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”

THE WINNERS – Fredrik Backman

“You run on ahead.” I fully expected Fredrik Backman to shatter my heart with The Winners (Atria 2022), and the third and final installment of the Beartown trilogy did just that.  But also as expected, it picked the pieces up, held them tenderly, and whispered hope, love, resilience, and strength. The following is a quoteContinue reading “THE WINNERS – Fredrik Backman”

THE FORTUNES OF JADED WOMEN – Carolyn Huynh

“Because there was nothing wrong with having Vietnamese daughters. It was how the world treated them that turned it into a curse.” Carolyn Huynh’s The Fortunes of Jaded Women (Atria Books 2022) was a highly anticipated release for me.  Magical realism, historical fiction, Asian diaspora, a matrilineal family saga… I was sold. Now that I’veContinue reading “THE FORTUNES OF JADED WOMEN – Carolyn Huynh”

US AGAINST YOU – Fredrik Backman

“People we love will die.  We will bury our children beneath our most beautiful trees.” “On the hilltop stand two girls, watching the car disappear.  They’ll soon be sixteen. One of them is holding a guitar, the other a rifle.” Fredrik Backman is easily one of my top five contemporary authors.  The following is quoteContinue reading “US AGAINST YOU – Fredrik Backman”

BEARTOWN – Fredrik Backman

“Late one evening toward the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barreled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else’s forehead, and pulled the trigger. This is the story of how we got there.” With perhaps the most memorable of openings, Fredrik Backman begins Beartown (Atria 2017, English translation byContinue reading “BEARTOWN – Fredrik Backman”

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”

ANXIOUS PEOPLE – Fredrik Backman

“Our hearts are bars of soap that we keep losing hold of…” If you’re going to split a book into the next year, you better make sure it’s a damn good one.  Otherwise, you’ll be cursed to read lukewarm works that just miss the mark for the entire year. (A bookish superstition that I’m notContinue reading “ANXIOUS PEOPLE – Fredrik Backman”

WE ARE NOT LIKE THEM – Christine Pride & Jo Piazza

I’ve read mixed reviews of Christine Pride and Jo Piazza’s joint novel We Are Not Like Them (Atria Books, 2021), but this was to be expected with such a heavy topic.  Some of the criticism was very fair, but much of it revolved around unrealistic expectations and a failure to recognize the delicate balance PrideContinue reading “WE ARE NOT LIKE THEM – Christine Pride & Jo Piazza”

THE OTHER BLACK GIRL – Zakiya Dalila Harris

Zakiya Dalila Harris’s The Other Black Girl (Atria Books, 2021) is a surprising, unsettling, laugh out loud, edge of your seat sort of read that comfortably sets you down one path before abruptly shifting gears and leaving the reader gulping up each page to the end in what becomes one hell of an unexpected ride. Continue reading “THE OTHER BLACK GIRL – Zakiya Dalila Harris”