WOMAN OF LIGHT – Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s Woman of Light (One World, Penguin Random House 2022) was a highly anticipated read and yet another example of where my expectations for a book are unrealized.  One could argue that it was over-hyped and that’s why it fell short, but I’d argue that its failings are due to not providing enough fleshContinue reading “WOMAN OF LIGHT – Kali Fajardo-Anstine”

TAKE MY HAND – Dolen Perkins-Valdez

In 1973 Montgomery, Alabama, Minnie Lee and Mary Alice Relf, sisters both under the age of fifteen, were sterilized without their consent. The procedure was ordered and performed by a federally funded agency. Their social worker reported it to a local attorney, who filed a lawsuit.  Relf v. Weinberger brought to light the thousands ofContinue reading “TAKE MY HAND – Dolen Perkins-Valdez”

THE CHERRY ROBBERS – Sarai Walker

Sarai Walker’s The Cherry Robbers (Harper 2022) is a slow burn of a classic Gothic ghost story that just misses the mark.  I wanted to love it, and there are some fantastically crafted sections, but the overall feeling I was left with was “meh.”  That is due in large part to the lackluster and unsatisfactoryContinue reading “THE CHERRY ROBBERS – Sarai Walker”

LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY – Bonnie Garmus

Bonnie Garmus’s Lessons in Chemistry (Doubleday 2022) proved to be quite a timely read considering the recent SCOTUS leak – not because it features an abortion, but because it is wrapped in the confines of discrimination that have long held women hostage.  I work in a male-dominated field.  I frequently have clients assume I’m theContinue reading “LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY – Bonnie Garmus”

PEACH BLOSSOM SPRING – Melissa Fu

Family sagas are one of my most favorite genres. They tend to be epic, chunky novels that hit that sweet spot for me. When I saw Melissa Fu’s Peach Blossom Spring (Little, Brown and Company 2022), I knew I had to have it. It boasts a stunning cover, and it follows a time in ChinaContinue reading “PEACH BLOSSOM SPRING – Melissa Fu”

THE TOBACCO WIVES – Adele Myers

Adele Myers’s The Tobacco Wives (HarperCollins 2022) hit several of my boxes: debut author, NC setting, and the author is a fellow UNC alumna.  It’s one of the few new releases I’ve prioritized in my TBR, and while there are some notable issues, I don’t regret it. Quick & dirty summary: After 15-year-old Maddie’s fatherContinue reading “THE TOBACCO WIVES – Adele Myers”

SALT TO THE SEA – Ruta Sepetys

Ruta Sepetys’s Salt to the Sea (Penguin Books 2016) was a bit of a surprise.  It’s been hanging out on my TBR for several years now, but I didn’t much know what to expect when I finally picked it up.  As I’ve never read Sepetys before, I’m not sure if the snapshot-style alternating narration isContinue reading “SALT TO THE SEA – Ruta Sepetys”

EVEN AS WE BREATHE – Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle

“And now it seems possible that love is the only thing that will outlive us all, but only if we continue to tell its story.” Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle’s Even as We Breathe (The University Press of Kentucky 2020) is a layered and fragile history, cloaked in mystery and romance, that is executed in a wayContinue reading “EVEN AS WE BREATHE – Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle”

WHEN TWO FEATHERS FELL FROM THE SKY – Margaret Verble

Margaret Verble’s When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky (Mariner Books 2021) is one of those disappointing novels that simply does not live up to its potential. It’s a perfectly okay read, but I wanted it to be as great as a historical novel written by Verble about a Cherokee horse diver should have been.Continue reading “WHEN TWO FEATHERS FELL FROM THE SKY – Margaret Verble”

CHINA ROOM – Sunjeev Sahota

Sunjeev Sahota’s China Room (Viking, 2021) was another slim selection from the Booker 2021 longlist, but unlike A Passage North, which is a little bit longer, I gobbled it up in one sitting; it’s the kind of storytelling I prefer, and Sahota weaves an intimate and heartbreaking tale of love, independence, hate, and the chainsContinue reading “CHINA ROOM – Sunjeev Sahota”