Lisa Says… Read This for August 2010

By Lisa Hamilton

One Amazing Thing
by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s latest novel, One Amazing Thing is equal parts beauty and drama. The characters in this book are so extraordinary and intelligently conceived; you will never forget them or their story.

An earthquake traps nine people in the basement of an Indian Visa office in an unidentified American city. A college graduate student, an African American Vietnam veteran, a rebellious teenager and her Chinese grandmother, an upper class Caucasian couple, a young Muslim-American man and two of the Visa office employees will struggle to survive this catastrophe that appears as real as any we’ve read about in our times. Their first reactions are methodical and reasonable, but as flood waters begin to rise the psychological and emotional stress becomes unbearable. The graduate student suggests passing the time by telling a personal tale or One Amazing Thing about their life. The stories of romance, politics, love and disappointments weave a novel of intimate revelations.

Dicakaruni is a brilliant storyteller; this passionate creation is truly One Amazing Thing.

The Yellow House
by Eileen O’Neill

Fans of historical fiction will enjoy The Yellow House, by Patricia Falvey and truly have a better understanding of the history and troubles of Northern Ireland at the beginning of the 20th century. The passion and politics of one woman’s struggle to keep her home and family together is beautifully composed in this emotional debut novel.

When Eileen O’Neill’s family is torn apart by religious injustice and political intolerance, she inherits a lifetime of struggle and heartbreak. Working in a textile mill owned by a wealthy Quaker family, she realizes the opportunities for Catholics at this time are nonexistent. As civil war breaks out, Eileen will make choices that will take her family through war, disease, mental illness, greed and love.

Falvey is a native of Northern Ireland and tells her story of family loyalty and national pride in a voice that is convincing and heroic. The Yellow House is a novel of one strong woman fighting for her family, her faith and her country.

About this writer

  • Lisa Hamilton A native South Carolinian, Lisa Hamilton is the director of the First Presbyterian Church Preschool and Kindergarten. Of course she loves reading, but also finds time for cooking and walking her dog, Hurley.

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