November finished and only one month left in 2022. Yikes. I’m thankful for a strong reading month: 15 books and 9 of them were 4 stars or better. I’m also coming back to myself and able to corral my thoughts to write reviews again which feels good.
The podcast is continuing to grow in popularity so the increased number of episodes I co-host do take up more of my book brain, but I’m hoping to stay steady with 2 new reviews a week. Thank you, lovely readers for your ongoing support!
Someday, Maybe begins with the shocking death of a beloved husband. Even worse, it is the wife, Eve who discovers his body. This is not a thriller or mystery, but a beautifully written novel about a young British Nigerian woman’s grief and the aftermath of her husband’s death. The novel’s tension is supplied by their differences in race and wealth, something that mattered nothing to them, but which his mother fights even after his death. This is intense reading, but there is so much love and humor to be found in Eve’s family and friends as they help her navigate her grief.
Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese: Review to follow
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver: I loved this Appalachian modern-day David Copperfield. My review
Carlisle has a last chance to reunite with her estranged father before he dies. Doing so means coming to terms with events from the past that let perceptions of betrayal separate her from her father and his partner. They’re Going to Love You is set in the world of ballet which adds to its allure, but the events causing the familial breakdown were muddy. Enough so that I didn’t understand how they could cause such a drastic break. That aspect of the book slid by me, but I enjoyed the devotion to a demanding craft like ballet.
Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz: Unique mystery, review to follow
It’s 2008 in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in London. Chani is 19 which is almost past marriageable age so when Baruch Levy asks for her hand her family says yes. The Marrying of Chani Kaufman is a novel about their lives as they prepare for marriage. Chani and Baruch narrate as do his best friend, Avrami, who’s leading a secret life with a girl from the outside, and Rivka, the rabbi’s wife who is preparing Chani for her new role in the world, but is questioning her own marriage.
This is challenging reading for anyone not immersed in their faith. What made it worthwhile is how Harris strikes a balance between two disparate worlds. There is the deep beauty in tradition, community, in the certainty of believing you’re living your life exactly as it is meant to be, but it plays out against the rigidity of gender roles that only affect women and the fact that there’s no room for questioning or dialogue. I’m still thinking about this book.
All the Broken Places by John Boyne: Review to follow
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*I received a free copy of They’re Going to Love You from Doubleday in exchange for an honest review.*