Summer Reads by Rhody Writers

Escape the quarantine blues with some recent releases from your favorite local authors

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Sarah is a teenager on the brink. Her parents are unstable. Her small town is brimming with secret inner lives. Her friend, recently dead from suicide, has returned to haunt her. Mary Paula Hunter’s debut novel is an unsettling character study set in the late 1960s. Hunter herself is a veteran dancer and Michigan native who lives in Providence, and her book is a detailed tour of historic East Lansing.

When Celeste and Reid reunite, there’s a lot of friction between the two siblings. Their wounds run deep, and Celeste’s frustrations with her own life make it doubly hard to deal with her brother’s extended visit. Rhode Island author and former director of the Ocean State Writing Conference Tina Egnoski’s fourth book is an emotional family drama embedded in the Vietnam Era.

Nobody knows where the babies came from, but the local librarian decides to keep them, and the whole town teaches them life lessons. Rhode Island illustrator Jeanette Bradley provided the colorful illustrations for this lighthearted children’s allegory by Christine McDonnell.

Brace yourself: Mary-Kim Arnold’s poetry collection is a no-holds-barred exploration of womanhood, ancient mythology, and the Korean-American experience. Arnold teaches writing at Brown, and her second volume is a layered showcase of her lyrical style. Note: Proceeds from the book go to The Wedding Cake House art center.

In Dark Age Scandinavia, teenaged Carina is raised by a clan of warrior women, but she struggles to earn her keep. Scituate author Rachel Menard packs her novel with magic, adventure, and budding romance. Steel Hand, Cold Heart won the Grand Prize at the Writer’s Digest Self-Published E-Book Awards.

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