Wow…has it really been 3 weeks? I’m sorry, first I was struck down with the gastro plague for four days, and then work got crazy busy …. I am barely treading water these days!
However – the one thing I can always make time for (because it is my main escape/relaxation inducing thing) is reading. And I read some goodies! I noticed while writing these reviews that I love a strong heroine who can stand on her own (without the fairytale Prince Charming coming to rescue her)…it doesn’t mean she can’t choose love, it just means she is strong in herself, too.
- Across the Green Ocean by Wendy Lee
- This is a story about an immigrant family, (Mother and two children), who are shocked by the sudden death of their father – which then causes them to re-evaluate their lives and leads them on the most interesting journeys (two in America, and one in China). I love that in the story, both main characters learn to make choices for themselves – not for their spouse or parents. It’s about learning independance and how to live for yourself when it feels like everything else is collapsing. The ending is a bit open ended for me, but I also like that – in this case, there was no fairy tale ending. Just a real, relatable ending.
- The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
- Love, love, love!! This is a beautiful story of a conventional housewife and her unconventional mother as they try to bridge the gap between them, caused by an enormous white lie. I like seeing Jessie become something more than the traditional role she has found herself in, and it is intriguing to watch her process how she seemingly has everything, but is still not fulfilled, and the unconventional decision she comes to in the end.
- The Beautiful American by Jeanne Mackin
- I’ve got to be honest, this author did an amazing job of creating a character that the reader would feel defensive of. From the beginning I could see Lee being bad news for Nora, and I enjoyed watching their story unfold. It’s also intriguing that the author humanized Lee’s actions, making her more likeable (albeit, not as much as Nora). I also like the way the story weaved back and forth in time, and most importantly the way the story ended. Beautiful and haunting.
- Night in Shanghai by Nicole Mones
- Excellent, excellent book! A good read – it weaves together the stories of two very different but equally struggling people, and their experiences in a world that believes everything about them is wrong.
- When We Were Strangers by Pamela Schoenewaldt
- This was a page turner for me. Following Irma’s journey, and watching her blossom into such a strong woman was a pleasure. So many of us can relate to Irma. She is strong and powerful in a quiet way, that does not attract harm but still sets boundaries. I like that her story is not a traditional one (go on a journey, find a man, settle down, and they lived happily ever after). It’s a story about a strong, quiet girl who makes difficult and terrifying choices to lead herself on the path of her choosing. The important thing I took from Irma, was that no matter how difficult it got she continued to choose her path. Sometimes, it is easier to give up – but those are the times we need to press on, even harder than before.
- Fiercombe Manor by Kate Reiordan
- Enchanting, haunting, beautiful, sad…this novel is all of these things. I finished it in one day. Truly a beautiful and delicately woven tale of the hardships of being a woman. Read it! (But please note it has some pregnancy and loss in it).