Mar 9, 2018

Review: My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent


My Absolute Darling

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
Published August 29, 2017; Riverhead
Genre: thriller, literary fiction
Setting: woods of Northern California coast
My comments: This novel has beautifully written descriptions of the wild woods near the coast of northern California. It is the setting for a story of a young girl, Julia aka Turtle, who is raised in isolation by a mentally and physically abusive father for whom she has conflicting feelings, who teaches her to grow up able to protect herself, and survive in all situations, except for the threats coming from him. Possessive and cruel, Martin forces Turtle to defend herself in the end as she slowly starts to grow up, mix with others her age, and realize the unusualness of her family situation. A startling coming of age story like no other. 

Terrifying and brutal in parts, the novel is mesmerizing, the reader can't help rooting all the way for the freedom and redemption of this unusual young girl.

Rating: 5/5

Book beginning:
The old house hunkers on its hill, all peeling white paint, bay windows, and spindled wooden railings overgrown with climbing roses and poison oak. Rose runners have prized off clapboards that now hang snarled in the canes.The gravel drive is littered with spent casings caked in verdigris. Martin Alveston gets out of the truck and does not look back at Turtle sitting in the cab, but walks up the porch, his jungle boots sounds hollowly on the boards, a big man in flannels and Levi's opening the sliding glass doors. Turtle waits, listening to the engine ticking, and then she follows him. 

56% of ebook:
"You're lucky you didn't die."
"I know it."
"I'm serious, Turtle."

Source: Library ebook. 

What new books are you reading this weekend? 
Memes: The Friday 56. Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% of your eReader. Find any sentence that grabs you. Post it, and add your URL post in Linky at Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader

Mar 4, 2018

Sunday Salon: Historical Novel and Two Mysteries

Sold on a Monday
Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris
Publication: August 28, 2018, Sourcebooks Landmark

From New York Times bestselling author Kristina McMorris comes another unforgettable novel inspired by a stunning piece of history.

2 CHILDREN FOR SALE

The scrawled sign, peddling young siblings on a farmhouse porch, captures the desperation sweeping the country in 1931. It’s an era of breadlines, bank runs, and impossible choices. 

Two people who discover this story today set out to right a wrongdoing and mend a fractured family, at the risk of everything they value. 
 (publisher)

Thanks to Netgalley and the author, I have a copy to review and am eager to read this amazing novel!

Other reading: 
Just One Evil Act (Inspector Lynley, #18)
Just One Evil Act by Elizabeth George
Published October 15, 2013: Dutton
Genre: mystery, police procedural
I have discovered the Inspector Lynley series and am really enjoying it, especially since this one, the #18th, is set in Tuscany as well as London. It involves the kidnapping of a child by her mother, who takes her to Italy, where she again goes missing. Lynley is sent to Tuscany to facilitate the case for both parents. 



Also on my ereader:

The Perfect Nanny
The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani
Publication: January 9, 2018; Penguin
As the couple and the new nanny become more dependent on each other, jealousy, resentment, and frustrations mount, shattering the idyllic tableau. (publisher)
I would love to get my hands on the French original, which won the Prix Goncourt in 2016 and was nominated for two other French awards. 

What books are you reading this week?
The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,  It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date., and Mailbox Monday.

Mar 2, 2018

Book Beginning: DISPLACED by Stephan Abarbanell

Displaced


Displaced by Stephan Abarbanell
Published November 7, 2017; Harper
Genre: historical thriller
British-occupied Palestine, 1946: Elderly writer Elias Lind isn’t convinced by reports that his scientist brother, Raphael, died in a concentration camp. Too frail to search for Raphael himself, Elias persuades a contact in the Jewish resistance to send someone in his place.

Book beginning:
Dusk was already beginning to fall when the bus came to a standstill in a dip between Deir Ayub and Bab el-Wad. The driver struck the steering wheel with the flat of his hand, jumped up from his seat and grabbed a canister of water. He threw open the bonnet of the Dodge and tried to unscrew the hissing radiator with a handkerchief wrapped around his hand. None of the passengers on board said a word The fanning of newspapers and the chirping of crickets were the only sounds that broke the silence. Flies had found their way in through the open door, along with the heat that peeled away from the ground on June days. 

Page 56:
'....A postcard came from Berlin for my birthday, unsigned. But I knew his handwriting. A few weeks later, it was leaked that his last article was published under my name.'

What new books are you reading this weekend? 
Memes: The Friday 56. Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% of your eReader. Find any sentence that grabs you. Post it, and add your URL post in Linky at Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader

Feb 17, 2018

Sunday Salon: Immigrant Stories and a Thriller

The snow has melted almost all the way, but wouldn't you know it. we're getting more precipitation tonight. Will it be snow or sleet? We'll wait and see.

