Wednesday Whirl

vic fortezza
3 min readJun 12, 2024

Johannesburg. Reuters photo by Siphiwe Sibeko:

Linda Mahkovec has written 13 novels. Recently, The Garden House, published in 2016, came my way. Set in the state of Washington, it’s the story of a 50-year-old woman one month into being an empty-nester. She’d shelved her art to raise her kids and now faces the daunting issue of what to do with the rest of her life. She is privileged but unspoiled, her loving husband an architect. She has a beautiful, modest home. She is an expert gardener. Her garden house is rented for the summer to a thirtyish educator from the east coast. Soon she begins having dreams about a child in trouble. Will the novel become a standard thriller or remain a slice of life? I guessed correctly, though not in exact detail. What I liked most about the book is the refreshing old school decency of the characters, reminiscent of 1950s TV. I imagine her devoted followers would hate my work, but that’s okay. I get it. I’m glad such fiction is available. The writing is solid. The 206 pages of the large paperback edition read like far less, as there are blanks between the chapters and the large print is easy on the eyes. 491 users at Amazon have rated The Garden House, forging to a consensus of 4.1 on a scale of five. I’ll go with three. Mahkovec was born and raised in a small town in Illinois. She spent several years in the San Francisco Bay area and Seattle, and for the past 30 years has lived in NYC. She has a PhD in English, specializing in Victorian literature. She is a retired teacher. Kudos, Madam. Facts from several sources, photo from Google Images:

Headline from “Joe Biden and the left must know better than to deal with the devil known as Hamas.” I don’t believe they do. Their world view of appeasement won’t allow it.

Tip of the iceberg? From NYP: “Off the streets: Six suspected terrorists with ISIS ties arrested in sting operation in New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia: sources.” Kudos nonetheless.

From NYP: “Vegan fake meats linked to heart disease, early death: study.” Anyone surprised?

This may be the most amusing headline of the day. From NYP: “Table talk: Waitress fired for posting viral video of man dining with a blow-up doll.” A win for an attention-starved male. Rehire the woman. Photo from NYP/GI:

Echo of early ‘60’s missile crisis, headline from “Russian warships arrive in Cuba ahead of military exercises, tensions with West over Ukraine.”

I wonder for whom she voted. From FN: “Goldie Hawn says ‘LA is terrible’ after becoming victim to multiple home break-ins in 4-month span.”

Manhattan sunset, photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images, posted at

Finally a decent haul at the Anti-Inflation Book Shop. My thanks to those who donated and bought. Here’s what sold: Mixed Blessings by Danielle Steel, Abigail Adams: A Biography by Phyllis Lee Levin; 14 DVDs.

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vic fortezza

I was born in Brooklyn in 1950 to Sicilian immigrants. I’ve had more than 50 short stories published world wide. I have 13 books in print.