My latest Library Haul took place just before the recent holiday weekend and I was happy to have one of my holds just come in. The Mothers by Brit Bennett has received so much praise since it was released around this same time last year, making me very eager to get acquainted with it.
The leading lady of this debut novel is Nadia Turner, a seventeen year old girl mourning the tragic passing of her mother. She takes comfort in the arms of Luke, son of the local pastor and former football player who now works at a diner due to an injury that dashed his pro athlete dreams.
That relationship leads to an unexpected pregnancy and abortion, both of which Nadia keeps secret over the years. That secret becomes hard to hold on to when Luke becomes involved with Aubrey, a childhood friend of Nadia's whose devout faith would be shattered by such a revelation. From what I've heard, this is a beautifully written story of love,loss and choices made or not made.
I will wait until the readathon is over to start this book but that wait is going to be tough. Then again, it did take a good amount of time for me to get it from the library in the first place and patience is a virtue that definitely pays off when it comes to books. I do hope that we will have another book from Ms. Bennett soon, as her writing sounds like the kind you want to come home to again and again:
Naturally, I couldn't take only one book out of the library(no, I really couldn't) and paired The Mothers with a most unlikely partner indeed. Stephen King's The Bazaar of Bad Dreams is his most recent short story collection,with a few poems included, and I'm a diehard fan of his brand of short story telling.
Some of the stories are out right horror,such as "The Bad Little Kid", which takes bullying to a whole new level, while others like "Ur", which offers up an e-reader with books that are truly out of this world, have a touch of fantasy to them. Many of them fall into the realistic realm of when bad things happen to good people like "Under the Weather" and "Batman and Robin have an Altercation."
I did start this book already,mainly because I had finished two domestic dramas in a row and needed something completely different for a change of pace. Truth be told, I'm still reading it now and it's sort of cheating on my readathon but not really as a few of these strange tales certainly qualify for the sci-fi/fantasy requirements there.
What I do like best about this collection are the author's notes that headline each entry, giving them that personal touch that means so much. It's almost like having Stephen King sitting beside you to offer a little commentary, a real literary bonus indeed:
One of them,Barkskins by Annie Proulx,I did consider borrowing from the library but since it's a rather long and challenging read, it felt best to get myself a copy to keep.
The novel follows two Frenchmen,Rene and Charles, who emigrate to Canada(then called New France) in 1693 and their descendants who follow their forefathers in the lumber business. Both men are bound to a feudal lord yet one of them escapes his servitude and makes his own timber empire while the other marries a local woman not by choice.
The book covers about 300 years, with both families crisscrossing their lives at odd times as well as tracking the course of the lumber industry and the ecological consequences of persisting in that field. I haven't read a lot of Proulx's work other than Brokeback Mountain and yet, something about this book intrigues me. Perhaps it's the length of the story or the multi-generational aspect of it or just the lavish amount of praise.
Or maybe, it's that need for complete immersion that I sometimes get(particularly when watching the news these days) and that only a book can give me. Barkskins should provide that and then some:
Meanwhile, watching the miniseries The White Princess lately, as well as finishing The Taming of the Queen, has put me in the mood for some more Philippa Gregory.
Three Sisters,Three Queens highlights three of female family members connected to Henry Vlll in his early years- betrothed bride Katherine of Aragon, Margaret Tudor who becomes the Queen of Scotland and her younger sister Mary.
While Margaret and Katherine literally find themselves at war with one another, Mary upturns her elder sister's personal ambitions in a most surprising way that has dire consequences for more than one party.
Based on some of the Goodreads entries that I've read, the novel focuses mainly on Margaret, which I find interesting as I really don't know much about her. Yes, this is historical fiction but when it's as well researched and thought out as Gregory's works tend to be, I don't mind having this as a good source of knowledge to start from:
I may have to return to the library soon than expected, as another one of my holds has come in(The Wangs vs. The World by Jade Chang) and by that time, the readathon will be over. Don't get me wrong, I'm having fun with Sci-Fi Summer but it is tricky to have so many books on my plate, so to speak.
However, this is summer time reading season and an activity that allows me to stay safely indoors and out of the gruesome glare of the sun, which makes it all worth it. I don't know how folks can actually read on the beach in true comfort but, hey, to each their own: