I found this on summer vacation at an independent bookstore at Rehoboth Beach (Browseabout Books). It was a staff pick, and as I had had luck with previous staff picks from this store (Mudbound), I invested in this novel. And I am not disappointed. Published in 2006, The Saffron Kitchen is a beautiful, heartbreaking, entirely realistic story about Iran and England, mothers and daughters, the desire to be free and the pull of home and the past. Yasmin Crowther, the daughter of an English father and Iranian mother, writes what she knows and takes the reader on a journey from […]
Dr. David Livingstone died in May of 1873 in a village called Chitambo (in present day Zambia), located in central Africa. His African attendants buried his heart there, embalmed his body, and then transported it along with his papers over 1500 miles to Zanzibar so that they could be returned to England. The journey took 200+ days and two of the men on the trip Susi and Chuma gave a short account of it, mentioning illness and deaths within the travel party and other dangers along the way. In Out of Darkness, Shining Light, Petina Gappah imagines this journey through […]
Brennan’s world of dragons and Scirlandish nobility and the Fish Out of Water trope is worth reading, but I don’t think I, personally will bother reading the second unless I get very bored. I think my biggest issue is (pseudo)Victorian fatigue.
Cbr11bingo Reader’s Choice, substituting for Two heads are better than one Bingo Blackout/Cannonball! I picked this one up for the cover, but I bought it because it is related to the interests of my youth — Slavic studies and history. Maria Kuznetsova’s debut novel manages to be both funny and serious as she describes the life of Oksana Ivanovna Konnikova from her childhood, when the family moved from Kiev to Florida, until her adulthood. Oksana has to deal with loss, uprootedness, unrequited loves, and disappointing career options as she strives to find love and success as a writer. Oksana serves […]
If the dragons from this book call you, reject the call and change your number. Actually, that’s not entirely fair. The dragons, from what I read, were fine. It was everything else that needed a lot of work. I gave up on page 139, read the last three or four pages (kind of like I did with Jane Eyre in high school, tbh) and tossed this on the “read” virtual shelf. It needs a good line editor for a start.
When Alice was born, her eyes were black from end to end, and the midwife didn’t stay long enough to wash her. (Kindle loc. 221) My mother was raised on fairy tales, but I was raised on highways. (loc. 37) Holy cats, you guys. This book and my reaction to it are probably going to fall down around my ears like a pack of playing cards or a straw house, but for the moment I am in love.
Summer had barely begun and already the city of Janloon was like a spent lover–sticky and fragrant. (Kindle loc. 125) And with that line, Fonda Lee’s book grabbed me at the end of the first paragraph and didn’t let go.
Cbr11bingo Award Winner, bingo #7 Edith Wharton was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for literature with The Age of Innocence in 1921. I’ve decided that Edith Wharton is one of my favorite authors, right up there with Toni Morrison and Jane Austen. In past CBRs, I’ve reviewed The House of Mirth and Ethan Frome and marveled at her artistry with words and her dissection of the American class system, particularly New York society, at the turn of the 20th century. Her novels involve individuals who attempt to fly in the face of convention and grapple with thwarted […]