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Book Review

Book Reviews


By Mindy Mejia
Atria Books
Pub date: Sept. 4, 2018
Hardcover $26
336 pages

‘Leave No Trace’

Following her critically acclaimed novel, “Everything You Want Me to Be,” Mindy Mejia has proven to be deserving of comparisons to Gilian Flynn and Paula Hawkins. With “Leave No Trace,” she gives us another character-driven, suspenseful, can’t-put-it-down adventure.

Set in northern Minnesota, near the vast expanse of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the novel begins with the appearance of an almost feral young man, Lucas Blackthorn. Ten years earlier, he and his father mysteriously disappeared, the search parties finding only signs of violence at their abandoned camp.

The only person with whom he will communicate is his speech therapist, Maya Stark, who has arrived back in her hometown with issues of her own. Working with him in the psychiatric facility where Lucas has been committed, Maya is drawn to his story and works to reunite him with his father in this riveting thriller. ♦

— Review by Shirley Shiffler

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By Doris Kearns Goodwin
Simon & Schuster
Pub date: Sept. 18, 2018
Hardcover $30
496 pages

‘Leadership: In Turbulent Times’

Doris Kearns Goodwin, a well-respected biographer of our presidents, studies four presidents to discern what about their backgrounds prepared them for their leadership roles. Each president (Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson) is examined in three areas: their youth and development, their experience with adversity and the leadership skills they exhibited in their times of power. Although their backgrounds were vastly different, both in time and circumstance, their leadership resulted in progress in the social or moral fiber of their times. They all were responsive to human needs, were willing to alter their outlook and strategies and looked to how they would be remembered.

Ms. Goodwin has previously published biographies of each of these presidents. This study of the characteristics of leadership is eminently readable. Overall, her presentation is inspirational, giving solid examples of what leadership looks like. ♦

— Review by Harriet Leitch

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