It’s odd to say, but for the most part November felt like a normal month. So, either I’m acclimating to chaos or my memory has blanked out the month. What I do know is that it was a Wild West rodeo for my reading. There was the fun of getting to read whatever I felt like and the not-so-fun inability to settle down into books I’d expected to love. Instead I was repeatedly surprised by what I loved and what didn’t work at all.
VenCo takes something as small as a silver spoon and turns it into the talisman needed to bring a diverse group of women together before the patriarchy destroys the planet. Set in Salem, MA this is a clever repudiation of the Salem witch trials as each of the women have talents they’ve never explored, but need to awaken now as they try and find the last woman to close the circle. A definite feminist slant, always fun for me, but it faltered a bit by the end.
All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir: Review to come
The Passage is a highly rated sci-fi/fantasy series, but while I was pulled in, by the end of Part I I thought I was re-reading Stephen King’s The Stand. You have man messing around where he shouldn’t, trying to weaponize deadly disease, and (surprise!) it goes horribly wrong. I realize there are only so many apocalyptic themes to choose from, but this read like ground covered by King back in 1978. Not fresh enough to stay with for 760 pages.
If you’re a fan of Jesmyn Ward then Let Us Descend is likely to cement your appreciation of her. I’d never read her before and this story of a young slave whose mother is sold away from her and who is then sold herself is brutally realistic and the kind of reading I often seek out, but this is unremitting in its pain. I finished the book because Ward’s writing is stunning, but this story, the magical realism, and its pace—the slow tortuous march on foot into the Deep South requires head space that I didn’t have.
Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen: A backlist novel about domestic abuse. Review to follow
That’s all for my November. I hope everyone had a quiet Thanksgiving and can celebrate the holidays with a minimum of stress. And lots of great reading!
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*I received a free copy of Let Us Descend from Scribner in exchange for an honest review.*