Since I stopped plugging my phone in beside the bed and started charging it in the bathroom at night I have been devouring books! Here are some great reads I have finished so far:
Nora Webster – Colm Toibin
My book club absolutely hated this book but my bestie and I loved it. Nora Webster is a 46 year old woman grieving the loss of her husband and love of her life. She has four children, the youngest two still living at home and the older two away at school, and through the banality of everyday life works through her grief and comes to know herself aside from being a widow and a mother. I loved how flawed and human Nora was written; her often cold and prickly demeanor permeating every relationship in her life. The characters and relationships in this book are so beautifully nuanced and like life, things are not wrapped up in a neat bow at the end.
Brooklyn – Colm Toibin
I saw this movie when it came out a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it. After I finished Nora Webster I decided to read Brooklyn as I really enjoyed Colm Toibin’s writing style and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. Brooklyn is the story of a young Irish girl named Eillis (pronounced A-lish) who travels from her small town in Ireland to Brooklyn at the urging of her older sister Rose with the help of a friendly priest named Father Flood. It chronicles Eillis’ first year in Brooklyn; adapting to being away from her family, living in America and falling in love. If you are looking for a sweet love story Brooklyn is definitely worth picking up.
Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng
I saw this book featured as part of Reese Witherspoon’s book club a couple of month’s back and decided to pick it up. It is the second book our book club is reading and I finished it in a week. It is a very easy read, well written but definitely formulaic. The story is about a young mother and her teenage daughter who move to Shaker Heights, Ohio in the late nineties. Their lives intertwine with a wealthy family called the Richardson’s where different dynamics unfold. There are a few compelling sub-plots in the book that will find you going to bed earlier and earlier so that you can power through more chapters; definitely great summer reading.
Educated – Tara Westover
I picked this book up on a whim when I was at Chapter’s one afternoon and saw that it was 40% off. I started it last night and am already half way through as it is so interesting. It is a memoir by Tara Westover about her experience growing up in a Mormon family in rural Idaho. Her mother was an informally trained midwife and her father sorted scrap metal for money.
Tara’s father had a deep distrust of government and as such her family lived off the grid, did not attend school (and were not home schooled) never saw a doctor or went to the hospital, didn’t take medication and did not obtain birth certificates until they were in their early teens. Throughout the book, Westover chronicles her father’s undiagnosed mental illness, including paranoia, depression and anxiety, which brings clarity to the family’s way of life.
After Educated I am going to read Margaret Atwood’s classic, The Handmaid’s Tale. I have not watched the Netflix series nor have I read any Margaret Atwood for that matter but I have been told that it will appeal to my feminist sensibilities and draws eerie parallels to what is happening in certain places in the world today.
Beyond The Handmaid’s Tale I am not sure what I will read next. Any suggestions?