25 Years of Shanti Bhavan

In 1997, Dr. Abraham George used his George Foundation to create the Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project. For a quarter of a century, the project has been redefining non-profit education. Based in George’s home country, the residential school takes children from the poorest areas of India and allows them to be the first in their families to attend preschool through college. They believe that one underserved child, given the same opportunities as other children, can break the cycle of systematic, generational poverty. Their holistic approach allows them to not only give these children an education, but also access to shelter, medical care, food, clothing, and a community they otherwise would not have. One hundred percent of their graduates can make more within five years post-graduate than their parents would be able to make in their lifetime.

The Residential school itself is run by faculty and caregivers in Tamil Nadu, India. But, in the United States, the Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project manages fundraising and partnerships and oversees education.

Last year, CambridgeEditors was lucky to work with Dr. George on his autobiography which details his life both in India and America, as well as his time building the Shanti Bhavan Project.

On November 5th, 2022, the project is hosting an event to celebrate 25 years of impact and their many success stories. It will be a night of looking back on the past quarter century, as well as looking towards the future. Their goal for the year is to raise $2 million to put towards expanding the project.

The evening will be about facilitating friendship and gratitude, as well as meeting Shanti’s first two students to attend Ivy League Universities: Sam and Dhanush, who both attend Dartmouth.

Both boys’ families had a yearly income of less than $1,000; Sam’s family only made  $30 a month. Sam’s mother had a weakened immune system which often required medical care. Along with medical issues, his family experienced religious persecution, and they were evicted from their home. Dhanush’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, and soon after his father abandoned their family causing Dhanush to take on much more responsibilities. Both boys were able to overcome these hardships with the help of Shanti Bhavan.

The event will take place at the Academy of Creative Arts in Burlington, MA. You can reserve tickets here: https://give.shantibhavanchildren.org/event/boston-ma-shanti-bhavans-25th-anniversary-celebration/e429926

Sophia Boyce, CambridgeEditors Team

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Project Spotlight: Clara Wu and the Warlock

CambridgeEditors is proud to have worked with author Vincent Yee on his five-book series Clara Wu Books. The series is a young adult Asian American fantasy adventure where Clara Wu, Sung Kim, Yuka Satoh, and Daniel Nguyen must battle a demonic Warlock to save the world. But they are not alone, as they are paired with their trustworthy Guardians: the panda, white tiger, red crown crane, and the water buffalo. Proofreading of the first four books in his series was done by Dr. Felicia Lee between March 2021 and August 2022. She will proofread the final book later this fall. 

Yee is a Boston native who currently resides in Cambridge, MA. He graduated from Suffolk University in ’94 and worked in various managerial roles before quitting corporate work during the pandemic. Despite working in the corporate world, Yee always had a dream “to write better Asian representation.” He had envisioned an Asian American fantasy trilogy, but as he began outlining it in October of 2020 it quickly went from three books to five.

Yee grew up on fantasy series such as Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter. But, there’s very little to no Asian representation in those books. He wanted to write a series where his friends’ kids could see themselves as the heroes and not just the sidekicks. Yee’s series includes Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese characters and makes sure to highlight Asian values from different cultures. While representation is always important, it’s especially imperative in the current climate of America, where Asian Americans are having to fight anti-Asian sentiments in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. His stories are helping combat the negative stereotypes that exist in the country right now.

While he wants to show Asian Americans can be heroes, Yee also wants to help people reconnect with their culture. Having his characters embrace and love being authentically Asian is a prominent part of his fantasy series. As food is a big part of Asian culture, and is typically something Americans ridicule, Yee made sure it was a main feature of the books. Not only does he love his culture’s food, but his heroes can’t fight demonic warlocks on an empty stomach!

To catch up on the series before the final book comes out later this year, the first four books are all available online on Amazon & Kindle, as well as Barnes and Noble. If you’re in the Boston area, you can also pick up his books at Brookline Booksmith at 283 Harvard St., Brookline, MA. Or, if you’re in New York, you can find the series at You and Me Books, 44 Mulberry St., New York Chinatown.

