as I stood before all those people and read and answered questions, I still felt oddly—but very truly—invisible.”

The novel seems to be about the lifelong journey of getting to know yourself and getting to know someone else. The story is told in a unique style, moving back and forth through moments in time. This is a very enjoyable and thoughtful novel. Give it a try. You can reserve the novel at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking here.

The Candy HouseThe Candy House is a simply amazing novel about the intrusive nature of evolving technology and the ever increasing importance of real human interaction. The novel is a companion to Egan’s Pulitzer prize winning “A Visit From the Goon Squad,” featuring some of the same characters and using interlocking narratives to tie the characters together.

The novel begins with Beresford (Bix) Bouton, famous for having created the “social media” business of Mandala, worrying over his next creation and longing for the days when he and his friends could sit together and trade ideas. Bix’s original social media idea came from Miranda Kline’s work “Patterns of Affinity,” where Kline introduces formulas for predicting human inclinations, requiring intimate knowledge of the person in question. Kline is not a fan of Bouton. “The fact that MK (as Kline was affectionately known in his world) deplored the uses Bix and his ilk had made of her theory only sharpened his fascination with her.”

In his search for open discussion to spur new ideas, Bix attends a small meeting at the apartment of Ted Hollander following a lecture by Miranda Kline. During the conversation (Bix was disguised as Walter Wad, a graduate student in electrical engineering) one of the group members mentions that she is working on externalizing an animal’s consciousness by uploading the animal’s perceptions using brain sensors. Soon thereafter arrives “The Collective Consciousness,” where individuals can share their externalized memories to the collective, by saving their memories (Own Your Unconscious), ultimately through a Mandala Consciousness Cube. Of course this technology creates an entire industry, including counters who are trying to create and quantify information, and eluders, who are trying, at a minimum, to evade the technology. “Never trust a candy house!”

Meanwhile, the novel focuses on a wide variety of interconnected characters, all of whom are differently impacted by technology and each other, because “things are more connected than they seem.” In a particularly harrowing segment of the novel Lulu becomes a “Citizen Agent,” where she uses her body to lure powerful men and obtain information for the government, albeit in an unofficial and unpaid capacity. As part of this role, Lulu has a wide variety of technology embedded in her brain, her eyes, her ears and elsewhere. There is a running commentary going through her head about her role and the steps she should be taking. The embedded technology is a camera, a recorder, a voice, an observer. This part of the novel is told in a unique style and highlights the potential intrusiveness of technology in our lives. And of course, this technology creates an underground industry of technology detection and removal. “A gain is a loss when it comes to technology.”

There is so much going on in this brilliant novel and so many different characters, all of whom are ingeniously interconnected and impacted by each other. The novel is complex and I cannot possibly include in this review everything, so you will have lots of surprises when you read “The Candy House.” But ultimately, the novel is a warning about the dangerous lure of technology and the importance of maintaining real living relationships. “…knowing everything is too much like knowing nothing; without a story, it’s all just information.” This novel is a wow! You can reserve it at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking here.