Throwback Thursday: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

throwbackthursday

This weekly feature is hosted by Renee, https://itsbooktalk.com (Its Book Talk). Throwback Thursday offers a way to share some of our old favorites as well  as sharing books that we are finally getting around to reading that were published over a year ago.

 

small great thingsSmall Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

Review

Ruth Jefferson works at the labor ward at Mercy-West Haven. She has been a labor nurse for over twenty years. Right from the first page, readers get to see Ruth working with new mothers. It is obvious how great she is at her job. She not only has passion for her job but also love for the newborns. Needless to say, it was devastating when Ruth was reassigned from a case only to find out that this decision was based on the color of her skin.

This sets the tone for the book whose main theme is race. We get to hear the story from Ruth, an African American woman. She has done everything right in her life, went to Yale Nursing School, lives at a good neighborhood and is raising a bright, intelligent young man. However, at the background of Ruth’s success story is the issue of her race. Through her voice, we learn about her struggles. One particular scene that stood out to me involved her shopping at a store where she was followed around and her bags were inspected as other shoppers(white) went about their business without the scrutiny. There are also scenes that involve 3:00am arrests and phrases such as, ‘big, black, angry man’ used to describe a scared teen. This is the kind of book that makes you angry, uncomfortable. It confronts you with reality and forces you to open your eyes to the injustices faced by different ethnic groups.

On the other hand, there is Turk who is a white supremacist who hates blacks, asians and gays. The depths of his hate run deep. He spends most of his life beating up gays. Turk is married to Brit who shares in his believe. Part of me wanted to reject the portrayal of Turk and Brit. I mean, how could two people be so hateful? Who the hell thinks like they did? However, I recalled the news stories that have recently made headlines about hate groups. That reminded me that sadly, there are people like Turk in this world. The hate that he had was not an exaggeration.

I like the fact that the author introduced a third character in this story. Kennedy is Ruth’s lawyer and she is white. She doesn’t consider herself racist and in her words, she doesn’t see race. I enjoyed seeing how her character changed throughout the story when she had to consider other perspectives. There are many other outstanding characters in the books such as Adisa and Edison, Ruth’s mum, Christina, Micah. It is a long book so the author really took the time to develop each character hence enriching the story

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult is a heavy book. Nonetheless, Jodi does a brilliant job of portraying these themes in a thought-provoking, sensitive manner. Her narration style doesn’t make it sound preachy despite the numerous lessons. Instead, this almost reads like a legal thriller since a lot of it revolves around the legal issues that arose from the racial discrimination. There was so much tension. I didn’t know what would happen at the end. I was nervous for Ruth especially once I got to know more about the evil people who she was dealing with.

At the end of the story, the lessons remain. I found myself thinking about racism and all the people that if affects. Jodi’s book made me think about race issues in the West and also ethnic hatred right here at home. At the end of the day, hate is hate whether based on race, religion, sexual orientation or tribe. This book is thought-provoking and it challenges you to see things from other people’s perspectives.

It is an important book that everyone should read. Highly recommended.

Book Review: The Sister by Louise Jensen @littlebookcafe @Fab_fiction @thecrimevault @bookouture

Exciting News!

Today is the day that Louise Jensen’s The Sister is being published in paperback.  It is now out in shops and supermarkets. The Sister will be available in Asda, Sainsbury’s and WH Smith from 24th and in Tesco from September 7th.

I posted my review of The Sister by Louise Jensen a year ago. It was my third ARC and the first one that I gave a 5 stars rating.

I decided to share my review just as it was when I published it a year ago. So here goes…

Synopsis (from goodreads)

The SisterGrace hasn’t been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie’s words, the last time she saw her, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear there was a lot she didn’t know about her best friend.

When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie’s father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie’s sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family, and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan’s home.

But something isn’t right. Things disappear, Dan’s acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace’s mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger?

There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie …or was there?

Review (no spoilers)

Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for an advance copy of this book.

I have read and reviewed three books so far from NetGalley but this one has to be the best one yet. It is the first ARC that I have given a rating of five stars.

I really liked the balanced,easy pace of this book. I was able to get into the story from the first page. The writing and imagery was also masterfully done. The author effortlessly takes readers right into the middle of the story. The Sister by Louise Jensen is narrated in two main timelines labelled as ‘then’ and ‘now’ and both timelines are narrated in Grace’s voice.

