North of the Tension Line

Called a “modern-day Jane Austen,” J.F. Riordan’s lyrical prose and rich characters are a tribute to small town life and the beauty of the ordinary. Peopled with sharply drawn characters whose experiences are by turns serious, mystical, and ridiculous, her books bring into sharp focus the pitfalls and vicious politics that prevail in small towns everywhere.

J.F. Riordan

Before she began writing J.F. Riordan earned her living first as an opera singer, and later as an English teacher in an inner city high school.  A transplanted Midwesterner, she lives in exile from Washington Island with her husband and three dogs.

Peopled with sharply drawn characters whose experiences are by turns serious, mystical, and ridiculous, her books bring into sharp focus the pitfalls and vicious politics that prevail in small towns everywhere.

“J.F. Riordan writes with a seductive immediacy which reveals the extraordinary in the lives of people we too carelessly think ordinary. A Small Earnest Question combines keen social observation, engaging characters, quiet humor, and rich sense of place. Rewarding from first page to last.”   ~  Richard North Patterson

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Detox

I had become increasingly aware of the way my phone had taken over my life. I am continually scrolling through my messages. There’s not a scene that passes before my eyes that doesn’t make me reach for the camera. There’s not a drive that isn’t accompanied by a podcast. 

Not with a Bang, But a Tote Bag

I seem to recall an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson in which he predicts that the world will be subsumed not by fire or flood, but by an overwhelming mound of common pins. It hasn’t happened so far, but that may be because we have shifted the cultural weight, as it were, to a far more voluminous enemy: the tote bag.

The End of the World

Here, there is comfort in powerlessness. With no recourse but to drink my coffee, I can stay comfortable. I can’t fix Afghanistan. I can’t save a single person. Lucky me.

I am ashamed.