Review of Alessandra Harris’ Blaming the Wind

blaming-the-wind-imageBlaming the Wind is Alessandra Harris’ first novel, published by Red Adept Publishing. The multiple POV novel, set in California, chronicles the journeys of two married couples attempting to come to terms with their pasts as they face growing obstacles within their marriages. Simone and Terrence, a sports agent, are newlyweds and neighbors to ambitious lawyer Tara and her husband Josh who’ve been married for a decade with three children. Secrets drive the story, revealing to readers the complexity of relationships, and how single decisions have the power to alter the course of our lives.

The novel opens to a distressed Simone who has recently been laid off, facing the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy. The prospect of parenthood terrifies Simone whose father walked out on her as a child, but Terrence is desperate to start a family after the loss of his parents in an accident years ago. There is a running internal dialogue in each of the characters as they process their parents’ decisions in light of their own. When the test results are positive, Simone finds herself in a familiar position, where she must decide if her life with Terrence is more stable than the one her own parents had. Readers are able to experience each new revelation as it unfolds through both Simone’s and Terrence’s perspectives.

While Simone and Terrence navigate a new pregnancy and the resurrection of previous wounds, Tara and Josh are re-learning what partnership means after an accident has left Josh jobless. As they face mounting struggles, Tara begins a clandestine relationship with a new admirer. Despite many years of marriage and security, Tara is seeking an escape from the rigors of a now mundane life while her husband begins to suspect that she is no longer invested in their marriage. Harris aptly establishes the significance of our pasts as an endless thread through our entire lives. The individual stories frequently intersect and finally merge together as family tragedy strikes.

Through these interconnected narratives, Harris highlights themes of friendship, love, temptation, and self-discovery. The characters are well-developed, with distinct voices, depicting real challenges that couples face. Simone’s choices will strike close to home for many women, and the story will engage readers interested in an exploration of love and the sacrifices it entails. The novel is very plot-driven with a significant focus on the ties that bind, specifically those between parents and their children, and husbands and wives. The moral questions at the heart of the story will keep you invested in the characters’ paths, and the suspense will keep you turning the pages.

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Review of Eric Greinke’s Poets in Review

poetsinreviewcoverPoet Eric Greinke has published a comprehensive collection of his poetry reviews written during two periods from 1972 through 1982 and from 2005 through 2015. His reviews are in depth, and evolve through his decades long career. Each review is consistent, and features Greinke’s insight as a poet himself. Readers will find subjects spanning from Charles Bukowski to Linda Lerner. For anyone interested in poetry, this collection will be a useful supplement to their readings.