"Beautifully detailed and rich in exceptional characterization ... Curran's novel gently reminds readers that fantasy has a place in everyone's life, and dreams can come true. Uniquely uplifting and never didactic, this is a gem." -BOOKLIST, starred review
"With a masterful wit and clever twists, Sheila Curran has created an intricately woven mystery. Captivating, fast-paced, no-holds-barred storytelling, DIANA LIVELY IS FALLING DOWN defies pigeon-holing. Wrestling the complexities of motherhood, loss and betrayal, politics, the environment, and theme parks, it is at once intimate, domestic, and worldly. A debut to celebrate!" -Julianna Baggott, GIRLTALK, THE MISS AMERICA FAMILY, THE MADAM
"Brilliant, touching, and funny as hell, Diana Lively packs a powerful punch. A poignant and biting satire of contemporary family life, American business, ivory-tower academics, and trans-Atlantic cultural differences, this spirited romp through an Englishwoman's Arizona deserves a unique place of honor on any bookshelf. Diana is one of those stories that can linger forever in one's own memory and imagination, as a reference point for every new book that comes along, or even more, for life itself. Wry, engaging, and wise beyond words, Diana is bound to delight and amaze." -Carlos Eire, 2003 National Book Award winner, WAITING FOR SNOW IN HAVANA
"DIANA LIVELY IS FALLING DOWN is a terrific pick-me-up. You couldn't find two more disparate landscapes than Oxford, England and Arizona, and that's exactly what one British woman discovers when she crosses the pond to find herself a fish-out-of-water -- only to realize that for the first time in her life, this means she can stand on her own two feet. Filled with characters who make you laugh out loud even as they break your heart, this is a funny, warm, inventive, original book."
-Jodi Picoult, NYT bestselling author of VANISHING ACTS and MY SISTER'S KEEPER
Okay, I know, we’re all a bit tense. Lately I've been waking up with the sense that it's up to me to save the planet from imminent disaster. The more I worry, the less I seem to be able to say.
I hear some fine politician from California has decided that now is the proper time to revoke the Endangered Species Act. Unless he thinks Noah's coming with another ark, it might be time to rethink that idea.
Lest you missed the memo, Sir, environmentalism is not -- as its foes seem to think -- about saving some redheaded woodpecker from peril. Nor is it about swamp creatures in Louisina.
It's simply about connecting the dots. As in, we're all connected,mon, and when species die off, they're our canaries in the coal mines. Similarly, saving wetlands isn't about swampgrass. Barrier islands and wetlands -- as in, the ones that used to exist before some fine politicians changed the definition of wetland twenty years ago -- would have protected New Orleans from much of the damage it sustained in both storms.Still, no one appears to be accountable. “Mistakes were made.” And we, as in, the American people, are left holding the bag. Represented by suits who seem to prize holding onto their power rather than being strategic about our long term interests (and power).
It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.Have a beignet.Point out the screechingly obvious, because it’s clear that no one in Washington is able to see it.Or maybe they don’t want to see it, as they have too much of a stake in business as usual.
Even if there's no connection between global warming and the ferocity of the hurricanes, (What do peer-reviewed scientists know anyhow?)we know for sure we've got an energy crisis. Rather than pour money into the endless pockets of contractor-cronies, why not get a two-fer and channel our money into doing things right? Rebuild the coast the way scientists have been suggesting for decades. At $14 billion, it's an ounce of prevention to the $200 billion plus we're paying now.
Hell, while we're at it, if we're rebuilding an entire city, why not do that right too? Why not invest in an infrastructure that works? There are an array of "green" building technologies that work right now to 1) save energy through conservation and 2) produce energy through both passive and active solar, among other things. Indeed, the only obstacle to their use is that we’ve needed an economy of scale to bring the price down.
Hell², maybe we should go completely hog-wild and change the tax structure to one that punishes waste and encourages thrift. (At the very least, we need to pay for this by repealing tax breaks for the top 1% instead of the cuts in programs like Hydrogen Fuel Program, Public Broadcasting, Medicaid and Amtrak being bandied about by the Beltway Bandits.)
Gosh, the worst that happens is that we burn less oil in the long run, which, if you haven't heard, is in short supply.
All of these ideas might sound like pie-in-the-sky, but remember, only twenty years ago, so was a fantasy we’ve come to call the Internet.And hey, come to think of it, that too was created with government money, as were many vaccines and all sorts of pie-in-the-sky solutions that so many fine politicians were opposed to on principle, simply because to them, government was the boogey man. Now these same guys are in charge of the government, and for once, I’m inclined to agree with them. I’ve seen a whole new species of ostrich on Capitol Hill, and it’s not the sand where they’ve buried their heads but a place where the sun don’t shine.No wonder they can’t see any way out.