Sophia Boyce, CambridgeEditors Team

Young readers’s reading Yee’s book at Brookline Booksmith.

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Exploring Feminine Rage in “When Women Were Dragons”

Image of the cover of When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill.

In honor of Women’s History Month, this blog post is dedicated to one of the most inspiring books about women that captures the concept of feminine rage. When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill is more than just a story of women spontaneously turning into dragons and taking off toward the sky; it is a raw and emotional tale of womanhood and trying to fit into a society that was never built for that.

This story takes place in America in the 1950s, in a world much like our own. The only difference is that every once in a while, for no foreseeable reason, women spontaneously turn into dragons and take off to the skies, never to be seen again. This all started with what is referred to as “the mass dragoning of 1955” where hundreds of thousands of American wives and mothers suddenly morphed into dragons, causing mass chaos and destruction, and then flew off. This eventually became “taboo” with all other women’s issues and was rarely talked about and never taught formally as a legitimate part of history. The story follows Alex Green, a young girl whose aunt was transformed in the “mass dragoning.” Alex finds herself faced with questions no one will answer. Where is her beloved Aunt? Why is her family forcing her to pretend she never existed? Why are they now referring to her cousin as Alex’s sister? Eventually forced into silence, Alex tries to go on with her life, that is, until her cousin turned sister Bea becomes obsessed with dragons and all the forbidden history behind them.

There are many novels that capture the experience of womanhood and trying to meld into a society that never fully accepts you, but there are none that capture feminine rage the way this novel does. This story uses “dragoning” as something that is so clearly visible and extreme that you think it simply cannot be ignored. It can’t possibly be pushed aside or written out of history, but then it is. This is an extreme version of what society has been doing to women and other marginalized genders for all of time. It’s also a representation of what that dismissal and repression does to women, creating a monster of feminine rage. This book labels “dragoning” or female rage, as just another women’s issue that isn’t important enough to talk about. Women can deal with it internally, or they can allow it to consume them. While society would like you to think that allowing your inner rage to surface is a bad thing, living life as a dragon may prove to be a better option for some than living life as a housewife. Bigger than choosing which path to follow is this: all women are dragons. The issue is that dragons are misconstrued, and seen as mindless violence and chaos. This is because there hasn’t been a place in society for “dragons” because it wasn’t built for them.

In this story, society believed that if they were to ignore dragons, they would go away. But this proved to be impossible because dragons were everywhere. “There were dragons who showed up in Ladies’ sewing circles. And dragons who showed up to labor meetings. And dragons who marched with farmworkers. And dragons who joined anti-war committees. No one knew what to do with them at first. Newspapers didn’t report it. The evening news remained silent. People averted their eyes and changed the subject. Cheeks flushed; voices faltered. Most people simply assumed that if they just ignored dragons that they would go away. The dragons did not go away.”

This book is a must-read for woman identifying people and beyond. This book highlights the importance of the bond of womanhood and embracing femininity for all that it is, which includes strength and rage. This book also touches on LGBTQIA+ themes, mostly in the support of sapphic romance and transgender women as important pillars of femininity. This book talks about how femininity and strength once went hand in hand, and how somewhere along the line, divine femininity and the worship it induced were not only forgotten, but discouraged. Most importantly, the book identifies the pain that women have inside of them that cannot go away or be ignored, and how society can be and must be shaped around women being their full selves, claws and all. 

By Ally Orsini, CambridgeEditors Team

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Books to Read Before They Hit the Screen

Daisy Jones & the Six television series promotional image.

Daisy Jones and The Six: Limited series coming to Amazon Prime on March 3, 2023.

            Taylor Jenkins Reid’s best-selling novel is a series of interviews telling the story of a fictional band called Daisy Jones and The Six, their rise to fame, and the highs and lows and rock and roll. This book has all the drama you would expect from a rock band in the seventies, including an off-beat female lead, band romances, backstabbing, and a possible love triangle. The series is set to start releasing episodes in March, with its first episode airing March 3rd.  If you find yourself feeling as though the storyline feels eerily similar, Reid has admitted she got the inspiration for her story from one of the most infamous bands of all time, Fleetwood Mac. Along with an entertaining story, the show will also feature original music as seen in the book, which fans are more than a little excited for. The show is set to star Riley Keough as Daisy Jones and Sam Clafflin as Billy Dune, the main male protagonist.

