Transitions and downsizing are never easy, but after the loss of her husband, Suzy Kemp knows a retirement community is the best decision for her. Thankfully, she has her devoted son to help her through the process. And today she’s all set to move into the independent-living apartment she selected.
Suzy goes through the check-in process and final health assessments, but her mind is on her cute apartment with a patio and a garden, her furniture that should arrive tomorrow, and other details of her new life. Is it any wonder then that she missed a few of the memory test questions? It could happen to anyone.
Suzy finds herself being wheeled into a hospital style memory care unit instead of her own apartment.
She tries to adjust to what she hopes is a temporary situation, but making friends with people who can’t remember who she is, or who they are, is a challenge. Hearing screams in the night doesn’t help either.
Things take a turn for the worse when Suzy notices that Jeanette, one of the residents, is missing. Perhaps she’s gone home? Gotten better and moved into her own apartment? Like the one she should be in instead of here.
But when Suzy inquires about Jeannette, everyone pretends she doesn’t exist.
Suzy questions her memory and her sanity, but when another resident disappears, Suzy is convinced that something strange and criminal is taking place in the retirement community. But who’s going to believe her, a woman with memory issues? And who can she trust?
Suzy is determined to discover what’s going on. And it’ll take all of her deductive skills, and memory, to work out the clues that will hopefully prevent others from disappearing, including her.
Apple, Table, Penny…Murder, is witty and intriguing with just the right amount of suspense, mystery, and humor. A delightful and entertaining read.
See you next time on October 22nd!
I recently participated in a Community Read event at my local library, (Lower Macungie Library in Macungie, PA), in partnership with Longwood Gardens of Kennett Square, PA. This year’s theme was the connection between food and people, and food and gardening. The book we read was Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora, edited and curated by celebrated chef and writer Bryant Terry.
The collection of essays and recipes was a unique exploration of topics such as, the bond between food and culture, food insecurity, the empowerment of taking charge of your food and health, the bounty of gardening, and food as a connector of people, among other topics.
Some of the stories were heart-wrenching. We followed the journey of one slave, ripped from her land, as she described braiding seeds into her hair in order to carry something of her food and culture to an unknown land.
The library, in addition, organized a variety of activities to enhance the reading and learning experience. In keeping with food and gardening, the library supplied planters, soil, and herbs for each of us to decorate our very own potted plant.
A registered dietician gave a talk on the common sense of eating well.
And as part of the book read, we each selected a recipe from the book to make and then share together. Below you can see my choice, Nicole Taylor’s Cocoa-Orange Fish. As she describes it on page 195 of the book, “Cocoa powder transforms both savory and sweet dishes. Its luxurious earthiness adds depth to proteins, like fish.”
I paired the catfish with okra and yams. The beverage is sorrel, also known as hibiscus flowers, with origins in Africa.
Black Food: Stories, Art and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora provides much food for thought (pun intended) and is an enlightening, inspiring, delicious, and empowering read.
And libraries are more than just a collection of books. They broaden our worldview and unite peoples and communities. I hope you enjoy and love your library as much as I appreciate mine!
I’m off for the summer so see you next time on September 22nd!
1950s Cuba, the pearl of the Caribbean, is the idyllic home of the Cohen family whose ancestors found refuge in Cuba after being exiled from Poland during World War II and the Nazi regime. The two Cohen brothers, Aaron and Moises, are up and coming young men ready to make their mark on the world.
Aaron, a bank lawyer, enjoys the relaxing nonchalance of the tropics and is eagerly hoping for a promotion, and planning his wedding.
Moises, somber and studious, and at odds with his family over his political stance, spends his time engrossed in Marxism, grappling with what he sees as the corruption inherent in the current society.
The relaxing nonchalance of the island paradise is thrown into an uproar by the fire of revolution, and the eventual overthrow of the government by Fidel Castro and his brother Raul.
Moises, enraptured by the revolution, determines to fight against “the cathedral of capitalism and its den of thieves.”
When property and businesses are confiscated, the young men’s parents find themselves living their own parents’ nightmares of having to flee their native country.
Marked an enemy of the working class, Aaron the banker, is sidelined and must now kowtow to former aides. Attempting to obtain visas out of the country for his family, he finds himself trapped in a cruel game of cat and mouse.
Desperate to save his family, Aaron seeks out his brother Moises for help. But he’s part of Fidel’s group. Will he help? Can he trust him?
How strong will family ties prove for two brothers on the opposite sides of revolution and history?
Destructive alliances, family ties, and the uplifting power of faith, culture, and love make Incident at San Miguel a compelling and engrossing read.
For more of Alan Sidransky’s books, in which he writes about ordinary people faced with extraordinary events and situations, check out his website at www.ajsidransky.com. You can also read my reviews on this blog of some of his other titles.
See you next time on June 22nd.