Genre: General Fiction

#BookReview The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #TheLyingLifeofAdults #ElenaFerrante

#BookReview The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #TheLyingLifeofAdults #ElenaFerrante Title: The Lying Life of Adults

Author: Elena Ferrante

Published by: Europa Editions on Sep. 1, 2020

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Giovanna’s pretty face is changing, turning ugly, at least so her father thinks. Giovanna, he says, looks more like her Aunt Vittoria every day. But can it be true? Is she really changing? Is she turning into her Aunt Vittoria, a woman she hardly knows but whom her mother and father clearly despise? Surely there is a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is.

Giovanna is searching for her reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves from one to the other in search of the truth, but neither city seems to offer answers or escape.

Named one of 2016’s most influential people by TIME Magazine and frequently touted as a future Nobel Prize-winner, Elena Ferrante has become one of the world’s most read and beloved writers. With this new novel about the transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, Ferrante proves once again that she deserves her many accolades. In The Lying Life of Adults, readers will discover another gripping, highly addictive, and totally unforgettable Neapolitan story.


Review:

Astute, honest, and sophisticated!

In this latest novel by Ferrante, The Lying Life of Adults, she transports us to the streets of Naples, Italy and into the life of Giovanna, a young girl who after overhearing a harsh comment made by her father embarks on a journey to discover the extended family she has previously been sheltered and protected from resulting in unexpectedly enlightening consequences.

The prose is emotive and precise. The characters are complex, guileless, and impulsive. And the plot is a compelling, coming-of-age tale of life, love, deception, friendship, familial drama, manipulation, jealousy, emerging sexuality, abuse, and self-reflection.

Overall, The Lying Life of Adults is a raw, perceptive, heartfelt, domestic drama that does an exceptional job of reminding us that reality is often a disillusioned version of the life we conjure with the fantasies and lies we choose to believe, especially in young adulthood.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elena Ferrante

Elena Ferrante is the author of The Days of Abandonment (Europa, 2005), which was made into a film directed by Roberto Faenza, Troubling Love (Europa, 2006), adapted by Mario Martone, and The Lost Daughter (Europa, 2008), soon to be a major motion picture directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal and starring Oscar Award-winner Olivia Colman. She is also the author of Incidental Inventions (Europa, 2019), illustrated by Andrea Ucini, Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey (Europa, 2016) and The Beach at Night (Europa, 2016), illustrated by Mara Cerri. The four volumes known as the “Neapolitan quartet” (My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child) were published by Europa Editions in English between 2012 and 2015. My Brilliant Friend, the HBO series directed by Saverio Costanzo, premiered in 2018. Her most recent novel is The Lying Life of Adults (Europa, 2020).

#BookReview Anxious People by Fredrik Backman @Backmanland @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #AnxiousPeople #FredrikBackman

#BookReview Anxious People by Fredrik Backman @Backmanland @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #AnxiousPeople #FredrikBackman Title: Anxious People

Author: Fredrik Backman

Published by: Atria Books on Sep. 28, 2020

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

This is a poignant comedy about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined.

Viewing an apartment normally doesn’t turn into a life-or-death situation, but this particular open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes everyone in the apartment hostage. As the pressure mounts, the eight strangers slowly begin opening up to one another and reveal long-hidden truths.

As police surround the premises and television channels broadcast the hostage situation live, the tension mounts and even deeper secrets are slowly revealed. Before long, the robber must decide which is the more terrifying prospect: going out to face the police, or staying in the apartment with this group of impossible people.


Review:

Thought-provoking, heartbreaking, and exceptionally witty!

Anxious People is a complex, insightful, funny story set on the day before New Year’s Eve that takes you on a journey into the lives of an amateur bank robber, eight unintended hostages, and two police officers with a history of their own.

The prose is amusing and poignant. The characterization is well-drawn with a whole slew of characters that are quirky, sympathetic, and endearing. And the plot is a delightfully clever blend of moral dilemmas, drama, tragedy, skewed perception, oddball shenanigans, relationship dynamics, unlikely friendships, and the importance of compassion.