It Ends with Us: Movie to be released in late 2024.

            It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover is the book that broke the internet, becoming a Tik-Tok sensation. This book was originally published in 2014, and its original popularity was underwhelming. Back when the COVID-19 pandemic first started in 2020, the book was talked about nonstop online until everyone had heard of it. To say this completely changed Colleen Hoover’s career would be an understatement. This book and its revival in popularity nearly single-handedly created #BookTok, a section of Tik-Tok dedicated to talking about books and book recommendations. While there is no official release date for the movie, the two lead actors have been announced, which again sent Tik-Tok into a frenzy. The story follows Lily Bloom, who moves to Boston to follow her dream of opening her own flower shop when she meets Ryle, a dreamy surgeon. When their relationship progresses, her dream man turns into more of a nightmare. Before you read this book or watch the movie, read about trigger warnings, especially if you are specifically affected by domestic abuse.

            What has fans going so crazy over this cast? It was not at all who they expected. Fancasts have been going around since the news dropped of the upcoming movie. The most popular fancast for the leads of Lily and Ryle were Abigail Cowen and Theo James. However, the official leads of the movie are Blake Lively and Justin Baldoni, who also originally bought the rights to make the film.

Lessons In Chemistry: Apple TV drama show set to release in 2023.

            Lessons In Chemistry byBonnie Garmus tells the story of Elizabeth Zott, a brilliant chemist who is forced out of the lab and into the kitchen in the sixties. Struggling to make it in the misogynistic world of science at the time, she is discovered for her knowledge of food science and nutrition and is offered a television show. With a daughter to support, she has little choice but to accept the offer. While it isn’t her dream and is far beneath her intellectual abilities and her degree, it pays the bills and is a less rigid path than that of a female scientist. This book was the Barnes & Noble Book of the Year for 2022, a New York Times bestseller, and the Goodreads Choice Award winner for 2022. It was published on March 29, 2022 by Doubleday books. The series stars Brie Larson as Elizabeth Zott, who is most well known for her role as the titular character in Captain Marvel.

By Ally Orsini, CambridgeEditors Team

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Valentine’s and Anti-Valentine’s Day Book Recs

The holiday of love is approaching, and as usual, it has caused some division between those celebrating and those abstaining. Couples and singles alike have planted themselves on one side or the other, so why not let your reading reflect the same? Here is a list of recommendations that anyone can get into, whether you’ve been hit by Cupid’s arrow or you’ve broken the bow in half. Happy reading!


With its origins in Christian and pagan festivals, Valentine’s Day is one of the longest-running holiday traditions. It’s a time of appreciation for those you love, romantic or platonic, and to be appreciated in return. Here are some recommendations to get you in the loving mood.

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

One of the most famous and well-known love stories, Pride and Prejudice is worth all of the love and more. Set in 19th century England, the story follows Elizabeth, an adventurous young daughter of the middle-class and marriage-obsessed Bennett family, who finds herself thrown together with the gloomy Mr. Darcy, a wealthy member of the gentry who seems to hate Elizabeth just as much as she hates him. Romance ensues. Make sure to also watch the 1995 BBC adaptation (available on Hulu and Amazon Prime) and the 2005 film (available on Amazon Prime) for extra Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy content.

  1. Beach Read by Emily Henry

Emily Henry has gained enormous popularity in the past two years for her lighthearted rom-com books, especially People We Meet on Vacation, but I personally prefer her 2020 novel Beach Read. It follows January, a rom-com writer, and Augustus, a somber literary fiction writer, two published authors with vastly different tastes. January and Augustus find themselves next-door neighbors in the beach town they both summer in, and bet each other they can’t write the other person’s genre. What I love about Beach Read is that it does not shy away from heavier subjects–like grief, cheating, and death–while still telling a great love story.


