Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A CHANGE OF TIME by Ida Jessen































ARCHIPELAGO PRESS
Publishing date March 29, 2019

About

A penetrating study of a woman who, in the wake of her domineering husband's death, must embrace her newfound freedom and redefine herself.

Set in rural Denmark in the early 20th century, A Change of Time tells the story of a schoolteacher whose husband, the town doctor, has passed away. Her subsequent diary entries form an intimate portrait of a woman rebuilding her identity, and a small rural town whose path to modernity echoes her own path to joyful independence.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

LITTLE by Edward Carey






























5/5

Personal copy

Recommend ed by WORD BY WORD

About

An amazing achievement...A compulsively readable novel, so canny and weird and surfeited with the reality of human capacity and ingenuity that I am stymied for comparison. Dickens and David Lynch? Defoe meets Margaret Atwood? Judge for yourself." --Gregory Maguire, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked
The wry, macabre, unforgettable tale of an ambitious orphan in Revolutionary Paris, befriended by royalty and radicals, who transforms herself into the legendary Madame Tussaud. 


In 1761, a tiny, odd-looking girl named Marie is born in a village in Switzerland. After the death of her parents, she is apprenticed to an eccentric wax sculptor and whisked off to the seamy streets of Paris, where they meet a domineering widow and her quiet, pale son. Together, they convert an abandoned monkey house into an exhibition hall for wax heads, and the spectacle becomes a sensation. As word of her artistic talent spreads, Marie is called to Versailles, where she tutors a princess and saves Marie Antoinette in childbirth. But outside the palace walls, Paris is roiling: The revolutionary mob is demanding heads, and . . . at the wax museum, heads are what they do.




Monday, November 5, 2018

THE FROLIC OF THE BEASTS by Yukio Mishima































Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publishing date November 27, 2018

About

Translated into English for the first time, a gripping short novel about an affair gone wrong, from the author of the Sea of Fertility tetralogy.

Set in rural Japan shortly after World War II, The Frolic of the Beasts tells the story of a strange and utterly absorbing love triangle between a former university student, Koji; his would-be mentor, the eminent literary critic Ippei Kusakudo; and Ippei's beautiful, enigmatic wife, Yuko. When brought face-to-face with one of Ippei's many marital indiscretions, Koji finds his growing desire for Yuko compels him to action in a way that changes all three of their lives profoundly. Originally published in 1961 and now available in English for the first time, The Frolic of the Beasts is a haunting examination of the various guises we assume throughout our lives, and a tale of psychological self-entrapment, seduction, and crime.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

THE PUMILIO CHILD by Judy McInerney






























3/5
Unbound
Available

About
The Pumilio Child is a dark, unsettling thriller that challenges the perception that Italy during the Renaissance was cultured and refined.  The day-to-day reality was surprisingly barbaric.
The characters in Andrea Mantegna’s dazzling family fresco in the Gonzaga Palace in Mantua come to life to reveal the story of the survival of a young slavewoman. Ya Ling’s cultured life of privilege in Beijing is cruelly cut short when she is abducted and shipped to the slave market in Venice. When celebrated Renaissance artist Mantegna sees her chained to a post, although his finances are perilous, he digs deep and buys her. His initial intention is to paint her exotic beauty, but he soon moves her into the harness room for pleasures of a more private nature.
Ya Ling has two ambitions, to ruin Mantegna, then to escape her brutal and sordid life in Mantua and return back to her family in China. However, Mantegna’s latest commission, two huge frescos for the ruling Gonzaga family, make him invincible.
This gripping story is interwoven with a subplot introducing a bizarre and vicious practice that took place during Renaissance times. It was so corrupt and disturbing it has been wiped from history.

A little about the author;
Judy McInerney has lived and worked in London for most of her professional life. Living in the Middle East, she managed to get lost in the desert, and to live through a military coup. After teaching in Abu Dhabi and starting her own business in Turkey, she returned to London and completed a creative writing course at Goldsmiths. Writing for food and travel guides has enabled her to justify travelling and eating out far too often.
As a frequent traveller to China over the last thirty years she has seen the country undergo massive seismic changes, - from the times of Mao jackets and vast shoals of bicycles meandering along every hutong, to the present day, where Beijing is bigger than Belgium and has six million cars. She still travels in China each year to keep in close touch with family there. She also has a longstanding love affair with Italy, particularly the Renaissance cities of the north. Mantua is an undiscovered gem, both magical and macabre.

My View
I wish I could have liked this novel. 
The author used a well known Italian Renaissance artist Mantegna and vilified  him in so many ways, his actions towards his family, the cruelty towards Ya Ling are grusome.
As I read this fictional history a thought came to mind throughout,should a literary work demonize a person, in this case an artist whose works sit in museums around the world.

This historical novel would have been a fine read had the author chosen to use an artist whose name is fictitious.

I kept checking references to Mantegna throughout the novel. 


Thank you NetGalley for this advance copy.
Thank you Unboud for this advance copy



Friday, October 19, 2018

THE FARM by Joanne Ramos






























5.5

Random House
Publishing date May 19, 2019


About