City of the Beasts

A rare negative book review from January, 2003, of Isabel Allende's City of the Beasts. I find that I still feel the same way a decade later.Fifteen-year-old Alexander Cold's mother has cancer and is going to a special clinic with Alexander's father; he and his sisters get dispatched to live with aunts for duration. In Alexander's case, it means that he accompanies his eccentric, acerbic Aunt Kate on an expedition to the farthest reaches of the Amazon River, in search of a murderous … [Read more...]

St. Benedict for Moms

If I were not a Lay Dominican, I'd probably be a Benedictine Oblate. Benedictines are all about stability: choosing to live in one monastery, with one set of people, and learning to live with each other. Benedictines don't get to move on when there's trouble; they have to stay. Me, I live with five other people whom I have spent years learning to live with, and we're all living in the house I grew up. I get stability. And then Benedictines are all about prayer and work, and for Benedictines … [Read more...]