The anti-Valentine’s Day tradition has become more popular in the last few decades, a celebration of all things horror, grit, and pessimism. Some critics believe Valentine’s Day has become too commercialized, with its current emphasis on buying chocolate, flowers, and presents for others. For all those that celebrate not celebrating, here are some truly dark books to read in protest.

  1. Manhunt by Gretchen Felker-Martin

Set in a post-apocalyptic United States, this book follows two trans women, Beth and Fran, as they try to outlive the T-dominant people turned zombie-like creatures trying to kill them. This novel transforms the popular ‘gendercide’ trope, where one gender disappears from the earth, by instead focusing on the trans women and men that must fight to survive. Manhunt is gory and disturbing while also addressing the subject of love, though in a more balanced and realistic way that addresses trans romance and desire.

  1. I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

What begins as a story about a man named Jake bringing his girlfriend home to meet his family turns into a suspenseful thriller that leaves you at the end of the book thinking: What did I just read? All the reader knows for certain is what the main character, the unnamed girlfriend, continues to voice: I’m thinking of ending things. Horror fans will love the surprising twist ending and read it again to pick up on clues they may have missed the first time around.

-Hannah Eaton, CambridgeEditors team

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“Anxious People”: A Book for Everyone

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman cover image.

“. . . sometimes it’s easier to live with your own anxieties if you know that no one else is happy, either.”

Anxious People was one of the first books I read this year, and I can already tell it is going to be one of my favorites. Written by New York Times bestselling author Fredrik Backman, Anxious People was published April 25, 2019, and was adapted into a Netflix limited series in 2021. The story follows a group of people who have nothing in common but that they have all found themselves in the same place at the wrong time. Before you decide to read this book, I would suggest checking out the book’s trigger warnings, as there are some themes that may be sensitive to some readers.

The story begins with a bank robber, who isn’t really a bank robber, who tries to rob a bank. “Tries” being the key phrase here. When the bank robber flees the scene, they accidentally take a group of people hostage who were at an open house looking at an apartment. These eight strangers turn out to be the worst hostages ever, just as the bank robber is the worst bank robber ever. Each person has their own backstory, their own pains, and passions. These eight strangers with nothing in common are all connected to each other in one way or another, though none of them are aware of it. Throughout the hostage situation, it becomes clear to the strangers that their captor may need more saving than they ever did. Reluctant allies, the group bonds together, and learn more about each other than they ever knew about themselves before that fateful day. The story also follows two police officers and a physiatrist, who are connected to this story in ways that will shock you.

This book has quickly become one of my personal favorites and what I would declare a must read. It will make you laugh as much as it will make you cry. It’s truly one of the moments where you will wonder if the author crawled inside your head. The themes are so universally human, yet they feel extremely personal. You will feel both individually represented and simultaneously connected to other human beings around you. This is a book about a group of strangers, a bank robber, and a hostage situation, but it is so much more than that. There is a quote from the book that I believe captures the heart of the story: “Deep down, in memories that we might prefer to suppress even from ourselves, a lot of us know that the difference between us and that man on the bridge is smaller than we might think.” 

There are many circumstances that can lead us down so many different paths. What if you were born into a different family? What if you studied something different in college? What if you never met your current partner? This book captures the fact that we are all just a few wrong steps away from misfortunes. That there is sometimes a gray area between what is good and what is bad. That we could easily have been that homeless person on the street or that man standing on the bridge, and we should have empathy for those people as if they were us. Because, at the end of the day, we are all the same. We are all human.

Funny, relatable, tragic, and totally unique, Anxious People is a modern classic that captures the human experience and explores what it means to be a good person, and what even a good person will do when they’ve run out of options. It questions how we as human beings fit into a system that we have created, and the areas in which that system fails us. At the root of it, this book is about accepting one another, and understanding that we all, hostages and captors, bank tellers and bank robbers, heroes, and criminals, are human.

By Ally Orsini, CambridgeEditors Team

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Nonfiction Books That Will Change Your Life

For many readers, nonfiction can be an intimidating genre to break into.  However, nonfiction can often help people to change their habits, or keep them informed  on past, current, and future issues. Here, I have collected some nonfiction books I have loved and that have affected the way I think, act, and interact with others. So dive in. I promise, these books will change your life.

