Book Review: Into the Water

Book Review: Into the WaterInto the Water
by Paula Hawkins
on May 2nd 2017
Pages: 386
Published by Riverhead Books
Genres: Mystery/Crime, Suspense/Thriller
Goodreads

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother's sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she'd never return.

My Takeaway  “Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.” Paula Hawkins, Into the Water I enjoyed Into the Water but felt it lacked some oomph. I am not going to compare Into the Water to her first blockbuster, Girl on a Train. The books are…

Book Review: Salt Houses

Book Review: Salt HousesSalt Houses
by Hala Alyan
on May 2nd 2017
Pages: 320
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genres: Literary Fiction, Multicultural
Goodreads

From a dazzling new literary voice, a debut novel about  a  Palestinian family caught between present and past, between  displacement and home.

On the eve of her daughter Alia’s wedding, Salma reads the girl’s future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel, and luck. While she chooses to keep her predictions to herself that day, they will all soon come to pass when the family is uprooted in the wake of the Six-Day War of 1967. Salma is forced to leave her home in Nablus; Alia’s brother gets pulled into a politically militarized world he can’t escape; and Alia and her gentle-spirited husband move to Kuwait City, where they reluctantly build a life with their three children.

When Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait in 1990, Alia and her family once again lose their home, their land, and their story as they know it, scattering to Beirut, Paris, Boston, and beyond. Soon Alia’s children begin families of their own, once again navigating the burdens (and blessings) of assimilation in foreign cities.

My Takeaway  “Atia remains too frightened to say anything that might unnerve him. What she knows about her husband, what she thought she knew about the man, has scattered like dandelion seeds beneath a child’s breath since he returned from the war.” Hala Alyan, Salt Houses…

Book Review: It’s Always the Husband

Book Review: It’s Always the HusbandIt's Always the Husband
by Michele Campbell
on January 1st 1970
Pages: 320
Published by St. Martin's Press
Genres: Mystery/Crime, Suspense/Thriller
Goodreads

Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny. They first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, even though they are as different as three women can be. Twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge ... and someone else is urging her to jump.

How did things come to this?

As the novel cuts back and forth between their college years and their adult years, you see the exact reasons why these women love and hate each other—but can feelings that strong lead to murder? Or will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?

My Takeaway I gobbled up this novel in one day! Although, the first half of the story moved a bit slow (hardly any suspense), the second half moved at an enjoyable, faster pace. From the beginning, it is obvious the Whipple Triplets (as they are known in college) have drastically…

Bookworm in the Know

In my previous blog site (I recently moved from Weebly to WordPress), I posted a weekly series, Bookworm in the Know. It is just a simple way of keeping everyone in the loop of what I’m reading and of bookish events and/or news. I will do my…

Book Review: The Refugees

Book Review: The RefugeesThe Refugees
by Viet Thanh Nguyen
on February 7th 2017
Pages: 224
Published by Grove Press
Genres: Literary Fiction, Multicultural, Short Stories
Goodreads

With the coruscating gaze that informed The Sympathizer, in The Refugees Viet Thanh Nguyen gives voice to lives led between two worlds, the adopted homeland and the country of birth. From a young Vietnamese refugee who suffers profound culture shock when he comes to live with two gay men in San Francisco, to a woman whose husband is suffering from dementia and starts to confuse her for a former lover, to a girl living in Ho Chi Minh City whose older half-sister comes back from America having seemingly accomplished everything she never will, the stories are a captivating testament to the dreams and hardships of immigration.

This second piece of fiction by a major new voice in American letters, The Refugees is a beautifully written and sharply observed book about the aspirations of those who leave one country for another, and the relationships and desires for self-fulfillment that define our lives.

My Takeaway  “For all refugees, everywhere” – Dedication in The Refugees “In a country where possessions counted for everything, we had no belongings except our stories.”  Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Refugees Holy moly! What an incredible, emotional and remarkable book! I am honestly having a hard time coming up with the…