Reading: Jean Grant, Michael Graves, and Cathy Callen
In 1976 civil war engulfs Lebanon. Finlay wants only one thing: to keep his family safe. He flees with his daughter, 15, to his family home in France. While she yearns for her mother, who stays on in Beirut, Finlay settles into a tranquil life as the village baker. But then his alluring neighbor captivates him and shatters his calm. In this story of loss and love, Finlay must choose to honor his wedding vows or to reach for forbidden love.
Jean Grant lived in the Middle East for 20 years. She was a reporter for the Arab News and the London-based, The Middle East magazine. Later, she used the Saudi kingdom as the setting for her first novel The Burning Veil. Prior to living in Saudi Arabia, Grant lived in Lebanon, in Beirut, a beautiful city on the Mediterranean coast. It is here that Flight, her second novel, begins. At the outset of the Lebanese Civil War, she was teaching at the American University of Beirut when her seven-year-old son was found in sniper territory searching for bullets and shrapnel for his collection. She took him and his older brother to safety in the idyllic French village, which is the setting for Flight.
Pete Stone, the main character in Michael Graves' book To Leave a Shadow, hadn’t always been a private eye. He’d lost his dairy business when the depression hit, his children grew up, and his wife left him for a chinchilla farmer. When Mrs. Lucille Hamilton walked through his door searching for her missing husband, Pete was the only one who believed her husband’s death hadn’t been a suicide. Told in the style of hard-boiled crime fiction and set in 1930’s Wichita, Graves’s depiction of the city during the jazz age makes this a compelling mystery.
Cathy Callen describes her book, Words in Rows, Poetry and Prose, as an autobiography in "short takes." The book includes poems and short prose written about some of the events in her life and thoughts she has had over the past 50 years, presented somewhat chronologically, from her time as a VISTA volunteer in Goodnews Bay, Alaska, until and including settling in Lawrence. Her writing in this book has been described by others as, "honest," "thought-provoking" and "gently humorous."
Cathy is a retired educator. She has written non-fiction articles for the Indiana Historical Society, the Jackson County Missouri Historical Society and the journal of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Her poetry has appeared in "Inscape," a literary publication of Washburn University, and in Tallgrass Voices, a book of poetry assembled by members of the Kansas Authors Club. Her book, Running out of Footprints, published in 2013, is a history of her father's side of the family.