  1. The Sweetness of a Simple Life by Diana Beresford-Kroeger

Diana Beresford-Kroeger draws on her life as a botanist and scientist to teach a better way of life in her 2013 novel, The Sweetness of a Simple Life. Beresford-Kroeger is a Canadian citizen who grew up in Ireland learning ancient Celtic wisdom. She applies these principles of natural connection, language, and kindness to modern-day life with a series of guidelines for how to live a “simple life.” This book includes tips on a wide range of  things, including how to build a bird’s nest, how to use leftover meat bones to fertilize a garden, and even  how to reduce the chance of a heart attack with food. Beresford-Kroeger’s other works, The Global Forest and To Speak for the Trees, expand on her love of nature and Celtic wisdom.

  1. Radical Curiosity by Seth Goldenberg

While the market of pop science books is endlessly diluted by excess, this 2022 book was a standout in its emphasis on curiosity as society’s biggest kept secret. Seth Goldenberg makes the argument that curiosity is in short supply in the modern day, but harnessing its power could radically change the way we view our impact on society. As a more recent release, this book draws on the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic as a catalyst for “looking at the system in a fundamentally new way.”

  1. Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall

Hood Feminism is a breakthrough in feminist texts that reframes the conversation towards marginalized groups that created it in the first place. Mikki Kendall outlines the feminist movement as it was developed by and then shunned from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) women. Each essay in this collection reflects on how BIPOC women have continuously been left out of the mainstream white feminist movement, and how to change this. Kendall shows how the combination of racism, poverty, and hypersexualization of BIPOC women has been at the forefront of this divide, and how intersectionality is a more complex issue than mainstream feminists realize. 

  1. How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell

As deceiving as the title may seem, this book does not teach you how to do nothing. Instead, it teaches you how to slow down, look outside your window every now and again (or even go for a walk in the park), and distance yourself from what Jenny Odell labels “the attention economy.” Odell makes the argument that in modern society, it has become too easy to get swept up in “the attention economy” of today, with social media, the Internet, and technology at the forefront of our lives. Throughout the book, Odell develops an action plan for taking back our time that does not ignore the complexities of modern-day life and the importance of technology. Instead, Odell shows how we can disconnect from the negative effects and turn the rest into positive action.

  1. Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino

Trick Mirror was one of the most popular books when it was released in 2019, and for good reason. Expanding on previous essays and adding new ones, journalist Jia Tolentino gives a complex picture of the last two decades through a series of social and cultural questions that many people can relate to. In one essay, Tolentino focuses on the idea of “always optimizing,” wherein people, especially millennials, are constantly trying to find the best use of their time instead of taking a moment alone (similar to Odell’s theory in How to Do Nothing). In another, Tolentino tells the story of a falsified 2014 Rolling Stone article of a sexual assault case that happened at her alma mater, the University of Virginia. Tolentino covers a lot of ground in these essays, but ultimately does a great job of tying together underlying themes of social and cultural touchstones.

  1. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Similar to The Sweetness of a Simple Life, this 2013 book serves as a part-memoir and part-instruction guide on how to live a more environmentally-friendly life. Botanist and Potawatomi scientist Robin Wall Kimmerer draws on a lifetime of studying plants, indigenous culture, and her own personal story of motherhood. Wall Kimmerer’s love of nature is infectious, and with each page, she manages to inspire the reader to do better. Her argument for a renewed bond between people and nature relies on a reciprocal culture of gratitude, in which people understand that they are indebted to the natural world in the same way as it is to them.  

Happy reading!

-Hannah Eaton, CambridgeEditors Team

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Prince Harry’s Record-Breaking “Spare”

The cover of Prince Harry’s memoir Spare.

Spare, Prince Harry’s memoir, was released on January 10, 2023. The long-anticipated novel was ghost-written by J. R. Moehringer and published by Penguin Random House. This book has created history, breaking the Guinness Book of World Records record for fastest-selling non-fiction book. Spare, in its first week after publication, sold 3.2 million copies worldwide. Out of the 3.2 million copies sold, 1.6 million sales came from American buyers. Spare now replaces the previous record holder, A Promised Land, President Barack Obama’s memoir, which sold 1.7 million copies in its first week after publication.  