Overall, Anxious People is an impactful, touching, darkly comedic tale by Backman that once again highlights his innate ability to delve into and expose both society’s weaknesses and ridiculous presumptions and humanities flaws and vulnerabilities in an enlightening, meaningful, and entertaining way.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Fredrik Backman

Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.

#BookReview Donna Has Left the Building by Susan Jane Gilman @SusanJGilman @GrandCentralPub

#BookReview Donna Has Left the Building by Susan Jane Gilman @SusanJGilman @GrandCentralPub Title: Donna Has Left the Building

Author: Susan Jane Gilman

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Jun. 23, 2020

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 7.5/10

From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress comes a hilarious, timely, and big-hearted novel about rebuilding life in the face of disaster.
 
Forty-five-year-old Donna Koczynski is an ex-punk rocker, a recovering alcoholic, and the mother of two teenagers whose suburban existence detonates when she comes home early from a sales conference in Las Vegas to the surprise of a lifetime. As her world implodes, she sets off on an epic road trip to reclaim everything she believes she’s sacrificed since her wild youth: Great friendship, passionate love, and her art. But as she careens across the U.S. from Detroit to New York to Memphis to Nashville, nothing turns out as she imagines. Ultimately, she finds herself resurrected on the other side of the globe, on a remote island embroiled in a crisis far bigger than her own.
 
Irresistibly funny, whip-smart, and surprisingly moving, Donna Has Left the Building spins an unforgettable tale about what it means to be brave — and to truly love — in a tumultuous world.

Review:

Direct, humorous, and edgy!

Donna Has Left the Building is a gritty, honest, bawdy novel that takes us into the life of Donna Koczynski, a middle-aged, married, recovering alcoholic, mother of two who embarks on a spontaneous, somewhat destructive road trip after returning home early from a conference to find her husband in a compromising position with a dominatrix.

The prose is witty and perceptive. The characters are unhappy, confused, and disappointed. And the plot is a reflective, brash, reality check about marriage, friendship, family, first loves, missed opportunities, regrets, mistakes, poor choices, bad decisions, and what’s truly important.

Overall, Donna Has Left the Building is a rollicking, bold, candid tale by Gilman that delves into all the messiness of life and highlights just how quickly life can spin out of control. It’s not for everyone though, as some readers would definitely find it a little too offensive and crude.

 

This novel is available in paperback now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

           

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Susan Jane Gilman

Susan Jane Gilman is the bestselling author of the nonfiction books Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress, Kiss My Tiara, and Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven as well as the novels, The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street and the forthcoming Donna Has Left the Building. She has provided commentary for NPR, hosted a literary radio show, and written for the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Real Simple, and Ms., among many others. She has won several literary awards, and her books have been published in a dozen languages. She teaches writing and speaks to audiences worldwide.

Photograph by Guillaume Megevand.

#BookReview Roar by Cecelia Ahern @Cecelia_Ahern @GrandCentralPub #Roar #CeceliaAhern #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview Roar by Cecelia Ahern @Cecelia_Ahern @GrandCentralPub #Roar #CeceliaAhern #GrandCentralPub Title: Roar

Author: Cecelia Ahern

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Jun. 16, 2020

Genres: Women's Fiction, General Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

From the bestselling author of P.S., I Love You, a fiercely feminist story collection that illuminates–sometimes in fantastical ways–how women of all kinds navigate the world today.

In this singular and imaginative story collection, Cecelia Ahern explores the endless ways in which women blaze through adversity with wit, resourcefulness, and compassion. Ahern takes the familiar aspects of women’s lives–the routines, the embarrassments, the desires–and elevates these moments to the outlandish and hilarious with her astute blend of magical realism and social insight.