The then tells about Charlie, Dan and Grace’s background and goes all the way up to Grace’s eighteenth birthday when some major events took place. The now takes place years later and start after Charlie’s death. The final chapters focus more on the ‘now’. The two timelines help tie up everything together and made the story more exciting. It was like fitting pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together to get the full picture.

As for the characters, I sympathized with Grace at times. Other times, I wanted to shake to wake her up. She comes off as a really weak character especially at the beginning. However, my thoughts about her changed as the story moved forward and I started to empathize with her. I liked Charlie’s character too. She was portrayed as being strong, loyal,full of life.Basically, the kind of girl who makes the perfect best-friend. I also liked some of the other characters especially Grace’s grandparents, they were so cool and laid-back, just so awesome and supportive.

The Sister by Louise Jensen book is so suspenseful that it kept me turning pages to the end. There are new revelations that occur in each chapter. Events that will keep you wondering what else could possibly go wrong for the protagonist. I love a good suspenseful novel with  drama and this one definitely delivered.

I liked the fact that I wasn’t able to guess how the story would unravel. I thought I knew Charlie’s secret but I was proved wrong. I also thought I had figured out Grace’s first stalker but again I was wrong. Again, I also tried to guess the secret involving Grace’s parents at the start, let us just say, I was wrong each time.Even when I finally managed to figure out the person behind things going wrong for Grace in the now, again another twist occurred that threw everything into a new direction.

This book definitely took me on a roller-coaster ride. It is not your typical whodunit story; it’s the kind of story that will keep you trying to figure out why things were happening as opposed to who is doing them.

Final Thoughts…

I recommend The Sister by Louise Jensen to all fans of psychological thrillers. It’s a story about secrets, deception and lost friendships all masterfully interspersed with suspense that will keep you at the edge of your seat. Seriously, if you like psychological thrillers then you should get this book. I can’t wait to read the next book by Louise Jensen

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About the book

  • Title: The Sister
  • Author: Louise Jensen
  • Kindle: 307 pages and 291 on Aldiko
  • Published July 7th 2016 by Bookouture
  • My Rating: 5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

Building Benjamin: Naomi’s Journey (Tribes of Israel) by Barbara M. Britton

building-benjaminAbout the Book

Naomi desires to dance well enough to catch the eye of a wealthy landowner. Her father needs a substantial bride price due to the deaths of her brothers who died at the hands of the tribe of Benjamin. But when Benjamites raid the Ephraimite feast and capture young girls, Naomi is bound and carried from her home by Eliab, a troubled shepherd who needs a wife. As Naomi awaits rescue, she finds Eliab has a strong faith in God and a just reason for abducting her. His reason affects all the tribes of Israel. The future of the tribe of Benjamin hangs in the balance, but if Naomi follows her heart and stays with Eliab to rebuild his lineage, she must forfeit her family and become a traitor to her own tribe.

Review

I haven’t read Christian Fiction in a while but I knew I had to get this book immediately I saw it on NetGalley. I don’t know much about Naomi from the Bible apart from her story in relation to Ruth and this is one of the reasons as to why I was interested in this book. However, the book is really not based on the Biblical Naomi but it is more about the Israelite tribes.

The story begins at the dance where all the women were dancing in hopes of attracting suitable suitors. The tradition was that the suitors would then pay the bride price before taking the selected woman. However, raiders from the Benjamites tribe soon came in and kidnapped the women. Not only were the women forcefully taken away from their families but their fathers were also denied the bride price. The man who took Naomi is Eliab. I don’t know how to describe this well but the custom at that time was for the men to immediately sleep with the women that they intended to marry. The act sort of solidified the union. However, Eliab was different from the other men. He decided to wait until Naomi was ready. This was a complication though because his failure to ‘properly’ claim her meant that any other man could. So the couple decided to hide this part of their agreement.

The narration describes Naomi’s journey to the new tribe. She is distraught at being taken away from her family by a strange man. In addition, she is haunted by deaths of her brothers. Nevertheless, Naomi is portrayed as a brave woman as she tackled different challenges. She is compassionate even to those who don’t deserve it. I also liked how Eliab was portrayed as a God-fearing man. He was gentle and so different from the others in his tribe. It was interesting to see how the relationship between the two developed over time.

