The Earth Hums in B Flat, Mari Strachan.
“Mari Strachan’s debut novel has charmed readers
around the world with it sparkling portrayal
of one unusually imaginative twelve-year-old
girl whose investigation into a local crime yields
startling repercussions.” –from the bookflap
Annie Dunne, Sebastian Barry.
This lyrical novel portrays the later years of two
old-maid cousins who take on, for the duration
of a summer, the care of their young grandniece
and nephew. It’s a stunning meditation on the trials
of growing old set against the landscape of 1950’s
rural Ireland, where time-honored traditions
are rapidly disappearing.
what are you like? Anne Enright.
This story of twins separated at birth resonates
with poetic language. Every chapter stands alone
as its own universe of artistic articulation.
Best Love, Rosie, Nuala O’Faolain.
The posthumously-published novel by the author
of the much-praised My Dream of You.
Uninspired and in need of a heavy-handed editor.
Our narrator, Rosie, discovers the existence
of an abandoned cottage on the coast where her mother,
who died in childbirth, was raised. While attempting
renovations, O’Faolain also attempts a commentary
on the middle-aged woman, but ultimately the novel
misses the mark.
The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga.
Winner of the 2008 Man Booker Prize.
Set in contemporary India where, in this scenario,
the caste system has disintegrated into two classes:
the upper class, who live in insulated excess,
and the lower class, who live to serve the wealthy elite.
Extremely compelling – I finished in under 24 hours.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,
Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
An epistolary novel set on Guernsey and London
in the aftermath of WWII, I can’t help but disagree
with the book critic from the San Francisco Chronicle:
“It’s tempting to throw around terms like “gem”
when reading a book like this. But Guernsey is not
precious….” And yet it is precious, and sweet
and completely predictable. There are a few token
concentration camp scenes, as well as the requisite
heart-tugging scenes of Brit children being evacuated
to the country. It's not poorly written, and it's not
a bad book. Perhaps it's just been hyped to death.
But it comes off as WWII-lite. If you want something
that you can get your teeth into, skip this one.
Lukewarm recommendation, and with reservations.