One woman is tortured by sinister bite marks that appear on her skin; another is swallowed up by the floor during a mortifying presentation; yet another resolves to return and exchange her boring husband at the store where she originally acquired him. The women at the center of this curious universe learn that their reality is shaped not only by how others perceive them, but also how they perceive the power within themselves.

By turns sly, whimsical, and affecting, these thirty short stories are a dynamic examination of what it means to be a woman in this very moment. Like women themselves, each story can stand alone; yet together, they have a combined power to shift consciousness, inspire others, and create a multi-voiced ROAR that will not be ignored.


Review:

Astute, thought-provoking, and empowering!

Roar is a sharp, creative collection of short stories that highlight all the responsibilities, expectations, and discriminations that society places on women, as well as the self-reproach, pressure, and need for validation we as women place on ourselves. 

The writing is witty and sharp. The stories are imaginative, well written and impactful. And the plots, although slightly different, all have a similar theme and character, “the woman”, who is always in need of a good roar.

Overall, Roar is a novel all women should read. It’s a humorous, relevant, contemplative, perceptive anthology that reminds us that as women we need to believe in ourselves and always remember that we are confident, powerful, intelligent, attractive human beings no matter our size, age, race, or occupation.

 

This novel is available on paperback now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

           

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Cecelia Ahern

Cecelia Ahern is the author of the international bestsellers PS, I Love You; Love, Rosie; If You Could See Me Now; There’s No Place Like Here; and The Gift. Her novels have been translated into thirty-five languages and have sold more than twenty-five million copies in over fifty countries. Two of her books have been adapted as major films and she has created several TV series in the US and Germany. She lives in Dublin with her family.

Photograph by Matthew Thompson.

#BookReview 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand @elinhilderbrand @littlebrown @HBGCanada #28Summers

#BookReview 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand @elinhilderbrand @littlebrown @HBGCanada #28Summers Title: 28 Summers

Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Published by: Little Brown and Company on Jun. 16, 2020

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

By the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Summer of ’69: Their secret love affair has lasted for decades — but this could be the summer that changes everything.

When Mallory Blessing’s son, Link, receives deathbed instructions from his mother to call a number on a slip of paper in her desk drawer, he’s not sure what to expect. But he certainly does not expect Jake McCloud to answer. It’s the late spring of 2020 and Jake’s wife, Ursula DeGournsey, is the frontrunner in the upcoming Presidential election.

There must be a mistake, Link thinks. How do Mallory and Jake know each other?

Flash back to the sweet summer of 1993: Mallory has just inherited a beachfront cottage on Nantucket from her aunt, and she agrees to host her brother’s bachelor party. Cooper’s friend from college, Jake McCloud, attends, and Jake and Mallory form a bond that will persevere — through marriage, children, and Ursula’s stratospheric political rise — until Mallory learns she’s dying.

Based on the classic film Same Time Next Year (which Mallory and Jake watch every summer), 28 Summers explores the agony and romance of a one-weekend-per-year affair and the dramatic ways this relationship complicates and enriches their lives, and the lives of the people they love.


Review:

Poignant, pensive, and nostalgic!

28 Summers is a lush, intimate tale that sweeps you away to the shores of Nantucket island and into the life of Mallory Blessing, a young woman who after inheriting a cottage from her late aunt and falling in love with her brother’s best friend from college in 1993 spends the next twenty-seven years fondly anticipating and savouring the last weekend of summer when she gets to spend three days of joy and pleasure with the one man who will always own her heart.

The writing is rich and emotive. The characterization is spot on with a cast of characters that are multilayered, genuine, and humanly flawed. And the compelling plot is a delightfully clever blend of moral dilemmas, family drama, relationship dynamics, and lighthearted beach read.

Overall, 28 Summers is another immersive, touching, astute tale by Hilderbrand that highlights once again her innate ability to delve into all the messy emotional and psychological entanglements that exist between family members, friends, and lovers, and proves why year-after-year she’s the queen of the must-read novel of the summer.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to HBG Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand is a mother of three, an avid runner, reader, and traveler, and the author of twenty-three novels. She grew up outside Philadelphia, and has lived on Nantucket for more than twenty years.