This book is very well-written with captivating prose. I found myself lost in ancient Israel, experiencing the cultures and beliefs of the characters. Towards the end of the story, the story was so intense that I couldn’t stop turning pages to see how it ends. I think the ending was befitting and satisfactory. Barbara Britton did an amazing job with this book. She used Biblical narratives to create stunning work of fiction. However, the message wasn’t lost in the story. I liked how the character’s faith was subtly portrayed without the book losing its storyline. Building Benjamin by Barbara Britton is a book that I recommend to fans of Christian and Historical Fiction.

Book Review: One Christmas in Paris by Mandy Baggot

About the book (from goodreads)

one-christmas-in-parisAva and her best friend Debs arrive in Paris just as the snow starts to fall. The Eiffel Tower glitters gold and the scent of spiced wine is all around, but all Ava can think about is Leo, her no-good, cheating ex.

Debs is on a mission to make Ava smile again, and as they tour the Christmas markets, watch lamplight glittering on the river Seine, and eat their body weight in pain-au-chocolat, Ava remembers there’s more to life than men … Until they cross paths with handsome, mysterious photographer Julien with his French accent and hazelnut eyes that seem to see right inside her.

Ava can’t ignore the intense chemistry between them, but her fingers have been burned before and she can’t forget it, especially when her ex, Leo, starts texting again. Can Ava really trust Julien – and what exactly is his secret?

Will Ava go home with a broken heart, or will she find true love amongst the cobbled streets of Paris?

Join Ava and Julien in the most romantic city in the world this Christmas, as they discover the importance of being true to themselves, and learn how to follow their hearts.

Review

One Christmas in Paris by Mandy Baggot is my first holiday-themed book this year and it is set in Paris. Can it get better than that? The story begins with Ava and Debs right before they go to Paris. The two women are at a point in their lives where a trip to Paris seems like the perfect idea.

The story is narrated through two  perspectives with Ava and Julien as the main narrators and characters. We get to see their lives before they meet. We get to know what was going on especially with their complicated family backgrounds. At first, the narratives are told interchangeably through the chapters. However, once the two characters meet, the POVs alternate within the same chapters. This was really good. You sort of get the two perspectives on the two characters especially on each other and everything else around them.

I love Paris. It sounds like such a beautiful place and I am so glad that the setting was a key feature of this story. The culture and the food were predominant in the story. Ava develops a love for camembert and plus the couple was always meeting at the restaurants and sampling different French dishes. The landmarks too were at the background of the story. I got to know about Place Des Voges and Seine. Other landmarks like The Eiffel Tower were also mentioned. I liked the fact that one of the main characters was a tourist and the other one a native so the descriptions of the settings were more detailed. In addition, Julien was a photographer trying to capture the beauty of Paris. The setting was definitely the perfect fit for the story.

There were a number of conflicts in the story that made it  interesting by creating some tension. This book wasn’t just about a couple that meets and connects in Paris. It is about family, grief, friendship and romance. There is also a theme revolving around the devastation that took place in Paris. The Paris attacks come up and hence the theme of healing and finding beauty in the ashes that remained.

This has all the makings of a great book. The imagery is wonderful. I have never been to Paris or even seen snow (apart from on TV) but I could picture it all. The story took me to Snowy Paris for Christmas. The flow of the narrative is effortless. The characters are not one dimensional; they are also charming, easy to relate with and funny. And then there is Paris, the landmarks, the food and the culture.

One Christmas in Paris by Mandy Baggot is a wonderful read. If you are in the mood for a holiday-themed, feel-good, Christmassy book then you should check this one out. If you like Paris and all things French then this one is for you. Lovers of the romance genre will also enjoy this book.

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for this review copy.

About the Book

  • Title: One Christmas in Paris
  • Author: Mandy Baggot
  • Kindle Edition, 368 pages, Aldiko-700 Pages
  • Published October 7th 2016 by Bookouture
  • My Rating: 5 stars

 

Book Review: Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan

Synopsis from goodreads

dear amyMargot Lewis is the agony aunt for The Cambridge Examiner. Her advice column, Dear Amy, gets all kinds of letters – but none like the one she’s just received: Dear Amy,
I don’t know where I am. I’ve been kidnapped and am being held prisoner by a strange man. I’m afraid he’ll kill me.
Please help me soon,
Bethan Avery

Bethan Avery has been missing for years. This is surely some cruel hoax. But, as more letters arrive, they contain information that was never made public. How is this happening? Answering this question will cost Margot everything . .

