THE INHERTIANCE OF ORQUIDEA DIVINA – Zoraida Córdova

“She was the mouth of an ancient god who would swallow the world.  She was an ocean of stories, memories, thousands of little moments that made up her whole being.” Zoraida Córdova’s The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina (Atria Books 2021) is an absolute delight of a novel.  It’s House of Spirits meets Practical Magic meetsContinue reading “THE INHERTIANCE OF ORQUIDEA DIVINA – Zoraida Córdova”

BEASTS OF PREY – Ayana Gray

Ayana Gray’s Beasts of Prey (Putnam 2021) has been hanging out on my TBR since Christmas.  Following Children of Blood and Bone (we won’t discuss the second installment in *that* series), I developed an appreciation for Pan-African young adult fantasy novels, and there are elements of Beasts of Prey that remind me of Children ofContinue reading “BEASTS OF PREY – Ayana Gray”

HOW THE ONE-ARMED SISTER SWEEPS HER HOUSE – Cherie Jones

I rarely post trigger/content warnings, and I try to avoid reviews with them – that’s my reading preference.  You may prefer them.  And that’s perfectly acceptable.  That said, Cherie Jones’s How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps her House (Little, Brown & Co., 2021) is one TW/CW after the other: infanticide, incest, rape, child molestation, domestic violence,Continue reading “HOW THE ONE-ARMED SISTER SWEEPS HER HOUSE – Cherie Jones”

SMALL THINGS LIKE THESE – Claire Keegan

My sixth read of the 2022 Booker Prize longlist was Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These (Grove Press 2021).  This slim novella is the shortest entry in Booker history (I think), and it’s easily read in one sitting.   Set at Christmas in 1985 Ireland, it’s best read during the winter months, ideally with snow onContinue reading “SMALL THINGS LIKE THESE – Claire Keegan”

THE TREES – Percival Everett

My fifth read of the 2022 Booker Prize longlist was Percival Everett’s The Trees (Graywolf Press 2021).  I read it in two days, devouring each hilarious and devastatingly brutal word. I didn’t have a funny novel about lynchings and racism on my bingo card but thank goodness the Booker longlist put this novel in frontContinue reading “THE TREES – Percival Everett”

OH WILLIAM! – Elizabeth Strout

My fourth read of the 2022 Booker Prize longlist was Elizabeth Strout’s Oh William! (Random House 2021).  Despite being the third in a trilogy, Oh William is crafted such that it can be read as a standalone.  Written as a fictional memoir, the novel scratches at some things I typically dislike in fiction. Not surprisingly,Continue reading “OH WILLIAM! – Elizabeth Strout”

A CONSPIRACY OF MOTHERS – Collen van Niekerk

South African. Historical. Magical Realism.  Colleen Van Niekerk’s A Conspiracy of Mothers (Little A 2021) is a novel of mothers and the lengths they will go to protect their children.  It’s a novel of magic and calling on the ancestors. It’s a novel of Black, coloured, and white.  It’s a novel of forbidden love, violentContinue reading “A CONSPIRACY OF MOTHERS – Collen van Niekerk”

THE HIGH HOUSE – Jessie Greengrass

It’s fitting that the sky is pouring buckets as I write this review/reaction to Jessie Greengrass’s The High House (Scribner 2021), a climate fiction (cli fi) novel in which weather becomes unpredictable and the sea takes back the earth.  Much like the other environmental dystopian reads of late, the novel focuses on family dynamics.  (eg.Continue reading “THE HIGH HOUSE – Jessie Greengrass”

THE LOVE SONGS OF W.E.B. Du BOIS – Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

Honorée Fanonne Jeffers’s debut novel, The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois (Harper 2021), is a five-star historical saga.  Jeffers’s background in poetry gives this chunky book a cadence and rhythm that carries the voices of the silenced ancestors such they stay with you long after the last page.  The truths and horrors of AmericanContinue reading “THE LOVE SONGS OF W.E.B. Du BOIS – Honorée Fanonne Jeffers”

THAT SUMMER – Jennifer Weiner

The title of Jennifer Weiner’s That Summer (Atria Books 2021) immediately brought a smile to my face as I recalled another That Summer.  When the novel started with “She is fifteen years old that summer,” I was reminded even more of Sarah Dessen’s 1996 novel about fifteen-year-old Haven, a novel set at the beach duringContinue reading “THAT SUMMER – Jennifer Weiner”