#PromoPost I Picked You by JC Hartung #IPickedYou #JCHartung

#PromoPost I Picked You by JC Hartung #IPickedYou #JCHartung Title: I Picked You

Author: JC Hartung

Genres: Christian Fiction, Women's Fiction, General Fiction

Pages: 249

Hope is that small seed that opens you up to believe that what you never thought to imagine could be possible.
After surviving heartbreaking loss, Raina finds herself navigating through uncharted waters. Building a life is always a challenge, but moving back to her small town was never part of the plan. Yet, with her son as her sole focus, its where she finds herself, without a dream, without a goal, and merely getting through each day as a survivor.
For Lincoln Morrow, life’s beauty lives in the small things. A baseball game, the laughter of his family, the smell and feel of freshly sanded wood beneath his hands, and honest conversation. Yet, Lincoln needed a change of pace, a fresh start, and he is more than capable of building a life from a bare foundation to a sturdy structure.
Hope is vulnerability.
Belief requires faith in the unknown.
And possibilities are always there for the taking if you can channel your hope into belief.
Can these two find the courage they need to tangle all these ingredients to make a life worth living?

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from the following link!

 

 

Thank you to JC Hartung for being featured on my blog today!

 

#BookReview Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan Hyde @cryanhyde @LUAuthors @AmazonPub #BraveGirlQuietGirl

#BookReview Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan Hyde @cryanhyde @LUAuthors @AmazonPub #BraveGirlQuietGirl Title: Brave Girl, Quiet Girl

Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on May 19, 2020

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 300

Format: Hardcover

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde comes a gripping and emotional novel about friendship, motherhood, and the journey toward finding a place to call home.

Brooke is a divorced single mom, financially strapped, living with her mother, and holding tight to the one thing that matters most: her two-year-old daughter, Etta. Then, in a matter of seconds, Brooke’s life is shattered when she’s carjacked. Helpless and terrified, all Brooke can do is watch as Etta, still strapped in her seat, disappears into the Los Angeles night.

Miles away, Etta is found by Molly, a homeless teen who is all too used to darkness. Thrown away by her parents, and with a future as stable as the wooden crate she calls home, Molly survives day to day by her wits. As unpredictable as her life is, she’s stunned to find Etta, abandoned and alone. Shielding the little girl from more than the elements, Molly must put herself in harm’s way to protect a child as lost as she is.

Out of one terrible moment, Brooke’s and Molly’s desperate paths converge and an unlikely friendship across generations and circumstances is formed. With it, Brooke and Molly will come to discover that what’s lost—and what’s found—can change in a heartbeat.


Review:

Emotive, raw, and heartwarming!

Brave Girl, Quiet Girl is a pensive, heart-tugging novel about a divorced mother of a two-year-old, Brooke and a homeless, sixteen-year-old, molly as their worlds inadvertently collide when a carjacking leaves an infant stranded, alone, and in desperate need of protection.

The prose is clear and direct. The characters are flawed, troubled, and genuine. And the plot told from alternating POVs is a gripping tale of family drama, unlikely friendships, poverty, homelessness, motherhood, compassion, honesty, survival, mental illness, and the often harsh realities of life.

Overall, Brave Girl, Quiet Girl is an astute, touching, compelling tale by Hyde that does a beautiful job of reminding us that family is not always those related by blood, but rather those that love, care, support, and accept us.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

           

 

 

Thank you to Amazon Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Catherine Ryan Hyde

I am the author of more than 30 published and forthcoming books, including ALLIE AND BEA, SAY GOODBYE FOR NOW, LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER, ASK HIM WHY, WORTHY, THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS, TAKE ME WITH YOU, WHERE WE BELONG, WHEN I FOUND YOU, WALK ME HOME, SECOND HAND HEART, DON'T LET ME GO, and WHEN YOU WERE OLDER.

