Best intentions by Emily Listfield, ’74. Lisa’s marriage is in trouble. Or maybe it isn’t. We discover with Lisa the tantalizing hints of infidelity and their possible logical explanation. While we are being directed and misdirected, we meet Lisa’s two daughters and her best friend from college. For those of us who have dealt with the private school world of New York, Emily’s depiction of the class struggle between the haves and the have-mores is illuminating social commentary. The plot takes a dark turn; murder, she wrote. I couldn’t help it – I changed my mind about five times about who dunnit. Friends Seminary folk will enjoy the cameo role given to our own Meeting House as the story unfolds. I enjoyed Emily’s inventive, leisurely storytelling. She teases out the fleeting impressions and feelings that in the bustle of life we overlook.
Nov 23, 2019
Murder at the Columbarium by Emily Gallo ’67. This is the third novel of Emily’s I have read with Jonestown survivor Jed as the protagonist. Having found a way to go forward as caretaker for this facility for cremains, Jed has also maintained a network of friends and a committed partner, Monica. A character of great empathy, Jed found in the past that rocking crack babies calmed both the babies and himself as he struggled to keep his past from overwhelming him. Now he finds himself in the midst of a murder mystery. After coming upon the body of a young woman wearing a hijab on the grounds of the Columbarium, he is startled to also find with her a healthy baby. Clues lead to a pot farm, international drug traffic, and some harsh Pakistani customs. The plot is well-paced and keeps the reader guessing as the facts unfold. Malcolm, whom I first met in Venice Beach, comes back to play an important role, and Jed’s baby rocking skills come in handy. Though a brutal murder is at the center of the story, the book provides a heartfelt, humanizing look at those often marginalized by society: the trans, the HIV positive, the poor, and even the skinhead.