Book Review: Marriage of a Thousand Lies

Book Review: Marriage of a Thousand LiesMarriage of a Thousand Lies
by S.J. Sindu
on June 13th 2017
Pages: 288
Published by Soho Press
Genres: Fiction, LGBTQ, Multicultural
Goodreads

Lucky and her husband, Krishna, are gay. They present an illusion of marital bliss to their conservative Sri Lankan–American families, while each dates on the side. It’s not ideal, but for Lucky, it seems to be working. She goes out dancing, she drinks a bit, she makes ends meet by doing digital art on commission. But when Lucky’s grandmother has a nasty fall, Lucky returns to her childhood home and unexpectedly reconnects with her former best friend and first lover, Nisha, who is preparing for her own arranged wedding with a man she’s never met.

As the connection between the two women is rekindled, Lucky tries to save Nisha from entering a marriage based on a lie. But does Nisha really want to be saved? And after a decade’s worth of lying, can Lucky break free of her own circumstances and build a new life? Is she willing to walk away from all that she values about her parents and community to live in a new truth? As Lucky—an outsider no matter what choices she makes—is pushed to the breaking point, Marriage of a Thousand Lies offers a vivid exploration of a life lived at a complex intersection of race, sexuality, and nationality. The result is a profoundly American debut novel shot through with humor and loss, a story of love, family, and the truths that define us all.

My Takeaway  “Let me tell you something about being brown like me: your story is already written for you. Your free will, your love, your failure, all of it scratched into the cosmos before you’re ever born. My mother calls it fate, the story written on your…

Book Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain

Book Review: The Art of Racing in the RainThe Art of Racing in the Rain
by Garth Stein
on May 13th 2008
Pages: 321
Published by Harper Collins
Genres: Fiction
Goodreads

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.

Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life...as only a dog could tell it.

My Takeaway  “The true hero is flawed. The true test of a champion is not whether he can triumph, but whether he can overcome obstacles – preferably of his own making – in order to triumph.” Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain First of all, I&#8217…

Book Review: Radical Hope

Book Review: Radical HopeRadical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times
by Carolina De Robertis, Junot Díaz, Faith Adiele, Parnaz Foroutan, Chip Livingston, Mohja Kahf, Achy Obejas, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Cherrie Moraga, Kate Schatz, Boris Fishman, Karen Joy Fowler, Elmaz Abinader, Aya de León, Jane Smiley, Luis Alberto Urrea, Mona Eltahawy, Jeff Chang, Claire Messud, Meredith Russo, Reyna Grande, Katie Kitamura, iO Tillett Wright, Francisco Goldman, Celeste Ng, Peter Orner, Cristina García, Aliciz Garza, Roxana Robinson, Lisa See, Jewelle Gomez, Hari Kunzru
on January 1st 1970
Pages: 272
Published by Vintage
Genres: Non-Fiction, Short Stories
Goodreads

Radical Hope is a collection of letters--to ancestors, to children five generations from now, to strangers in grocery lines, to any and all who feel weary and discouraged--written by award-winning novelists, poets, political thinkers, and activists. Provocative and inspiring, Radical Hope offers readers a kaleidoscopic view of the love and courage needed to navigate this time of upheaval, uncertainty, and fear, in view of the recent US presidential election.

My Takeaway  “But language is malleable, and it is not always on the side of truth. This is something every writer knows. Words make and unmake the world with terrifying rapidity, and they do so without moral distinction…There is a battle going on right now over the words we…

Book Review: Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

Book Review: Erotic Stories for Punjabi WidowsErotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
by Balli Kaur Jaswal
on June 13th 2017
Pages: 304
Published by William Morrow
Genres: Literary Fiction, Multicultural
Goodreads

A lively, sexy, and thought-provoking East-meets-West story about community, friendship, and women’s lives at all ages—a spicy and alluring mix of Together Tea and Calendar Girls.

Every woman has a secret life . . .

Nikki lives in cosmopolitan West London, where she tends bar at the local pub. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she’s spent most of her twenty-odd years distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community of her childhood, preferring a more independent (that is, Western) life. When her father’s death leaves the family financially strapped, Nikki, a law school dropout, impulsively takes a job teaching a "creative writing" course at the community center in the beating heart of London’s close-knit Punjabi community.

Because of a miscommunication, the proper Sikh widows who show up are expecting to learn basic English literacy, not the art of short-story writing. When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories in English and shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that beneath their white dupattas, her students have a wealth of fantasies and memories. Eager to liberate these modest women, she teaches them how to express their untold stories, unleashing creativity of the most unexpected—and exciting—kind.

My Takeaway  I absolutely loved this book and its gorgeous cover!! Some parts were heartbreaking, but for the most part, I was smiling or laughing. I adored the characters — especially the widows. Jaswal’s writing is unique, witty and quite entertaining. The book transported me to Southall with…

Book Review: He Said/She Said

Book Review: He Said/She SaidHe Said/She Said
by Erin Kelly
on June 6th 2017
Pages: 400
Published by Minotaur Books
Genres: Fiction, Suspense/Thriller
Goodreads

In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack. She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, it is not only the victim's life that is changed forever. Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear, and while Laura knows she was right to speak out, the events that follow have taught her that you can never see the whole picture: something, and someone, is always in the dark.

My Takeaway  “Waiting for something horrible to happen is almost more draining than it actually happening.” Erin Kelly, He Said/She Said I had high expectations for He Said/She Said, but I felt the pace was too slow (especially at the beginning). From the reviews I’ve read…