Review (no spoilers)

I received this ARC, thanks to (Michael Joseph) Penguin UK Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.

Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan is a fantastic psychological thriller. It has everything that makes a good, suspenseful read. The book starts on a fast pace right from the start when a young girl, Katie is kidnapped. Then Margot(the agony aunt) receives a letter from Bethany, another young girl kidnapped years ago. At the same time, Margot’s life is falling apart with an impending divorce and possible dismissal from work. There were so many twists and reveals along the way that makes this book quite a page turner.

The Narrative

I liked the fact that there were so many events going on at the same time. There were also different perspectives given by the characters hence heightening the mystery . Margot is the main narrator and so we get to see things from her perspective as she receives the letter and starts trying to figure out what was going on. We also have a few chapters that were narrated by Katie while in captivity. We also get to experience things from the captor’s point of view especially in narrating about Bethany’s kidnapping.

Apart from the different perspectives, there are also two main timelines in the narratives that help in explaining current events. We get to learn more about Bethany’s kidnapping years ago and then we come back to the present and try to solve the mystery behind the letters and also the kidnapping of Katie.

Protagonist

DEAR AMYI also liked the protagonist, Margot. There were so many different sides to her that makes the narration quite suspenseful. Her character is also so complex; there were instances where I wasn’t sure what was real and what wasn’t. Her voice in the narration is perfect for this kind of book. I think that the author did a brilliant job of taking readers through Margot’s twisted thoughts and helping us see things from that construed standpoint. I also liked the fact that as readers, we get to find out about stuff at the same time with Margot. The truth about her own life is revealed to us at the same time as she unravels it.

Final Thoughts

My only issue with this book is that at some point, the narration sort of became unrealistic. Halfway through the book, improbable events start occurring that could only be explained as  sheer luck or random coincidences.

Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan. The suspense and endless twists make this quite an enjoyable read. I found myself questioning and mistrusting characters throughout the book which added to the suspense and thrill of the story. I also liked Helen’s writing. Her prose is easy with a nice flow to it while at the same time, it is gripping in the way that it sucks readers into the narration.

I recommend this book to all readers who like fast-paced, ‘unputdownable’ ,psychological thrillers.

Random Mention- The Red Queen makes an appearance…

Throughout the book, there were a few mentions/comparisons to the Red Queen. I have never read the book series since it is not in my usual genre but I was definitely intrigued.

About the Book

Title: Dear Amy

Author: Helen Callaghan

Kindle Edition, 348 pages

Published June 16th 2016 by Penguin

My rating: 4 Stars

Book Review: You by Caroline Kepnes

Synopsis

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

Review

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I read Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica and it put me in the mood for psychological thrillers. This book came highly recommended and I was intrigued enough by the synopsis that I just had to read it.

You by Caroline Kepnes is a psychological thriller. It is also one of the creepiest books that I have ever read. The protagonist was so twisted that at times I had to pause and think about the author. Yes, the author. I wondered how she came up with such a sick character. How did she create something so twisted yet fascinating? Joe was weird, a psychopath, and a man so vile yet…lovable.

You by Caroline Kepnes reminded me so much of the TV Show, Dexter, the ‘beloved’ serial killer. In this book, Joe is an insane stalker who is obsessed by Beck, a woman who he had a brief encounter with at the bookstore where he works. The levels of his deprivation are shocking yet Caroline still managed to make him endearing and sympathetic. I found myself feeling sorry for him. Other times, I was secretly routing against him hoping that he would get caught.However, I still had moments whereby I started routing for the stalker and thinking that the stalked is the bad guy. This book is definitely creepy although in a good way.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-21576-1404239001-11I  liked the narrative style. The whole story is told from Joe’s perspective through a second person narrative. That means that as readers, we get to see everything through the mind of a psychopath. It is limiting though because at times I wished we could have an idea of what was going on in the other characters’ mind. However, if you have ever been curious about workings of the mind of a psychopath then this book will give you a sneak peak into one.

Apart from the suspenseful story, there is also the fact that serial killer worked in a bookstore and loved books. There were numerous mentions of Stephen King’s Shinning and Doctor Sleep. There were also mentions of Dan Brown’s books especially The Da Vinci Code and other book references that may delight bookworms.

