An enjoyable university tale for readers who appreciate an older heroine, drama, and romance.

LIKE PEACHES AND PICKLES

A 50-something career woman considers her next move when things don’t go as planned in this novel about higher education politics.

Georgia Davis is the associate vice president of the public relations office at Georgia Central University, a large Southern state institution. Georgia has focused all of her efforts on her job, at the expense of her personal life. So when she is passed over for the promotion she has worked and studied for, she is furious. Instead, Paul Van Horne, the new university president and an Ivy Leaguer from the Northern U.S., chooses one of his old buddies from Princeton, Carl Overstreet. Carl had been in charge of public relations at a small college in New York but doesn’t have Georgia’s experience at a big state school or a higher degree. (Georgia is finishing her Ph.D. in public relations.) To her dismay, Carl is an alcoholic who speaks brusquely to the public relations staff, making enemies. In addition, he is extremely preoccupied with the fact that he is still in love with Paul’s wife, Elena. Then there’s Georgia’s friend Marina Roberson, a development officer, who has been inappropriately propositioned by an important donor. Her supervisor pressures her to continue meeting with him despite her discomfort. Meanwhile, Georgia must decide how she wants to handle Paul’s slight, considering whether to get to know Carl better and support him or try to find a new position. The discussions of sexual politics in the workplace are timely, and it’s always refreshing to read a book with an older female protagonist. While there is an almost overwhelming number of characters, the tale skillfully dramatizes the messiness of university politics. Some things that happen aren’t strictly realistic, such as some shenanigans with emails, but it’s not out of place within the gossipy territory of the story. The resolutions are satisfying despite, or even because of, some ludicrous plot turns. Pritchett’s (Making Lemonade, 2016) writing is clear and sometimes quite a bit detailed—she can give a lot of information on a subject that the characters are addressing. The tie-in to her previous work (Georgia meets that novel’s star, Missouri Rothman) is a bonus.

An enjoyable university tale for readers who appreciate an older heroine, drama, and romance.

Pub Date: Dec. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61296-979-4

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Review Posted Online: April 6, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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