I’ll Take You There centers on Felix, a film scholar who runs a Monday night movie club in what was once a vaudeville theater. One evening, while setting up a film in the projectionist booth, he’s confronted by the ghost of Lois Weber, a trailblazing motion picture director from Hollywood’s silent film era. Lois invites Felix to revisit—and in some cases relive—scenes from his past as they are projected onto the cinema’s big screen.
In these magical movies, the medium of film becomes the lens for Felix to reflect on the women who profoundly impacted his life. There’s his daughter Aliza, a Gen Y writer for New York Magazine who is trying to align her post-modern feminist beliefs with her lofty career ambitions; his sister, Frances, with whom he once shared a complicated bond of kindness and cruelty; and Verna, a fiery would-be contender for the 1951 Miss Rheingold competition, a beauty contest sponsored by a Brooklyn-based beer manufacturer that became a marketing phenomenon for two decades. At first unnerved by these ethereal apparitions, Felix comes to look forward to his encounters with Lois, who is later joined by the spirits of other celluloid muses.
Against the backdrop of a kaleidoscopic convergence of politics and pop culture, family secrets, and Hollywood iconography, Felix gains an enlightened understanding of the pressures and trials of the women closest to him, and of the feminine ideals and feminist realities that all women, of every era, must face.
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult is the story of Ruth Jefferson, an African American labor and delivery nurse who is charged with the murder of the newborn son of white supremacists. The novel is also the story of Ruth’s public defender, Kennedy McQuarrie, who learns to confront the criminal justice system’s racial prejudice.
Twenty years into her career at Mercy-West Haven Hospital in Connecticut, Ruth’s life changes in an instant when Davis Bauer is born. After Ruth examines Davis, the child’s parents, Brittany and Turk Bauer, tell Ruth’s supervisor, Marie, that they don’t want any African American staff caring for their son. Marie puts a note in the baby’s file saying so.
Turk became involved with the White Power Movement as a troubled teen. For his initiation, Turk’s recruiters took him to a gay bar and had him beat up a man. The man, Turk realized upon looking at…
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