'The Dark Side of Memory' by Tessa Bridal; published Oct. 26 by Invisible Ink

“The Dark Side of Memory” is about the families who lived through the civil unrest and subsequent government militarization in Uruguay and other South American countries during the 1960s and ‘70s.

This novel plops the reader in the middle of these real multigenerational families who lived through these dangerous times and are still living through their aftermath. Bridal takes these very complex histories and makes them understandable through the lives of those who lived them. She gives a wonderful background to the reader, having lived in Uruguay until she was 20.

The pre-militarization culture of these South American lives is enlightening and their subsequent stories are heart-wrenching She balances historical facts with personal stories wonderfully.

She pulls the reader through the escalations and atrocities of these times and the lessons that can be learned from these stories are invaluable. This book had me engaged from page one.

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Tessa Bridal was born and raised in Uruguay. She settled in Minnesota, where she studied sign language and became the artistic director of the Minnesota Theatre Institute of the Deaf. She has written books in both English and Spanish. She has also been awarded numerous awards for her books and work in creating educational theatre programs for science museums, zoos and aquariums. She is a mother and grandmother and resides in Minneapolis.

The Dark Side of Memory by Tessa Bridal
The Dark Side of Memory by Tessa Bridal

'Reeling' by Sarah Stonich; published Sept. 21 by Minnesota University Press

“Reeling” is the second fiction novel in the series about RayAnne Dahl.

In “Fishing,” RayAnne accidentally becomes the host of a women's fishing talk-show on public television after leaving a career in pro fishing. In “Reeling,” RayAnne and the show’s location producer (who is a Jane-of-all-trades) travel to New Zealand to film and have some new adventures.

Filled with colorful characters, laugh-out-loud situations, and some great conversations that keep the reader entertained and reflecting, it is peppered with New Zealand culture and sites. This book is a fun read with heart.

It is not necessary to read “Fishing” before reading “Reeling,” but I recommend it. Incidents and characters carry over, although Stonich provides background to catch the reader up. The title is not a misnomer but does have more than one application; there is a fair amount of fishing lingo. As a native Minnesotan one would think I’d know more fishing terminology. Considering it has been a decade or two since I held a fishing rod, I did not, but kept Google close at hand. Even though I’m not a fishing Minnesotan, I enjoyed this book.

Sarah Stonich is the author of almost a dozen books, including “These Granite Islands” which has been translated into seven languages and was short-listed for France's prestigious Grand Prix de lectrices d'Elle. She lives in Minneapolis on the Mississippi River.

Reeling by Sarah Stonich
Reeling by Sarah Stonich

Book Nook is a feature that highlights books from Minnesota authors. Got a recommendation? Email us at life@postbulletin.com with the subject line "Book Nook."