Author: Thomas King Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Pages: 286 On Sale: August 25, 2020 Genre: Fiction, Cultural, Travel, Humor, Contemporary Stars: 2.5/5
From the Publisher:
Meet Bird and Mimi in this brilliant new novel from one of Canada’s foremost authors. Inspired by a handful of old postcards sent by Uncle Leroy nearly a hundred years earlier, Bird and Mimi attempt to trace Mimi’s long-lost uncle and the family medicine bundle he took with him to Europe.
By turns witty, sly and poignant, this is the unforgettable tale of one couple’s holiday trip to Europe, where their wanderings through its famous capitals reveal a complicated history, both personal and political.
This was more of a 2.5 as it started as a 3 then went downhill a bit for me. I’m not sure why I didn’t love it, there was nothing wrong with it, I just couldn’t connect with it or really understand it. I know it’s probably accurate for many people, but him having named, physical embodiment of his depression and anxiety etc was hard for me to understand and relate to. There were bits of humor in this book but it wasn’t enough to carry the story or bring me in any closer. I also found the flashbacks and memories of other cities to be a little confusing, and at times they were hard to keep track of.
Would fit The 52 Book Club’s 2021 prompts: 14 – Written By An Author Over 65 When Published 19 – Book With A Deckled Edge 26 – An Author Of Colour 29 – Featuring The Environment 33 – Featuring Adoption 47 – A Character With A Disability
Author: Jennifer Deibel Publisher: Revell Pages: 352 On Sale: February 2, 2021 Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Christian Fiction, Cultural Stars: 3/5
From the Publisher:
To fulfill her mother’s dying wish, Moira Doherty moves from Boston to the rolling green hills of 1921 Ireland to teach in a village school. She doesn’t expect to fall in love–or to uncover a scandalous family reputation her mother left behind years ago.
I enjoyed this book, it was a lovely story of a woman traveling to Ireland to teach and falling in love while uncovering her mother’s secrets. The characters seemed like a lot of fun and her trials were moving, but overall this book wasn’t a winner for me. I’ve read some Christian Fiction and I normally don’t mind it, I just found this book had an excessive amount of praying and talking to God and reciting scripture. I should have saved this book for next year as it fits 11 prompts of The 52 Book Club’s 2021 reading challenge.
#1 – Set In A School #2 – Featuring The Legal Profession #7 – An Author With Only 1 Published Book #10 – Related To The Word “Fire” #12 – Title Starting With The Letter “D” #27 – First Chapter Ends On An Odd Page Number #43 – A Character With A Pet Cat #44 – Includes A Garden #47 – A Character With A Disability #48 – A Cover With A Woman Who Is Facing Away #51 – Published In 2021
Author: Ling Zhang Publisher: Amazon Crossing Pages: 304 On Sale: October 1 2020 Genre: Historical, Fiction, Cultural, WWII Stars: 4/5
From the Publisher:
The eagerly awaited English translation of award-winning author Zhang Ling’s epic and intimate novel about the devastation of war, forgiveness, redemption, and the enduring power of love.
On the day of the historic 1945 Jewel Voice Broadcast—in which Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s surrender to the Allied forces, bringing an end to World War II—three men, flush with jubilation, made a pact. After their deaths, each year on the anniversary of the broadcast, their souls would return to the Chinese village of their younger days. It’s where they had fought—and survived—a war that shook the world and changed their own lives in unimaginable ways. Now, seventy years later, the pledge is being fulfilled by American missionary Pastor Billy, brash gunner’s mate Ian Ferguson, and local soldier Liu Zhaohu.
All that’s missing is Ah Yan—also known as Swallow—the girl each man loved, each in his own profound way.
As they unravel their personal stories of the war, and of the woman who touched them so deeply during that unforgiving time, the story of Ah Yan’s life begins to take shape, woven into view by their memories. A woman who had suffered unspeakable atrocities, and yet found the grace and dignity to survive, she’d been the one to bring them together. And it is her spark of humanity, still burning brightly, that gives these ghosts of the past the courage to look back on everything they endured and remember the woman they lost.
I was really impressed with the way this book was written. Set in China during World War 2 it introduced us to many different characters, and it did a very good job at keeping them all separate. The book switched perspective every few chapters and invited us into someone else’s viewpoint and background and often this can get confusing or tangled, but I didn’t find that in this case. I’m using this for the “A Book That Leaves You Thinking” part of my 2020 reading challenge because it’s not a story you can move on from quickly. Each character goes through a lot of trials and it was really interesting to learn how they handled each one and the repercussions from them years later.