Mansfield Park is the third published Jane Austen novel that came out in 1814 but did receive any public reviews for several more years. As a child, Fanny Price is sent to live with her wealthy aunt and uncle and their four children. From there it follows the typical novel of this time of trying to find love and get married. Slowly Fanny wins everyone over but it takes several years before she becomes the most beloved. Lesser of the first three Austen novels, Mansfield Park is still widely published and has been turned in radio broadcasts, TV specials, stage presentations and movies.
A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of The Smiths takes it’s title from one of the band’s most loved songs. The book starts out with extensive research into Irish immigrant life in Manchester, England before it finally lands on Johnny Marr and Steven Patrick Morrissey. The band starts when Marr knocks on the future singer’s door and asks to start a band. Adding bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce, the band take the nation’s indie rock fans on a nonstop ride until it all crashes down just a few years later. Fletcher’s account is very well researched and creates a vivid picture of life within the group. It can more than hold its own on The Smith’s bookshelf alongside acclaimed books by Simon Goddard and Johnny Rogan.
Jeanine Cummin’s American Dirt novel is about Lydia and her son Luca as they make the harrowing journey across Mexico to the United States. Lydia is on the run from a Mexican cartel who brutally murdered her husband and the rest of her family. Upon release, the book met with both widespread acclaim and derision for the depiction of Mexican life. Hard to comment on that aspect of the book from Canada, however, the tale is a gripping one that is hard to put down as you root for them to make it across the border to “freedom”.
Noted authors John Green & David Levithan team up for this YA novel about teens Will Grayson and his fabulous best friend Tiny who is working diligently to put on a high school play about his young gay life. Will is the more subdued, loner type vs larger than life Tiny who is constantly hooking up and trying to get Will hooked up. There are plenty of laughs and a few poignant moments as they try to get through high school life.