At the Library 9/23/21

At the Library
By LeAnn Kunz

I have never wanted to take a cruise.  However, taking one by reading a novel…now that is my kind of cruise.  Kate Christensen’s The Last Cruise was a good little story.  Modern day characters embark on a 1950s ocean liner, Queen Isabella, for her final voyage complete with all its vintage flair.  Its passengers are promised the luxury of fine dining, fancy drinks, classical and jazz music, but no cell phone service.  Yes, the fact that this is the ship’s final trip before being scrapped was the clue that things are not going to go well.  However, despite the novel’s predictability, I wanted to see how the characters were going to respond to the obvious disaster that was about to occur. 

At the beginning of the novel we are introduced to three guests who will cross paths during the cruise.  Christine is a farmer in Maine who was once a journalist and has been invited by her friend to join her for a little getaway.  Mick, a tough and somewhat bitter man, is a chef who has been hastily thrown into head position for this cruise.  And finally, Miriam is an elderly violinist who, with her string quartet, has been hired to provide entertainment.   These characters have all reached turning points in their lives and the conditions that occur on the ship help to solidify the changes in their lives.  As a reader, you will find yourself immersed in each character.  The author is adept at making you empathetic to each one, despite their flaws.

Christensen is an award-winning author and her descriptions are fantastic.  She is especially good at describing food, probably because she also has written several food-related memoirs.   At the start of the cruise, Christine is standing at the rail, soaking up the ambiance.  “Uniformed waiters appear with trays of retro snacks.  As they went by, Christine scored a Ritz cracker with pimiento cream cheese, then a pig in a blanket, and then an oyster broiled in its shell, smothered in green sauce and breadcrumbs.  Soon she’d make her way to the bar and order a very dry and icy martini with three fat olives on a toothpick…”  Whether we are on the decks or in the galley below where the ship’s chefs are preparing the meals, you might find yourself salivating and looking for a snack in your own kitchen while you sail along with this story until its adventurous conclusion. 

New Materials @ the Library

Adult Fiction

A Christmas in the Alps by Melody Carlson
The Heron’s Cry by Ann Cleeves
An Impossible Promise by Jude Deveraux
High Stakes by Iris Johansen
The Burning by Jonathan Kellerman
The Dark Remains by William Mcilvanney
The Jailhouse Lawyer by James Patterson
Forgotten in Death by J.D. Robb
The Drowned Girls by Loreth Anne White

Large Print Fiction

The House on Fripp Island
by Rebecca Kauffman
The Other Emily
by Dean Koontz
The Invisible Husband of Frick Island
by Colleen Oakley
The Jailhouse Lawyer by James Patterson
The Lost Apothecary
by Sarah Penner
Eddie’s Boy
by Thomas Perry
The Guncle
by Steven Rowley
The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
by Dawnie Walton


This Zoo Is Not For You
by Ross Collins
First Day Critter Jitters
by Jory John
Moo-Moo, I Love You
by Tom Lichtenheld
All Are Welcome
by Alexandra Penfold
The Universe and You
by Suzanne Slade
The Day You Begin
by Jacqueline Woodson