Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What I Read Wednesday

How is it Wednesday already? Alternately… how is it ONLY Wednesday?

An Untamed State
Mireille, her husband and son are visiting her family's home in Port au Prince, Haiti. Of the haves and have nots of Haiti, her family is the haves. While heading to the beach, Mireille is kidnapped and held in captivity for over two weeks while her father negotiates (or doesn't) her release. The brutality she goes through is horrific, but it is not the crux of the story. The story mainly focuses on her rebuilding, on learning to live without overwhelming fear and to accept her still beautiful but changed body and mind. This one struck me. I thought of Mireille long after I ended the book. It is not an easy read, but it is a powerful one.

Crooked River: A Novel
This was a good read to follow Untamed State because I could just sink into it and not think too much. Sam and Ollie, following the death of their mother, go to live with their somewhat wild father who lives in a teepee in a meadow surrounded by his beehives. Shortly after they arrive, a woman is found dead in the river and their father becomes the number one suspect. Sam knows he couldn't have done it and sets out to prove it. Ollie knows her father is innocent but for different reasons. Struck mute after the death of her mother, Ollie is followed by spirits who she calls the shimmering ones. The shimmering of the dead woman is trying to send her a message about her killer, but Ollie can't--or won't--speak to tell her sister what she knows. Although the ending was fairly clear at one point, it was more than just the ending. It was a story of growth and recovery following a loss, for so many characters within this book.

The Nightingale
I've been on the wait list for this book forever, so I was super excited when it finally came in. This story focuses on Vianne and her sister Isabelle in 1939 France. Vianne and Isabelle had an uncommon childhood, given away by their father following the death of their mother. Isabelle is young and rebellious, Vianne is trying to keep her head above water with a young child and a husband who is fighting to defend France. After the Nazis invade their town, Vianne is forced to share a roof with a Nazi soldier, while Isabelle is forced to decide just how far she will go and what she will risk to stand up for her ideals. I loved this story. Loved it. It was a period piece done very well, and I was so engaged in the lives of both Isabelle and Vianne, the choices they made and the chances they took. I did not want this to end.

What are you reading?


Barb Ruess said...

I'm on the hold list for Untamed State right now and have The Nightingale on my to-read list. Glad to hear you think they are good!

I read:
- Crooked River: Like you, I appreciated having an enjoyable story that was an easy read. I thought much of the ending was predictable but parts of it definitely caught me off guard. I liked the characters in this one.
- Brown Girl Dreaming: I resisted reading this one because I'm not a poetry fan but it didn't feel like poetry... so creative, definitely worth the read.

Molly said...

Oh god, An Untamed State was BRUTAL and so good. She is a wonderful writer. I bought Ayiti after reading An Untamed State but I haven't read it yet (I'm on a Haiti kick because I miss it a lot). Bad Feminist, which she also wrote, is high on my to read list too. Her writing has such great range.

One crazed mommy said...

I downloaded The Nightingale recently - can't wait to read it! However...2 weeks without picking up a book...I am seriously in a reading funk and can't seem to get out of it! Gah! Between kids school work, STEAM nights, orientations and a bathroom flood (fun) and just everyday craziness I'm behind in more than just reading! LOL!

Theresa Mahoney said...

I'm in between books right now. So many extracurricular activities with the kids has seriously hampered my reading time. An Untamed State will be going on my read list.

Unknown said...

I finished a Christian fiction book called Always on my Mind by Susan May Warren. It was sappy but ok. Now I am reading Funny Girl by Nick Hornby. It's really good.