Monday, December 28, 2020


The Walls of Lucca by Steve Physioc

This is a beautifully told story of love, war, political upheaval that takes shape in the trenches of world war one, expands into the idyllic Tuscan landscape of vineyards and olive orchards. The lives of loves of three families dominate the story as they wrestle to better their lives and improve their fortunes against the forces of fascism and domination that take root in their midst.

I was drawn into this story by the power of joy and love manifested by Isabella, an orphan raised in a convent who gives herself without limit to healing those around her. At times, I wondered if I was reading about a medieval saint rather than the feisty and frank your woman she was. As I read, I realized that this story must have a sequel to resolve all the questions it raises and situations that the reader knows lie ahead.

Monday, December 21, 2020

The Shortest Day by Colm Toibin

 Too soon, and too intriguing to stop.

Little did I realize when I began reading this book, that it would be so short. No, I groaned. I want to know how and why Professor O’Kelly’s life would change after witnessing the elusive but certain shaft of sunlight that pierces the ancient tomb during the winter solstice. How it might or might not affect the lives of the dead entombed there. Who were not afraid of the unknown but honored and lived with uncertainty? Who were these dead who whispered through the long dark of each year? A tomb older than Stonehenge and the pyramids yet built with exquisite designs, spirals, and other geometric shapes.

Monday, August 31, 2020

The Scent of God Now Available in a New Edition

Originally published by Counterpoint NY in 2006 (hard cover) and in 2007(paper), Beryl Singleton Bissell’s memoir The Scent of God has just returned to print in a newly designed and revised edition.

Bissell was a teenager, when a powerful religious experience led her into a cloister in pursuit of divine, unconditional love.

Fifteen years later, her abbess sends her home to Puerto Rico to care for her ailing parents.  While there, she meets and falls in love with Padre Vittorio, a handsome Italian priest/professor at the University of Puerto Rico.

Moving from cloister to tropical island to romantic Italy, the story traverses a landscape of laughter, rage, and tears as Bissell learns that human longing is a but a prelude to life’s most perplexing questions. 
Purchase the Scent of God

In 2006, the Minneapolis Star Tribune named Beryl a Best of 2006 Minnesota Authors for her first book: The Scent of God: A Memoir (Counterpoint 2006, 2007), and a "Notable" Book Sense selection for April 2006. Her second book, A View of the Lake, (Lake Superior Port Cities Inc. 2011) was named a Best Regional Book for 2011 by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Meanwhile Beryl is working on her third book, "The Glass Calyx: A Mother's Story" which picks up where The Scent of God leaves off and limns the years leading to her daughter's unresolved violent death at the age of 24 and its aftermath.

978-1-7345539-0-1 (print)
Story Oak Publications, St. Paul, Minnesota
Biography& Autobiography, Personal Memoirs

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