What are you reading the week of March 14, 2020?
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The Killer's Wife: A Novel by Bill Floyd
(West Coast and North Carolina/ex-wife of a serial killer on death row/stalking suspense)
The Wife of the Gods – Kewi Quartey
Digital audiobook performed by Simon Prebble.
First in a series featuring Detective Inspector Darko Dawson of Accra, Ghana. Dawson is a dedicated family man with a loving wife and a charming, if medically fragile, young son. He’s also somewhat of a rebel in the police force and frequently at odds with his cantankerous boss. He’s not happy about his new assignment in remote area of Ghana; a young woman – a promising medical student and AIDS worker – has been found dead in a jungle area near the small town of Ketanu. The local police are not equipped to handle an investigation like this, and Dawson, who has relatives in the town, is fluent in the local indigenous language. But what he uncovers brings up many memories of his own mother, who disappeared without a trace after a visit to her sister in Ketnau.
Oh, I am going to like this series! Darko is a principled man, but he has his demons, and he seeks solace in smoking marijuana. He’s also sometimes prone to resorting to his own brand of vigilante justice. But there’s no denying that he’s a talented – and tenacious – detective. The way he ferrets out small clues and pieces the puzzle together is marvelously portrayed. There are plenty of suspects and motives and a compelling subplot to keep the reader off balance and guessing.
I also really appreciated the information on the cultural ideologies and customs of this small corner of Ghana. There’s a significant clash between traditional beliefs and modern-day medicine. And Dawson also needs to tread carefully in the political minefield that is the turf of the areas leaders, who, if not exactly corrupt, are certainly misguided and provincial in their thinking.
Simon Prebble does a marvelous job reading the audiobook. He really brings these characters to life.
Robert, a young artist moves to Hong Kong to concentrate on his painting career. Looking for a cheap place to live and paint, he ends up in a “brothel” where the all occupants pay by the hour except him. Robert gets to know the “girls” as friends but ends up in an up and down relationship with the beautiful Suzie. Written in 1957, it was made into a film with William Holden and Nancy Kwan.
I finished, finally, Pilgrimage, on Saturday morning with the last pages of March Moonlight in Pilgrimage 4, by Dorothy Richardson. It took me 14 months to complete the 13 novels (in 4 books). This stream of consciousness work was not easy to read, but happy I finally got through it!
Still working on Winter's Heart, the ninth book in the Wheel of Time series, and am alternating with The Presidencies of William Henry Harrison and John Tyler.
You Are Not Alone: A Novel by Greer Hendricks (4+ stars)
(NYC/psych suspense/a subway suicide/Shay Miller, lady who witnessed the event/the mysterious Moore sisters and their group)
* “Mussolini and His Mistress, Petacci, Are Dumped Like Carrion on the Piazza Loretto of Milan, the City Where Fascism Was Born” from A Treasury of Great Reporting: "Literature Under Pressure" from the Sixteenth Century to Our Own Time edited by Louis L. Snyder
* “A New Kind of Capitalist” from Magazine Digest - August 1949 edited by Murray Simmons
* “On Clothes” from Leaves in the Wind by Alpha of the Plow (a.k.a. A. G. Gardiner)
* “One of the Strangest Naval Combats” by Ferdinand LeComte from The Union Reader edited by Richard B. Harwell
* “The Hidden Part of the Iceberg” from Tierra del Fuego by Francisco Coloane
* “Trinidad – Where the Pavement Begins” by Frank Dorrance Hopley from The Mentor, November, 1924 edited by W. D. Moffat - Finished!
I've now started The Mansion by William Faulkner.
So I need a bit of a break from Mirror, started to read Starless Sea. Not sure where its leading but the writing is beautiful
Am planning to start Lonesome Dove. I've been told it's wonderful.
Then, after his accident, his later stuff seemed to be mostly concerned with detailed and loving (!) descriptions of the ways in which the human body can come apart. I quit reading his stuff at that point!
I've got The Far Pavilions, Angle of Repose, Pride and Prejudice, Cranford, Microserfs, High Fidelity, A Gentleman in Moscow, The Sea, The Sea, The Lake House, and to start on - Elizabeth is Missing.
I'm about halfway through Pachinko by Min Jin Lee and expect to finish it in a day or two. I'll also start The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin today.
Two of my all time favorite books!
I can see it in others' posts but don't know how to do it.
Type the arrow followed by the number of the post you are
responding to (no spaces). LT adds the rest. We are all learning
new things on a daily basis.
Patsy – Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn
Book on CD narrated by Sharon Gordon.
This novel follows Patsy, a young Jamaican mother of a 5-year-old girl, Tru, as she makes her way to America and tries to find a better life for herself. However, in order to find herself and achieve her potential, she must leave her daughter back in Jamaica, in the care of her father, a man Patsy never married, and with whom she’s had little contact. But leaving Tru with Roy is much better than leaving her with Patsy’s mother, Mamma G, a woman who has given all her pension to the Church hoping that Jesus will save her.
This story is in turns heartbreaking and inspiring. I applaud Patsy’s determination, courage, inventiveness and work ethic, but have difficulty forgiving her for leaving her child in Jamaica. Her guilt at this no-win choice is palpable and heart-wrenching. Her inability to deal with the very real results of her decision made me want to shake her. And then, I would feel so sorry for her – for the difficulty she faced when her dream was proved to be just that, a dream with no real basis in reality, for her struggles to survive, to find housing and work, for her misguided attempts to find even a little happiness and a sense of self-worth.
Dennis-Benn alternates points of view giving the reader insight into Tru’s life back in Jamaica. Her inability to understand how her mother could leave her, the sliver of hope a Christmas card conveys, and the defeat she feels when she finally accepts that her mother is not coming back. , My heart breaks over and over for Tru as she grows to her teens and hides her pain and sense of responsibility for her mother’s decisions.
But lest you think this is a depressing story, be aware that I loved these characters, even though I didn’t always like them. Despite all the hardship, all the bad decisions and failures to communicate, ultimately there is some triumph and some sense of hope.
Sharon Gordon does a marvelous job of voicing the audiobook. Dennis-Benn uses a vernacular patois dialogue in much of the book, and I found it difficult to make out the sense in those few sections that I chose to read in text format. Gordon’s performance made it easier for me to absorb and understand those lilting Jamaican accents. She really brought these characters to life for me.
Hey, I think it worked. Thanks.
(I belong to half a dozen different groups and each one has a different process for comments and responses to comments.)
The Hallorans’ live in an expensive mansion with an odd assortment of relatives and guests. When Aunt Fanny wanders off, she experiences a vision. Her dead father tells her of an impending disaster in which everyone but her family will be destroyed. Shirley Jackson doesn’t fail with this eerie family tale.
Have you read her biography, A Somewhat Haunted Life? Highly recommended for Jackson fans, and it points out (among other things) the recurrent theme of houses influencing the lives of the people who live there.