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Written by
Cait Levin
July 2015
Contributor
Written by
Cait Levin
July 2015

Recipes for Redemption by Carole Bumpus

Recipes for Redemption: A Companion Cookbook for A Cup of Redemption provides the promised recipes—both French and American—culled from the pages, the times, and the regional influences found in the historical novel A Cup of Redemption. Told through the voices of the three main characters—Marcelle, Sophie and Kate—the recipes are carefully taught in the way these women learned them: at the knees of their mothers or grandmothers. Whether “cuisine pauvre” (peasant cooking), “war food” from WWII, American fare, or simply a family favorite, each recipe is carefully described and footnoted with interesting, often amusing culinary notes. Flavored with witty repartee and slathered with common sense, this cookbook is filled with heart, soul, humor, and delectable delight.

Fourteen by Leslie Nack

After her mother and father divorce at age seven, Leslie quickly learns the hard lessons of being Dad's favorite. The abuse begins at age nine and doesn't end until she begins to fight back at fourteen.

Her father, a larger-than-life Norwegian, assumed full custody of Leslie and her two sisters and move the family from their 63-acre rustic ranch in Northern California to a 45-foot sailboat in Southern California. The family spent two years living aboard their boat preparing for the trip of their father's dream: a trip around the world. On February 5, 1975, the family set sail for French Polynesia. 

Intense and inspiring, Fourteen is a coming-of-age adventure story about a young girl who comes into her own power, fights back against abuse, becomes an accomplished sailor, and falls in love with the ocean and the natural world. The outer voyage is a mirror of her inner journey--her goal is to find the strength to endure in a dangerous world, and difficult family.

Uncovered by Leah Lax

In Uncovered, Leah Lax tells her story—beginning as a young teen who left her liberal, secular home for life as a Hasidic Jew, and ending as a forty-something woman who has to abandon the only world she’s known for thirty years in order to achieve personal freedom. In understated, crystalline prose, Lax details her experiences with arranged marriage, cult-like faith, and motherhood during her years with the Hasidim, and explores how her creative, sexual, and spiritual longings simmer beneath the surface throughout her time there.

The first book to tell the story of a gay woman who spent thirty adult years in the Hasidic fold, Uncovered is the moving story of Lax’s long journey toward finding a home where she truly belongs. 

Meeting in the Margins by Cynthia Trenshaw

When Cynthia Trenshaw, recently widowed, moves to Berkeley, she thinks the reason she has transplanted herself is to earn her master’s degree in theology. But when, step by unexpected step, she is drawn into the cultural borderlands where society’s “invisible people” reside, she encounters dispossessed and demanding teachers not listed on any academic roster—and becomes immersed in a heady curriculum of helplessness and joy, wisdom and pain.

A book that encourages readers to receive the generosity and reciprocity of the margins, Meeting in the Margins offers guidance for how we can all, as individuals, begin to repair the rift between the margins and the mainstream of society—simply by being profoundly present.

South of Everything by Audrey Taylor Gonzalez

Set in 1940s Germantown, Tennessee, South of Everything is a magical coming-of-age story about the daughter of a plantation-owning family, who, despite her privileged background, finds more in common with “the help” than her own family.Sara develops a special kinship with her parents’ servant Old Thomas, who introduces her to the mysterious Lolololo Tree—a magical, mystical tree with healing powers that she discovers is wiser than any teacher or parent or pries—and, in doing so, opens her eyes to the religious and racial prejudice of her surroundings.

A universal coming-of-age tale about questioning the world around us and finding our own truth, South of Everything will appeal to anyone who’s ever dreamed of stepping beyond the safe boundaries of the world they know.

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