New books:

Number One Chinese Restaurant

Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li
Publication: June 19, 2018, Henry Holt
Genre: contemporary fiction
Setting: Maryland
A novel about a restaurant family, with themes of "youth and aging, parents and children, and all the ways that our families destroy us while also keeping us grounded and alive." (publisher)


Secrets We Kept: Three Women of Trinidad
Secrets We Kept: Three Women of Trinidad by Krystal A. Sital
Publication February 20, 2018; W.W. Norton Company
Genre: literary fiction,
 Set on the island of  Trinidad's plantations, in its growing cities, and in the family’s new home in America, this is a story of ambition and cruelty, endurance and love, and most of all, the bonds among women and between generations that help them find peace with the past. (publisher)

Let Me Lie
Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh
Publication March 13, 2018, Berkley
Genre: thriller
Anna, is struggling to come to terms with her parents’ deaths, unable to comprehend why they chose to end their lives. Now with a young baby herself, she feels her mother’s presence keenly and is determined to find out what really happened to her parents. (publisher)

My review: https://bookdilettante.blogspot.com/2018/03/book-review-let-me-lie-by-clare.html

What have you been reading during this wintery February?
The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,  It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date., and Mailbox Monday.

Feb 16, 2018

Book Beginning: A Brush With Shadows by Anna Lee Huber

A Brush with Shadows (Lady Darby Mystery #6)

A Brush With Shadows by Anna Lee Huber
Published March 6, 2018, Berkley
Genre: historical mystery
Setting: 1831, England

Book beginning:
July 1831 Dartmoor, England
The first time I laid eyes on Langstone Manor, I could not blame my husband for having stayed away for over fifteen years. I'm sure it didn't help that the weather was far from hospitable. Heavy grey clouds filled the sky, releasing sheets of rain that obscured the horizon, all but concealing my view of the infamous moors rising to the east. But even on a bright, sunlit day, I struggled to imagine the house being more inviting. In truth, it appeared downright foreboding, even without the painful memories that plagues Gage. 
Page 56:
"I hardly think he climbed up here to put a snake in our bed."
Book description:
Sebastian Gage's cousin Alfred has suddenly vanished. He wandered out into the moors and never returned. The Viscount is convinced someone or something other than the natural hazards of the moors is to blame for Alfred's disappearance. Kiera and Gage set out to solve this mystery. (publisher)

Memes: The Friday 56. Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% of your eReader. Find any sentence that grabs you. Post it, and add your URL post in Linky at Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader

Feb 11, 2018

Sunday Salon: New Books This Month plus a Review


New arrivals:
Plum Tea Crazy (A Tea Shop Mystery #19)
Plum Tea Crazy
 by Laura Childs, Tea Shop Mystery #19 set in Charleston, March 6, 2018, Berkley.
Genre: cozy mystery

How to Walk Away
How To Walk Away by Katherine Center, May 15, 2018, St. Martins Press.
Genre: romance, contemporary fiction

I finished and enjoyed reading the historical WWII novel set in Milan and the Italian Alps.
Beneath a Scarlet Sky
Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan, published May 1, 2017 by Lake Union.
Genre: historical novel based on the real life experiences of Pano Lello during WWII in Italy.
My comments/review on goodreads: 

This was an intriguing WWII story based on the real life experiences of Pano Lello, who worked with the Catholic underground and the Italian resistance, in Milan and the Italian Alps during the Nazi occupation.

Pano Lello was 17 when he first started leading fugitives across the Alps into Switzerland. He later became the driver to a German general so that he could report German movements (the slave camps and what they were working on, munitions locations, etc.) to the insurgents.

I found the book important as I know of few books written by the Italians who went through the ordeal, about the partisans and other WWII insurgents in Italy. As they say, the Italians don't like to talk about the war but prefer to forget about it. Engrossing and suspenseful and full of historical information, this book was rated five stars by this reader.
 

What have you been reading during this wintery January-February?
The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,  It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date., and Mailbox Monday.

Feb 4, 2018

Sunday Salon: Venezuela, New York City, and Korea

The snow is back after a short respite, though just a heavy dusting on the ground so far. More to come, I bet! How is the weather where you are?

I got three new books last week, hooray! The first is set in Venezuela, the second in NYC, and the third in Korea and Japan. All are historical novels or begin as historical novels.
Black Sugar
Black Sugar
The Wicked City
The Wicked City

Pachinko
Pachinko
I finished reading Fools' River by Timothy Hallinan, a pretty suspenseful mystery set in Bangkok. Read my brief review, here,
I also read the Man Booker prizewinner, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. My comments are here.
Other books I've read recently that I can recommend are The Confusion of Languages by Siobhan Fallon, and 
Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee 

What are you reading this week?
The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,  It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date., and Mailbox Monday.

Sunday Salon: Always Currently Reading

  Currently reading:  Missing and Endangered   by J.A. Jance, February 16, 2021, William Morrow Genre: thriller, suspense Source: library Ab...