Library welcomes new novels about survivors, antiheroes

Iola Public Library reviews 'Dear Edward,' 'Just Watch Me,' 'Westering Women' and 'Kansas City Chiefs Legends.'



February 14, 2020 - 3:35 PM

Roger CarswellRegister file photo

A 12-year old boy struggles with a terrible kind of fame in “Dear Edward” by Ann Napolitano. Edward is the only survivor of a plane crash. Now living with his aunt and uncle, Edward is the recipient of hundreds of letters from victims’ families. They are kept from him for a while, but when he discovers them three years into his recovery, they help him discover a sense of purpose. Stories of various sharply drawn characters are revealed as the novel shifts between before and after the crash and, of course, through the letters. This highly praised book is also currently on the New York Times best seller list.

Jeff Lindsay may be the king of antihero books. In his “Dexter” books (also made into a TV series), it was a serial killer who only killed serial killers. Now Lindsay has launched a new series featuring master thief Riley Wolfe in “Just Watch Me.” Riley only targets the wealthiest 0.1%, but unlike Robin Hood he doesn’t give to the poor; he just keeps it for himself. Riley is anything but low profile. As the novel opens, he uses a helicopter to steal a 12-ton statue during its installation ceremony, while also abducting the honoree, a pharmaceutical executive who developed a cancer treatment that he only sells at $500,000 per dose. Oh, and then he pushes said executive out of the helicopter to his death. But that’s only the opener; the main event is his planning to steal the impossible-to-steal Iranian crown jewels from a museum.

Sandra Dallas has a loyal, and deserved, although not huge following for such novels as “The Persian Pickle Club” and “True Sisters.” Her latest is “Westering Women”, following a wagon train to California in 1859. The wagon train carries 44 “women of high moral character in search of good husbands.” The book brings several of these women into sharp focus as their characters, hopes, dreams, and secrets are revealed. After an attempted rape, the women are abandoned by the male drivers. Vowing never to go back, the women get the wagons over the mountains themselves. 

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