by Katherine Towler
In the third volume of the Snow Island trilogy, Katherine Towler returns to her fictional setting off the New England coast, continuing the saga of two generations in two island families and her chronicle of the impact of war in the second half of the 20th century. “Island Light” is set in the fall of 1990, when the Snow Island community includes a Vietnam veteran, an aging lesbian, and a photographer seeking to redefine herself and her art, an unlikely trio who find their lives unexpectedly linked. Though the island remains a world away from the mainland, it is not immune to the effects of war. Old wounds and new uncertainties come to the surface as the United States prepares to go to war again, this time in the Persian Gulf. In the silence of a New England winter, former residents and prodigal wanderers return to Snow Island in search of refuge from wars both private and public. Through a rich collection of characters and a tightly-woven story, “Island Light” traces a path from the scars of the past to the promise of the future. This taut tale of love and perseverance evokes the isolation and connection at the heart of every community.
My Beautiful Leukemia
by Jan Lucas-Grimm
Jan Lucas-Grimm was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in 2005. After undergoing traditional chemotherapy, she went into remission for a short time, then relapsed and underwent a stem cell transplant in 2006. A down-to-earth description of diagnosis and treatment, this is a realistic portrayal with equal measures of humor and hope, despair and fear. My Beautiful Leukemia unravels the intricate fabric of the illness and reveals the very bare, human fibers that remain. The book also contains some of the color illustrations that the author did while in hospital. The book is available online and in bookstores.