Cheryl Alkon

Review: Closet Smarts

Boston wardrobe consultant Emily Neill bridges the gap between fashionista and frump, helping women look better in their own clothes. A former Ph.D. candidate at Harvard, Neill is a bit wordier than others who write advice books. But her insights…

Jump at the Sun

Emerson’s writer-in-residence explores a web of mother-daughter relationships in her third novel, Jump at the Sun. Grace lives in a tony Boston suburb while her generously paid scientist husband supports their brood. But Grace, considering the lives of her mother…

Sweet Ruin

After editing the 2002 compilation of marital essays The Bitch in the House, Northampton’s Hanauer again looks at marriage. Her novel’s protagonist, saddled with a workaholic husband, copes with the death of a son while raising a six-year-old and grappling…

Matters of the Heart

Roger Desrochers has had three heart attacks and two open-heart surgeries in the last 18 years. But when it came time to schedule his most recent surgery, the 77-year-old New Bedford resident opted not to check in at Mass. General…

My Latest Grievance

Precocious teenager Frederica Hatch lives with her überliberal parents on the campus of a Brookline college, amusing herself by tempering her parents’ ways with a dose of practicality. Then her father’s ex-wife arrives as a new dorm housemother and takes…