2014-01-24 / Around Town

From the Bookshelf

Coming of Age in Morocco

Portsmouth resident and author Marguerite Vaillancourt will do a reading from her latest book, "Chased from Eden" at the Portsmouth Public Library on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 3 p.m. Part memoir and part fiction, the tale is about coming of age in Morocco. Her book will be available for purchase and signing.

Uplifting Message

Forced to remake her life after the death of her husband, Becky Aikman gathered five other young widows like herself and took a forthright approach to finding happiness again. Armed with upto date research, they rejected the now discredited five stages of grief and substituted laughter, adventure, friendship, and a healthy interest in love.

Insightful, and sharply humorous, Aikman’s "Saturday Night Widows: The Adventures of Six Friends Remaking Their Lives" offers a distinctive take on a largely under-covered but universal topic—starting over after losing someone close to you.

What could have been a sad story turned into something else—an adventure story—as the women traveled, cooked, and re-engaged with the world together. In the process, they reinvented themselves, changing everything from homes to careers to relationships.

Aikman will give a book talk at the Newport Public Library Saturday, Jan. 25 at 2 p.m.

Story Inspired Locally

Arliss Ryan’s latest novel, “Sanctuary,” was inspired by the Norman Bird Sanctuary, where she was a volunteer and did research on Mabel Norman. “Sanctuary” is a tale of secrets, redemption, and the healing power of nature as the lives of three women converge at a rundown New England estate. Other characters drawn into the plot include a group of eccentric birders, actors from the local dinner theater, aspiring artists, and conservationists who want to the turn the estate into a nature preserve. The geography of her fictional estate will be instantly recognizable to anyone who has walked the trails at NBS.

To read the first chapter, visit www.arlissryan.com. “Sanctuary” is available at Island Books.

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