The memoir follows Prince Harry’s life, starting with his childhood before his mother, Princess Diana, tragically died. He talks about how the grief changed him; how he blamed the press for the death of his mother and then understandably grew a distaste for the spotlight. The book then takes us through his joining the British Army, along with the repercussions of this, including post-traumatic stress and panic attacks, and ultimately, his struggle to find true love. This all changed when he met Meghan Markle. The public quickly fell in love with the pair. Meghan was a princess of the people that rivaled his own mother’s legacy. The fairytale wedding and whirlwind romance were quickly overshadowed by a whole new array of obstacles brought onto the couple by the press, including racism, lies, and abuse that led to Harry’s decision to leave the royal family.

To say this book has been long anticipated is an understatement. Globally, there has been an obsession with this family—particularly their secrets since the death of Princess Diana. That it’s nearly unheard of for someone to remove themselves from the royal family is reason enough for Prince Harry’s decision to spark attention, but the fact that in doing so, he is following in his mother’s footsteps, is enough to cause record-breaking intrigue worldwide. With the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ, it’s no wonder this book is already record-breaking.

One might question Prince Harry’s reasoning for releasing such a book and the timing of it. Was it purposely released after the queen had passed? According to journalist Rebecca Mead’s New Yorker article “The Haunting of Prince Harry,” Harry stated that this book was “—an invitation to reconciliation, addressed to his father and brother—a way of speaking to them publicly when all his efforts to address them privately have failed to persuade. Spare is, you might say, Prince Harry’s ‘Mousetrap’—a literary device intended to catch the conscience of the King, and the King after him.”

This book, and it’s wild success, are just proof that at its core, family dynamics are universally complicated. There is a reason that so many different people feel the need to read this book. While a common interest in the royal family and drama in general is definitely a factor, it’s also because every family has its own form of dysfunction. Even though there are very few people who can relate to the royal family in any other way, almost everyone can relate to their family dynamics on some level. While the book is receiving mixed reviews so far, the successful launch can be explained by human nature, both in uncovering the secrets of a notoriously mysterious family, as well as connecting to the universal experience of family drama. 

-Ally Orsini, CambridgeEditors Team

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The Triumphs and Tears of Women Talking

The cast of Women Talking / Credit: Michael Gibson/United Artists Releasing

While the trend of book-to-movie adaptations has become excessive and (in some instances) disappointing in recent years, the January release of Women Talking, directed by Canadian filmmaker Sarah Polley, has proven to be an important exception. 

Based on a real tragedy in a Bolivian colony, the 2018 novel by Miriam Toews follows a Mennonite community located in rural Canada where a stream of sexual assaults have affected the women of the colony. The story follows a subsequent meeting where an elected group of colony women must decide how to move forward in the aftermath of such violent and horrific crimes. 

When a story as unique and powerful as this one is adapted for the screen, there is the fear that something will be missing in the translation. However, screenwriter Sarah Polley has managed to capture the essence of Women Talking while also opening the door for more conversations on the relationships between survivors of sexual assault.

A major difference that Polley utilized between page and screen was a shifting narrator.  In the novel, the colony teacher August Epp takes the minutes for the women’s meeting and narrates through his notes. In the movie, our narrator is Autje, played by Kate Hallet, a teenager attending the meeting. 

While this difference does not dramatically change the story’s content, it does change the audience’s perception of the events. The youthful voice of Autje recollecting the crimes against the women is enough to bring even the most stoic viewer to tears. 

The movie emphasizes the divisiveness of the characters. Mariche, played by Jessie Buckley, believes that forgiving the men of their crimes is the only way to reach heaven, while Salome, played byClaire Foy, states that she can not forgive them and will turn her back on her religion if she is forced to stay. 

Mariche, in fact, butts heads with each of the women, even accusing her sister Mejal, played by Michelle McLeod, of faking her panic attacks “for attention.” This survivor-on-survivor attack brings into question the responses to trauma and the different ways they manifest. Mariche is incorrect for attacking Mejal, but the audience is aware that this is a trauma response, and her later apology is both understood and accepted.

