Challenging recommendations by Linda Sullivan

Susan EspirituOur Town Readers

While neither of these novels are purely factual, the plots are inspired by actual events or situations happening in the eras about which they are written, which indeed will challenge our moral sense of right and wrong.

Linda’s first recommendation is The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff.

Ebershoff is an American writer, editor and teacher whose first novel, The Danish Girl, was made into an Academy Award-winning film, while this novel, The 19th Wife, was adapted into a television movie.

Linda recalls, “The 19th Wife came from my reading group’s first book selection two years ago, and it was controversial! I loved it, but some didn’t and it definitely sparked a lot of conversation, which it still does every month we gather.”

Ebershoff’s novel is inspired by the life of Ann Eliza Young, one of Brigham Young’s 56 wives and later a critic of polygamy. Brigham Young was the co-founder of the Mormon religion and first governor of the Utah territory.

Linda adds, “This is a story that combines historical fiction with the Mormon faith at the center combined with a modern murder mystery.”

Linda’s second recommendation for the week continues a powerful pull at the moral senses. The Lions of the Little Rock by Kristin Levine may inspire you to a social justice adventure as it has for Linda and her daughter, Grace.

“Grace and I read this together during the summer of 2013, and it was incredibly impactful on us both. In fact, we are planning a Civil Rights trip due to reading this book.”

The Lions of Little Rock is fiction based around historical events of the Little Rock Nine in Little Rock, Arkansas. The story presents multiple themes which Levine often writes about in her novels: friendship, courage and social justice.

Kristin Levine is an engaging and thought-provoking author, known for her works in children’s and young adult literature. The Lions of Little Rock has won multiple awards for children’s literature as well as the creation of a feature film. Levine currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her two daughters.

Remember: Knox County Online Library to search for Linda’s recommendations each week.

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