Saturday, August 8, 2020

ANIMAL SPIRIT by Francesca Marciano

Available now

Loved, loved every short story in Animal Spirit. Francesca Marciano is a talented writer. This is such an elegantly written book. Joy and heartache are  handled with an unsentimental pen, and touch your senses with human understanding.  

Read it, even if short stories isn't your usual fare

Thursday, March 5, 2020

THE MERCIES by Kiran Millwood Hargrave


Little Brown and Company
Historical Fiction
Available Now


Finnmark, Norway, 1617. Twenty-year-old Maren Magnusdatter stands on the craggy coast, watching the sea break into a sudden and reckless storm. Forty fishermen, including her brother and father, are drowned and left broken on the rocks below. With the menfolk wiped out, the women of the tiny Arctic town of Vardø must fend for themselves.
Three years later, a stranger arrives on their shore. Absalom Cornet comes from Scotland, where he burned witches in the northern isles. He brings with him his young Norwegian wife, Ursa, who is both heady with her husband's authority and terrified by it. In Vardø, and in Maren, Ursa sees something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place untouched by God, and flooded with a mighty evil. As Maren and Ursa are drawn to one another in ways that surprise them both, the island begins to close in on them, with Absalom's iron rule threatening Vardø's very existence.
Inspired by the real events of the Vardø storm and the 1621 witch trials, The Mercies is a story of love, evil, and obsession, set at the edge of civilization.

I am only half way through his book...and the writing

Friday, February 21, 2020

CONJURE WOMEN by Afia Atakora


Random House Publishing Group
Publishing date April 7, 2020


Conjure Women is a sweeping story that brings the world of the South before and after the Civil War vividly to life. Spanning eras and generations, it tells of the lives of three unforgettable women: Miss May Belle, a wise healing woman; her precocious and observant daughter Rue, who is reluctant to follow in her mother’s footsteps as a midwife; and their master’s daughter Varina. The secrets and bonds among these women and their community come to a head at the beginning of a war and at the birth of an accursed child, who sets the townspeople alight with fear and a spreading superstition that threatens their newly won, tenuous freedom.
Magnificently written, brilliantly researched, richly imagined, Conjure Women moves back and forth in time to tell the haunting story of Rue, Varina, and May Belle, their passions and friendships, and the lengths they will go to save themselves and those they love.

Conjure Women
Afia Atakora
Publishing date April 7, 2020

Conjure Women describes life on a Southern Plantation starting in 1854 and ending with freedom in 1867.

Author Afia Atakora narrates the lives of slaves, their interaction,  all which builds a community all it entails.   

We meet May Belle mother to Rue, both healers...birthing healthy, strong babies, responsible for the mating of slaves to produce the strongest babies. This practice being profitable to plantation masters.

The many characters inhabiting this beauifuly written book will bring you joy and ire.

I suggeste the reader take time to read "Author's notes" characters in this novel are based on real people which I found interesting.

 "A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews"

Read this novel

Thank you Random House Publishing and NetGalley


Sunday, January 19, 2020

THE CASTLE OF WHISPERS by Carol Martinez. 2


This Goncourt Lyceens Award–winning novel is “a powerfully visualized magic-realist fable” of secrets, faith, and female defiance in twelfth century France (Kirkus Reviews).
France, 1187. On the day of her wedding, the beautiful fifteen-year-old Esclarmonde scandalizes the court when she refuses to marry the knight chosen by her father, the brutish lord of the domain of Whispers. Defying her father’s wishes, she vows to give herself to God. To punish her willfulness, her father imprisons her in a cell adjoining the castle’s chapel.
Instead of the peaceful solitude she sought, Esclarmonde finds in her cell the crossroads between the living and the dead. Walled in, with nothing but a single barred window connecting her to the outside world, Esclarmonde exerts a mysterious power over the kingdom. The virgin sorceress reaches a saint-like status, and men and women journey from far and wide to hear her speak. When even her own father falls under her sway, Esclarmonde persuades him to undertake an ill-fated war in the Holy Land.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

APEIROGON by Colum McCann. 1

Publishing date February 25, 2020


Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. They inhabit a world of conflict that colors every aspect of their daily lives, from the roads they are allowed to drive on, to the schools their daughters, Abir and Smadar, each attend, to the checkpoints, both physical and emotional, they must negotiate.

Their worlds shift irreparably after ten-year-old Abir is killed by a rubber bullet and thirteen-year-old Smadar becomes the victim of suicide bombers. When Bassam and Rami learn of each other’s stories, they recognize the loss that connects them and they attempt to use their grief as a weapon for peace.

McCann crafts Apeirogon out of a universe of fictional and nonfictional material. He crosses centuries and continents, stitching together time, art, history, nature, and politics in a tale both heartbreaking and hopeful. Musical, cinematic, muscular, delicate, and soaring, Apeirogon is a novel for our time.