Rhonda Ortiz recently spoke with Dominic de Souza of CatholicAuthor.us about her book, In Pieces. From the show notes: “Rhonda’s childhood love of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and marathoning of the ‘Horatio Hornblower’ series tapped into a great reverence for the Story of Eden.”
Maya Sinha and Jayne de Sales recently discussed The City Mother. From the show notes: “Maya’s debut novel tells the tale of an unexpected hero. Cara, a homemaker and mother of small children battles forces both interior and exterior in her journey. Will she be victorious? Our conversation ranges widely but we want the listeners and readers to know one thing. When you feel isolated and alone, we SEE you!”
“If you read one novel this year this is the one you want to read.” Michèle McAloon, host of Cross Word, loved (and we mean loved) The City Mother. And we certainly cannot blame her!
In this interview with CatholicAuthor, we learned some fun facts about Eleanor. She has an extremely low tolerance for scary books and movies. She’s still petrified of “The Speckled Band,” and she won’t sleep in a room where the bed is under a vent.
Over at Dappled Things: “A Death at Home” by Maya Sinha
“…In every story he told about his life (and there were many, monologues being his main mode of speech), he played the role of the jester, the scoundrel, the scamp, gleefully pricking with a pin any pretension to seriousness he encountered.
This could be tiresome, but it gave Francis a certain élan. Right up to the end, as he walked through the valley of the shadow, he remained a wisecracker, a smartass. Smoking a cigarette in the pale autumn light outside the trailer, a few weeks away from dying of lung cancer, he remarked jauntily to his son, about the cigarette: ‘A great romance is coming to an end.'”
Over at Front Porch Republic: “Motherhood as Sacrament: A Review of Maya Sinha’s The City Mother” by Casie Dodd
“Psychological problems ultimately serve as a means of tapping into human vulnerability that gives way to deeper spiritual questions rather than viewing the abstraction of Mental Health as an end unto itself.”
And this review from Nora Kenney at the Washington Free Beacon:
“Against this backdrop, The City Mother weaves together Cara’s investigation of a multilayered set of psychological mysteries. On the broadest, philosophical level, she puzzles over the meaning of life and the purpose of evil. ‘I felt a pressing need to ascertain the nature of reality, not as an academic matter, but because I had brought a child into it,’ she explains. On a more psychoanalytical level, she wants to understand the twisted nature of the city and of herself. And, on the most concrete level, amidst the philosophical puzzles, hallucinations, and dirty diapers of her life, she pursues a missing person’s case, a hardboiled whodunit of shady suspects and perplexing clues.”
Jesse Russell recently interviewed Eleanor Bourg Nicholson over at Dappled Things:
JR: Stephen King once wrote an essay saying that we watch horror films because we secretly want to be like the monsters in the movies. Is there some truth to this disturbing statement? Does horror reveal our sinfulness?
EBN: I would not say we want to be monsters, but that horror, properly wielded, provokes an encounter with the monstrousness inside ourselves. The unnerving weirdness or terrifying violence encountered in classic Gothic/horror operates like a funhouse mirror, illuminating that inner monstrousness of characters and their (and our) need for grace. You can see this to varying degrees with the greatest works of the tradition, such as Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Over at Dominicana Journal, Br. Bartholomew Calvano, O.P. reviews Eleanor Bourg Nicholson’s Brother Wolf:
“In this dialogue between Fr. Gilroy and Athene, Nicholson provides a refreshing contrast to the many modern depictions of vampires and werewolves by appropriately distinguishing them according to principles of human action that can be found in the Summa. Sin still requires the voluntary action of an individual even if certain conditions present greater temptations toward that sin. All of us have our personal proclivities toward specific sins which make us more likely to fall into them. Lycanthropy, the curse of the werewolf, is this proclivity taken to the extreme…”
Another review of Brother Wolf, this time at First Things:
“This juxtaposition of horror and humor is the novel’s greatest strength. This is a funny book. But it is not frivolous. The quest to save the tormented werewolf’s soul is quite serious indeed. And yet the characters’ witty narration and infectious joy lift the grim plot into a new realm—a Christian vision of reality where, in the sight of God, even the demons are laughable.”