This installment: a mystery set in drought-stricken Australia (f); a charming DVD; and a kid’s book on CD about life in the hood—for everyone no matter what age (f).
The Dry by Jane Harper
In small town Australia, in the middle of nowhere, everything’s withering away from lack of rain, tensions abound and spirits sag. It’s Falk’s home town which he fled, but he’s called back for his friend Luke’s funeral. Seems like murder-suicide but not exactly open and shut and since Falk’s a policeman back in Melbourne, the remaining family plead with him to look further into it. Turns out as boys he and Luke were involved in something suspicious and of course that rears its head as well. Suspenseful and atmospheric.
The Big Sick (DVD)
My kind of rom-com, based on a true story. Kumail’s family came from Pakistan for opportunity, so why is their son driving a cab, pursuing stand up comedy, and (unbeknownst to them), an American girl, Emily? He’s terribly torn but can’t warm up to any of the lovely Muslim girls they produce. Then Emily gets very sick and while she’s in a coma he discovers the extent of his love for her which may mean losing his family. Meanwhile Emily’s parents who’ve never met him wonder why he’s hanging around the hospital 24-7. Full of warmth and humor.
The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore
This came to me in CD form and I was so glad for it. Because the narrator, young Lolly (Wallace) has a pitch-perfect vernacular African-American voice. His older brother Jermaine was killed. His mother is gay. The neighborhood is rough. His solace: building an imaginary city out of legos, helped by the gift of two huge bags.. He has a fine, challenging counselors at school who arranges a space for this to happen, but he had to share it with a large autistic girl. The law of the hood demands revenge. Will he succumb? This is cataloged as a kid’s book but I think it transcends that category. Moving and real.
Back next week.