The House of New Beginnings to me, was a comforting book to read. Following the lives of three women at crossroads, this is a book that speaks about hope amidst uncertainty. Naturally, what first caught my eye in the synopsis was Rosa, the sous chef. Now, I found out she’s more of a line cook but ultimately, that deviating detail doesn’t matter all too much. She lives and breathes food and that’s where she finds solace.
The House of Mountfathom is a difficult book to review. Personally, I didn’t enjoy reading it very much. On some fronts, it felt like things were missing — as though there was supposed to me more. The premise intrigued me but the execution failed to charm. When I looked up the author, I found out this book was published posthumously. He was in his mid-thirties when cancer took his life. Knowing this, I was tempted to rate The House of Mountfathom for its potential but decided not to. That would skew my rating scale against other books I’ve read.
I liked reading The State of Grace. Usually I find books under 300 pages sacrifice depth of characters. For this book, the lower page count wasn’t an issue at all. Rachael Lucas knew exactly what her story was and knew exactly where she was going with it. I found The State of Grace to be focussed and intentional in telling Grace’s story. It’s a book that embraces neurodiversity — something that I’ve not come across all that much in YA fiction.
Margot & Me, while set in contemporary times also grapples with the past set during World War II through a diary. What I loved about this book was how the stories of three generations knitted together. Fliss and her grandmother, Margot, were so at odds that Fliss’s mother was the only reason they put up with one another. Watching that relationship develop throughout the pages was immensely touching. Although, how Fliss came to read Margot’s diary didn’t entirely sit well with me. But you know, curiosity and what not…
Carnivals and circuses have fascinated me since I was young. Even today, I still am taken in by magical atmosphere — the way time stops and visitors are transported into an almost otherworldly realm. This wonderment is something I thought Neil Jordan captured immensely well in his latest novel, Carnivalesque. The setting held a great deal of intrigue and carried a mysterious air. This was especially brought out throughout the eyes of the main character, Andrew, who was a young boy.