In the Company of Grace: A Veterinarian’s Memoir of Trauma and Healing
University of Minnesota Press
Jody Lulich was one of several veterinarians to be honored that evening. He held a paper; one side the more expected, praising a mentor who helped guide his career, the other the tangled story leading to tonight. Reality, but how would that be received? Stepping to the podium, he chose. The son of a white father and black mother, their union in turmoil. At nine, witnessing his mother’s suicide, enduring his father’s rejection. Later, still searching, attending Tuskegee University in Alabama, he boarded with the elderly Grace, a compassionate Black woman who essentially adopted him, extending that vital love and compassion. Lulich pursued the long road back to professor of veterinary clinical services, found a love of his own. Grace would have applauded his choice.
Jan Morris: Life from Both Sides
Morris, whose emotional memoir, Conundrum, concerned her transition from James to Jan in 1972, authored 50-plus other books–from the 3-vol Pax Britannica, to Venice, plus scads of evocative articles world-wide for publications from the Times of London to Rolling Stone. Sent by the Times to Kathmandu for Hillary and Tenzing’s 1953 Everest attempt, non-climber Morris, 26, ascended to 22,000 feet, scoring news sent back by Sherpa runners; then his final, “Snow conditions bad stop advanced base abandoned yesterday stop awaiting improvement” Decoded, it heralded the first successful summiting. The Times scoop headlined the morning of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. Married, five children, divorced at her transition, remarried, the headstone celebrates, “Here are two friends, Jan and Elizabeth Morris, At the end of one life.”
Was the past as dystopian as any imagined future? Bell blends a well-researched knowledge of the Sun King’s plot and scandal-ridden era to frame this forbidden romance between two French noblewomen seeking to circumvent the restrictive web of court protocol and sexual prohibitions. Many of the characters actually trod the Paris cobblestones in 1667, the setting of this tale, and the witch-hunt for poisoners existed. Indefatigable Lieutenant General de la Reynie, arrested noblewomen; de Poulaillon and de Léféron suffered; prison, torture, were liberally applied. So, when Baroness Marie Catherine’s abusive husband is murdered, and her lover, Victoire, Mademoiselle de Conti, a cross-dressing iconoclast was on the scene, the stakes are high, escape the only choice. How they play their cards, what they choose, will amaze.
Somewhere in the future, most Earthlings have fled their ravaged planet to inflict humanity upon yet other orbs, leaving behind a miscellany of misfits and lawless bands. These post-Luddites have renounced technology, but–as is inevitable among Homo saps–they are ruled by the High Sheriff and his sadistic Deputy. Then, 300 years along, a ship returns, crashes, ejecting a lone crewmember in an escape pod, which lands hundreds of miles beyond. Stranger must find her way back through this hate-filled wasteland to complete her mission, find her ship–and the woman she loves. Curtis draws from Quest, Post-Apocalypse survival, Western quick-draw. nerves of steel, and Queer, unquenchable romance, deftly mixing the ingredients and scattering the action across a broad frontier for a thrilling read.