I'm an avid hiker, traveller, equestrian, and amateur photographer, and have released my first book of photos, 365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE: PHOTOS FROM A BEAUTIFUL WORLD.

I am co-author, with fellow author and publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE: A SELF-HELP GUIDE.

My novel PAY IT FORWARD was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries. The paperback was released in October 2000 by Pocket Books and quickly became a national bestseller. Simon & Schuster released PAY IT FORWARD: YOUNG READERS' EDITION in August of '14. It is suitable for kids as young as eight. A special Fifteenth Anniversary Edition of the original PAY IT FORWARD was released in December of '14

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Mum & Dad by Joanna Trollope @joannatrollope @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview Mum & Dad by Joanna Trollope @joannatrollope @PGCBooks @panmacmillan Title: Mum & Dad

Author: Joanna Trollope

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 1, 2020

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

What a mess, she thought now . . . what a bloody, unholy mess the whole family has got itself into.”

It’s been 25 years since Gus and Monica left England to start a new life in Spain, building a vineyard and wine business from the ground up. However, when Gus suffers a stroke and their idyllic Mediterranean life is thrown into upheaval, it’s left to their three grown-up children in London to step in . . . Sebastian is busy running his company with his wife, Anna, who’s never quite seen eye-to-eye with her mother-in-law. Katie, a successful solicitor in the city, is distracted by the problems with her long-term partner, Nic, and the secretive lives of their three daughters. And Jake, ever the easy-going optimist, is determined to convince his new wife, Bella, that moving to Spain with their 18-month-old would be a good idea. As the children descend on the vineyard, it becomes clear that each has their own idea of how best to handle their mum and dad, as well as the family business. But as long-simmering resentments rise to the surface and tensions reach breaking point, can the family ties prove strong enough to keep them together?


Review:

Sophisticated, genuine, and perceptive!

In this latest novel by Trollope, Mum & Dad, she transports us to the hillsides of southern Spain and into the lives of the Beacham family who after their patriarch unexpectedly suffers a debilitating stroke must begin to confront, accept, and heal all the past grievances that seem to have been weighing them down and learn to finally lean on and move forward together as a loving, united family.

The prose is smooth and fluid. The characters are complex, overwhelmed, and authentic. And the plot is a heartfelt, compelling tale of life, love, support, communication, understanding, integrity, introspection, familial dynamics, marital strains, and mental health.

Overall, Mum & Dad is an honest, raw, domestic drama that delves into the intricate relationships and dynamics between family members, spouses, and in-laws and exposes the different psychological and emotional struggles each generation has. 

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Joanna Trollope

Joanna Trollope is the author of twenty highly acclaimed and bestselling novels, including City of Friends, Friday Nights, Second Honeymoon, and The Other Family. She was appointed OBE in 1996, and a trustee of the UK National Literacy Trust in 2012. She has chaired the Whitbread and Orange Awards, as well as being a judge of many other literature prizes; she has been part of two DCMS panels on public libraries and is patron of numerous charities, including Meningitis Now, and Chawton House Library. In 2014, she updated Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility as the opening novel in the Austen Project.

#BookReview Summer Longing by Jamie Brenner @JamieLBrenner @littlebrown @HBGCanada #SummerLonging

#BookReview Summer Longing by Jamie Brenner @JamieLBrenner @littlebrown @HBGCanada #SummerLonging Title: Summer Longing

Author: Jamie Brenner

Published by: Little Brown and Company on May 5, 2020

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Ruth Cooperman arrives in beautiful beachside Provincetown for her retirement, renting the perfect waterfront cottage while she searches for her forever home. After years of hard work and making peace with life’s compromises, Ruth is looking forward to a carefree summer of solitude. But when she finds a baby girl abandoned on her doorstep, Ruth turns to her new neighbors for help and is drawn into the drama of the close-knit community.

