BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed The Push by Audrey Audrain

The Push by Audrey Audrain This one was worth the hype. Blythe wonders what is wrong with her daughter Violet. From day 1 they never really bonded, she feels that something isn’t quite right with her. When Violet learns to speak she says things about wishing mommy would go away forever. Then there’s an incident at the playground where a little boy falls off the top of the playscape and is killed, and Blythe wonders if Violet actually pushed him. They have another child, and Blythe manages to bond with her son, and Violet continues to elude her and only shows Blythe odd and dark behaviors that make Blythe wonder whether she’s losing her mind and makes her wonder if Violet actually killed her brother too.

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed The Paper Daughters of Chinatown by Heather Moore

The Paper Daughters of Chinatown by Heather Moore I read this one on my summer vacation. It’s the story of Donaldina Cameron, she was the director of Occidental Mission Home for Girls in the late 1800s-1900s. This home specialized in taking in Chinese women who were sold into sexual slavery during the time. Dolly, with the help of local police, rescues girls from brothels, puts them up in this home and provides English lessons and career lessons so these women can move on and become productive members of society. The book also covers the story of a Chinese woman named Mei Lein who is duped into coming to America just to become a sex slave as well. Of course Dolly and Mei Lein’s paths cross, and it’s a fascinating insight into both sides of the story. An excellent book.

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls

The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls I read this one on my summer vacation. Bean and Liz Holladay are children of a self absorbed single mother. Mom takes off for a bit and leaves her daughters behind to fend for themselves, so they decide to travel across the country to Mom’s family in Virginia whom they’ve never met. They end up loving life in their Mom’s hometown living with their recluse uncle in the estate that was once the grand home of their family who owned the local mill. Bean and Liz get to know their local family—Bean learns about her father, who was killed before she was even born. Then things take a turn for the worst when they both take jobs working for Mr. Maddox—he stiffs them on their pay and attacks one of them. They go to the police and press charges against that one guy who runs the town. This was a really great dip into the fictional world for Walls, though you can feel her own insane childhood come through in Bean and Liz’s experience.

BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.