You by Caroline Kepnes was quite a page turner. I read the whole book in just one evening. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in dark humor and psychological thrillers.

 

 

 

Book Review: Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

Synopsis


She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can’t get the girl out of her head…

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family’s objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.

Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow’s past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she’s willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated

Review

 I love a good psychological thriller. I guess that’s why I enjoyed The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Gone Girl by Gillian Fynn and Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris. A friend gave me a copy of Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica last week and the synopsis got me intrigued enough to drop everything else on my planned reading and start reading the book.

Pretty Baby is a wonderful psychological thriller. It had everything that I look for in a good suspense novel. The suspense was well maintained right from the start when Heidi and Willow met. I kept trying to predict what would happen next but each twist came as a surprise. They were so unpredictable.

The story is narrated from three main perspectives. Heidi and Chris give narratives on the present. Willow mostly gives the background story by narrating on the past. The three perspectives are narrated interchangeably through the chapters giving the story such a good flow.

SCARED BELOVEDI liked the three main characters because they all played major roles in the narratives. However, I thought I understood them pretty well as the story went on but Heidi surprised me as the story progressed. Character development is done pretty well in the book. The twists are many, each chapter  ends with a cliff hanger and the suspense is so intense that I found myself totally lost in the story. It has been a while since I have stayed up so late at night reading a book. I even woke up at 5am in the morning to complete the book before heading to work. Yes, it really was that good.

Pretty Baby by May Kubica is one of the best psychological thrillers that I have read in a while. It reminded me of how much I like this kind of books. If you enjoyed any of the books mentioned in the first paragraph of this review then you will like Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica. This is highly recommended for all fans of psychological thrillers.

Ps:Is anyone else excited about watching The Girl on the Train? I just watched the trailer and now I can’t wait for the movie.

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I finally read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I used to be intimidated by the book and assumed that it would be quite complex especially being categorized as a classic. However, the book turned out to be quite an easy flowing, enjoyable read.

To Kill a Mockingbird is narrated by almost 9 year old Scout. Scout lives with her brother, Jem and their father, Atticus. They also have a friend who features prominently in the book, Dill. Atticus is a lawyer who happens to have been assigned to defend Tom Robison, a black man accused of raping a white woman. Also prominent is the story is ‘Boo’, Mr. Radley. He is a key character although readers only get to interact with him through the children’s narrations.

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird revolves around Atticus and his children, his defense of Tom and the children’s interactions with Radley. The book examines key themes such as racism. Scout is a child narrator and so readers get to view racism through her perspective. Its heart wrenching to see how the kids lost their innocence when they had to face the ugliness of racism and the unfairness of the world. Dill and Jem are especially affected by the injustice that they witnessed during the Robinson’s case.

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Apart from racism, there was also an aspect of prejudice in the different social classes. For instance; the Ewolls and Cunninghams were regarded poorly by the townspeople due to their social standing. Aunt Alexandra especially openly discourages the children from mingling with the low people in society.

There are a number of interesting themes in this novel that I will not delve into so as not to turn this review into a literary criticism. However, I will just mention that my favourite part of this book was definitely the child narrator aspect. I also liked all the main characters especially Atticus, Jem, Scout and Dill. Scout is an endearing heroine; she is portrayed as being brave. I also liked the fact that she was a tomboy and quite proud about it despite everyone’s effort in forcing her to be more ladylike. I adored the relationship between Scout and her brother, Jem. I love how they used to fight as most siblings do and then make up the next minute. There was one particular physical fight that was a bit funny to read about. After the fight, I found myself smiling when the two siblings walked to their separate bedrooms but not before bidding each other good night. Jem was a little gentleman always taking care of his sister and trying to emulate his dad. I love how at only 11 years old, he started referring to himself as an old man.

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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a story about awakening. It’s also a story about bigotry and injustice. However, it is also about friendship and family. I am glad that I finally read this book. The courtroom scene reminded me of my Grisham novels and had me at the edge of my seat waiting for the verdict. The children’s antics kept the story moving even when there were no major happenings in the narrations.  I highly recommend this book to everyone who has not yet read it.

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Book Review: Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Naele Hurston

I watched the movie adaptation of Their Eyes were Watching God years ago but I only got to read the book recently. I loved the movie so much that I have watched it twice and so I was intrigued by the book.

Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is a story about Janie. This was a young woman forced to live within societal rules that sapped away her happiness. She got married to a man that she didn’t love at a very young age. It was a miserable marriage that ended with her running away with another man. Although promising at first, her second marriage leaves feeling empty. Janie is then forced to make a decision that leaves everyone talking about her.

7 The townspeople watching and talking about Janie

I loved this book although I really struggled with the dialect. I have read other book with strong dialects such as The Help by Kathryn Stockett but the dialect used in this one was quite heavy. However, once I got used to it then it became a bit easier to understand though I had to ignore the words and try reading them in the usual dialect. That was the only struggle that I had with this book. Below is a quote from the book, it will give you an idea of the dialect that I am referring to.

“If you kin see de light at daybreak, you don’t keer if you die at dusk. It’s so many people never seen de light at all.”
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Otherwise, Their Eyes Were Watching God is such a fascinating reading. I love strong female protagonist and so I enjoyed reading about Janie’s ambitions and determination to follow her heart even when the whole town was talking about her. I really liked the relationship that she had with Tea Cake. It was fabulous, dreamy, passionate, romantic, magical. oh I loved it. The idea of falling in love and leaving all life’s comforts in exchange for companionship and happiness sounds like the perfect fairy-tale.

 

Tea Cake and Janie as portrayed in the movie by Halle Berry and Michael Ealy

The book was tragic and did not have the usual happy endings that are common in romance novels. However, it was quite a beautiful story. I recommend Their Eyes were Watching God to all readers looking for a different kind of romance novel. It’s a great book for readers who also like strong female characters. However, be prepared to deal with the dialect. It is not a very easy read but it is worth it. Oh and you should definitely watch the movie too.

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“It is so easy to be hopeful in the daytime when you can see the things you wish on. But it was night, it stayed night. Night was striding across nothingness with the whole round world in his hands . . . They sat in company with the others in other shanties, their eyes straining against cruel walls and their souls asking if He meant to measure their puny might against His. They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.”
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

 

I leave you with a random GIF of the gorgeous Michael Ealy who plays Tea Cake in the movie adaptation of Their Eyes were Watching God

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Book Review:Her Mother’s Hope by Francine Rivers

This was my second Christian Fiction Book. The first one was Halos by Kristen Heitzmann. There is so much to say about Her Mother’s Hope by Francine Rivers. I took quite some time (a month) reading the whole book. It’s quite big but also very interesting.

Her Mother’s Hope traces the life of Marta from her childhood all the way to her adulthood where she now has grandchildren. It tells the story of strength and determination despite obstacles. Marta struggled from childhood to have a good life. She was described as being intelligent but then again being a girl; she didn’t get much support to pursue her education. She was also described as being unattractive and this also impacted on her life and on how other people related with her. The first section of the book is narrated abour Marta and it details her life from childhood to her marriage.

The second section of the book is narrated by Hildemara, Marta’s daughter. The relationship dynamics between mother and daughter become more evident in this section. However, there is an obvious conflict between Marta’s hopes for her daughter and the interpretation of her actions by Hildemara. This conflict is heartbreaking and confusing. Like Hildemara, I found myself confused by Marta’s actions most of the time.giphy

The third section is narrated by Marta and it sort of explains the second section. Marta’s actions become clearer. It was more heartbreaking reading this section especially keeping in mind Hidemara’s thoughts in section 2. My heart ached for the two just thinking about the misunderstanding and how it had shaped their thoughts about each other.

hhI cried buckets while reading this book. Each time I thought the storm had passed, another one came and so did the tears. It was an emotional but beautiful book. The aspect of Christianity and faith was the background of the whole story. Prayers, Bible and belief all featured in one way or the other although this was all in the background. Apart from religion, the book is also set against a historical background covering the two world wars. There is also an aspect of immigrants to America and how they were perceived due to the various roles that their countries played in the war.

 

IMG_20160228_161942I have the second book in the series, Her Daughter’s Dreams and I can’t wait to read it. I am already bracing myself for the emotional roller coaster which I know will definitely come. Francine Rivers is an amazing writer. At the end of Her Mother’s Hope she explains that the book was inspired by some events that took place in her own life.

I recommend this book to everyone interested in reading about love, family, hopes and dreams. It is an amazing book and although I hardly rate books, this I gladly give 5 stars.