Thursday, July 20, 2017

SISTERS by Lily Tuck

Grove Atlantic
Literary Fiction
Publishing Date 5 September, 2017
American Literature

In her singular new novel Sisters, Tuck gives a very different portrait of marital life, exposing the intricacies and scandals of a new marriage sprung from betrayal.
Tuck’s unnamed narrator lives with her new husband, his two teenagers, and the unbanishable presence of his first wife—known only as she. Obsessed with her, our narrator moves through her days presided over by the all-too-real ghost of the first marriage, fantasizing about how the first wife lives her life. Will the narrator ever equal she intellectually, or ever forget the betrayal that lies between them? And what of the secrets between her husband and she, from which the narrator is excluded? The daring and precise build up to an eerily wonderful denouement is a triumph of subtlety and surprise.
With Sisters, Lily Tuck delivers riveting psychological portrait of marriage, infidelity, and obsession; charting with elegance and insight love in all its phases.

My view

I read this " novella " in one sitting. It felt as if the author was taking notes, preparing for a novel. The characters are one dimensional, we never get to know them fully. Long annotations fill the pages never or little corresponds to the story line.
The end reads like a comedy punch line, the only paragraph I found of interest.
I could not recommend this novella.

Thank you NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for this arc.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

STAY WITH ME by Ayobami Adebayo


272 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf 
  • Pub Date 8.22.'17
  • Random House 
  • Nigerian Literature

Shortlisted for the prestigious Bailey's Prize 2017 and set in Nigeria

Yejide and Akin have been married since they met and fell in love at university. Though many expected Akin to take several wives, he and Yejide have always agreed: polygamy is not for them. But four years into their marriage--after consulting fertility doctors and healers, trying strange teas and unlikely cures--Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time--until her family arrives on her doorstep with a young woman they introduce as Akin's second wife. Furious, shocked, and livid with jealousy, Yejide knows the only way to save her marriage is to get pregnant. Which, finally, she does--but at a cost far greater than she could have dared to imagine. An electrifying novel of enormous emotional power, Stay With Me asks how much we can sacrifice for the sake of family.

My view
This is Ayobamy Adebayo's first novel. I liked the writing, it flowed nicely. Where I found the novel not quite believable I subtracted the 5 it deserved for a 4. When I read a work taking place in a culture I am not particularly familiar with I try to remember our ways and believes might differ which is why I love translated works.
This novel takes place in Nigeria among upper middle class, University educated characters. For the story line to work a certain incident needs to happen, without giving anything away, could such happen? 
The main protagonist's Yejide, Akin and Dotun come across well rounded, believable characters, the writing is good, the chapters are easy to follow, taking place in the past and present. Each main character narrates his/her point of view throughout the chapters, very well done.
Even if part of the story line isn't quite believable, sickle cell disease is dealt with heart breaking accuracy, the author introduces this condition within the novel in a beautiful manner.
I liked this novel a view brings up an incident which in no way should stop anybody from reading  "STAY WITH ME "  

Highly recommend

Thank you NetGalley and Knopf for this arc

Sunday, July 2, 2017

LILLI DE JONG by Janet Benton

Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Nan A. Talese (May 16, 2017)
  • Publication Date: May 16, 2017
A young woman finds the most powerful love of her life when she gives birth at an institution for unwed mothers in 1883 Philadelphia. She is told she must give up her daughter to avoid a life of poverty and shame. But she chooses to keep her.