The appearance of the mystery baby has an emotional ripple effect through the women in town, including Amelia Cabral, the matriarch who lost her own child decades earlier; Elise Douglas, owner of the tea shop who gave up her dream of becoming a mother; and teenage local Jaci Barros who feels trapped by her parents’ expectations. Ruth, caring for a baby for the first time in thirty years, even reaches out to her own estranged daughter, Olivia, summoning her to Provincetown in hopes of a reconciliation.

As summer unfolds and friends and family care for the infant, alliances are made, relationships are tested, and secrets are uncovered. But the unconditional love for a child in need just might bring Ruth and the women of Provincetown exactly what they have been longing for themselves.

With heartfelt storytelling, Summer Longing is Jamie Brenner’s eagerly anticipated return to Provincetown; another unforgettable tale about motherhood, friendship, and finding your way home.


Review:

Charming, engaging, and breezy!

Summer Longing is a warm, cosy tale that takes us to Provincetown, Cape Cod and into the life of Ruth Cooperman, a retired cosmetic entrepreneur whose retirement becomes a little more hectic than she expected when a newborn baby is abandoned on the doorstep of her rental house, the owners move back in to care for the mysterious bundle of joy, her estranged daughter arrives and decides to stay for an unspecified amount of time, and her ex-husband also pops in for a day or two.

The prose is light and fluid. The characters are multilayered, inclusive, quirky, and endearing. And the plot is a delightful mix of relationship dynamics, friendship, introspection, parenthood, support, forgiveness, love, drama, family, community, and new beginnings.

Overall, Summer Longing is another scintillating, satisfying, enjoyable treat by Brenner that once again highlights her innate ability to delve into all the psychological and emotional entanglements that exist between family members and friends.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to HBG Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jamie Brenner

Jamie Brenner was born and raised in suburban Philadelphia but has called New York City her home for the past twenty years. She graduated from George Washington University with a degree in literature and spent her career in publishing before becoming an author herself. Her books include The Gin Lovers, The Wedding Sisters. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two daughters.

#BookReview Braised Pork by An Yu @groveatlantic @PGCBooks

#BookReview Braised Pork by An Yu @groveatlantic @PGCBooks Title: Braised Pork

Author: An Yu

Published by: Grove Press on Apr. 14, 2020

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 240

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 7/10

One morning in autumn, Jia Jia walks into the bathroom of her Beijing apartment to find her husband – with whom she had been breakfasting barely an hour before – dead in the bathtub. Next to him a piece of paper unfolds like the wings of a butterfly, and on it is an image that Jia Jia can’t forget.

Profoundly troubled by what she has seen, even while she is abruptly released from a marriage that had constrained her, Jia Jia embarks on a journey to discover the truth of the sketch. Starting at her neighbourhood bar, with its brandy and vinyl, and fuelled by anger, bewilderment, curiosity and love, Jia Jia travels deep into her past in order to arrive at her future.

Braised Pork is a cinematic, often dreamlike evocation of nocturnal Beijing and the high plains of Tibet, and an exploration of myth-making, loss, and a world beyond words, which ultimately sees a young woman find a new and deeper sense of herself.


Review:

Unique, mesmerizing, and reflective!

Braised Pork is a short but mystifyingly lush tale about a young, vulnerable widow, Jia Jia whose life is irrevocably changed, upheaved, and somewhat freed when her husband suddenly dies and leaves behind a sketch of a “fish-man” figure.

The prose is elegant and expressive. The imagery is gritty and vivid. And the plot is a spiritual journey into the true meaning and importance of life, love, and death.

Braised Pork as a whole is a beautifully crafted tale that is perplexing, immersive, melancholic, and pensive, and yet when I finished the final page I was, unfortunately, left feeling a little flat and unfulfilled.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy of this story from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

       

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About An Yu

An Yu (安於) was born and raised in Beijing, and spent parts of her life studying and working in London, New York, and Paris. She received her M.F.A. from New York University. Her first novel, Braised Pork, was published by Harvill Secker in January 2020, Grove Atlantic in April 2020 (US), and forthcoming in six other languages worldwide.

She currently lives in Beijing.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

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