A new inclusion in the story was an emotional scene where Mariche’s mother Greta, played bySheila McCarthy, apologizes for her role of complicity by not protecting Mariche from her abusive husband. 

Each scene of disunity among the women effectively shows the multifaceted path of assault survivors. There is not one clear-cut way to move forward, nor is there one way to deal with the years of struggle that these women had to endure and learn to overcome. But as Polley shows in the final scenes, it is possible to work together through these moments to prioritize recovery.

On January 24, the Academy Award nomination list was released, with Polley earning a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for Women Talking. A win for this movie would go a long way to encourage more media about sexual assault survivors and show audiences that these stories are necessary for our current social culture.

You can see Women Talking in theaters now.

Hannah Eaton, CambridgeEditors Team

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Beacon Hill Books and Cafe: A Book Lover’s Dream

Interior of Beacon Hill Books and Cafe Located In Boston MA.

It’s getting easier to resist one-click buying books from Amazon when you live in a city like Boston. There are a handful of independent bookstores in the city alone, not including the outside neighborhoods, and the newest one to open may just be the cutest. Bursting with New England charm, Beacon Hill Bookstore and Cafe, a four-level bookstore located in the heart of Beacon Hill, is bound to leave you feeling inspired. 

Each level of this charming bookstore holds different genres. The ground floor, where the cafe is located, has cookbooks. The first floor, where you enter from the street, has nonfiction and memoirs, including a specific shelf with a plaque that reads 02114, the zip code for the area, solely dedicated to books that cover Boston history, news, and other stories. You can also find some merchandise for the store, such as candles that are meant to smell like the bookstore, the most adorable red pencils you’ll ever find, tote bags sporting the store’s mascot Paige the squirrel, and even reading glasses. On the second floor, you’ll find fiction, with dedicated thriller, romance, and fantasy sections. There are also little nooks, one dedicated to architecture, design, and fashion, and the other to world travels. 

One of the coolest things about this bookstore is its display of Persephone Books. Persephone Books is a book publisher and seller that reprints neglected fiction and non-fiction, mostly from female writers from the mid-twentieth century. These are books that were out of print that the publishers decided deserved more attention. The name Persephone comes from the Greek goddess and was meant to symbolize female creativity. The titles are hand-picked and republished, all with the same sleek gray cover. Beacon Hill Books and Cafe is a female-owned business, which makes their dedication to Persephone Books feel even more important. 

The top floor of the bookstore may just be the best of all. This floor is dedicated to children’s books, and it feels like stepping straight into a fairytale. There are a number of things that make this particular level special; the tiny red door labeled 71 ½ with the golden lion knocker that leads into the main room of children’s books, Paige the squirrel stuffed animals amongst the shelves, the beautiful books wall to wall. All of these things make this floor feel like stepping into Narnia, but nothing beats the train that wraps around the ceiling. There’s a big red button that you can push that turns on the train, and you can watch as it wraps around the room. There is also a dedicated Young Adult room on this floor, and while there are fewer bells and whistles, this little corner of the bookstore is just as cozy and magical as the rest. 

Once you’ve had your fill of books (which, who are we kidding, will never happen,) you can head back downstairs to the cafe area. While the indoor dining area is just as pretty as the rest of the bookstore, the real star is the outdoor courtyard. This courtyard can be seen from windows throughout the bookstore and can be entered either from within the bookstore on the first level, or from the street through a small, almost hidden entry way that can only be described as a hobbit hole. The cafe has five different menus; breakfast, lunch, drinks, afternoon tea, and sips and savory. The afternoon tea menu is available Sundays from 12-5 pm.


Whether you’re a local or just in the area for a visit, Beacon Hill Books and Cafe is worth the visit. With a mix of bestsellers and unique titles, charming old New England atmosphere, and the ability to support an independent, woman-owned business, this bookstore is a cannot miss. Warning: You will feel like you’ve been transported into the world of your favorite novels. 

Ally Orsini, CambridgeEditors Team

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