Author: Thomas King
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
On Sale: August 25, 2020
Genre: Fiction, Cultural, Travel, Humor, Contemporary
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: Brad Ricca
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
On Sale: August 11, 2020
Genre: Non Fiction, History, Biography, Travel
From the Publisher:
From the Edgar-nominated author of the bestselling Mrs. Sherlock Holmes comes the true story of a woman’s quest to Africa in the 1900s to find her missing fiancé, and the adventure that ensues.
In 1910, Olive MacLeod, a thirty-year-old, redheaded Scottish aristocrat, received word that her fiancé, the famous naturalist Boyd Alexander, was missing in Africa.
So she went to find him.
Olive the Lionheart is the thrilling true story of her astonishing journey. In jungles, swamps, cities, and deserts, Olive and her two companions, the Talbots, come face-to-face with cobras and crocodiles, wise native chiefs, a murderous leopard cult, a haunted forest, and even two adorable lion cubs that she adopts as her own. Making her way in a pair of ill-fitting boots, Olive awakens to the many forces around her, from shadowy colonial powers to an invisible Islamic warlord who may hold the key to Boyd’s disappearance. As these secrets begin to unravel, all of Olive’s assumptions prove wrong and she is forced to confront the darkest, most shocking secret of all: why she really came to Africa in the first place.
Drawing on Olive’s own letters and secret diaries, Olive the Lionheart is a love story that defies all boundaries, set against the backdrop of a beautiful, unconquerable Africa.
This book had a lot of potential, but the pace really lost it for me. I found Olive to be kind of wishy-washy in the beginning with her feelings and decisions, but once she sets out for Africa she definitely had more of a spine. That sounded like quite a hard journey for an aristocrat. Regardless, the whole thing just kind of plodded along at a slow pace and even the exciting incidents didn’t spark a lot of interest. The history and geography was interesting, but this was not the exciting journey that I expected.
Author: Amanda Eyre Ward
Publisher: Ballantine Books
On Sale: March 3 2020
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Travel
From the Publisher:
When seventy-year-old Charlotte Perkins submits a sexy essay to the “Become a Jetsetter” contest, she dreams of reuniting her estranged children: Lee, an almost-famous actress; Cord, a handsome Manhattan venture capitalist who can’t seem to find a bride; and Regan, a harried mother who took it all wrong when Charlotte bought her a Weight Watchers gift certificate for her birthday. Charlotte yearns for the years when her children were young and she was a single mother who meant everything to them. When she wins the cruise, the family packs all their baggage—literal and figurative—and spends ten days traveling from sun-drenched Athens through glorious Rome to tapas-laden Barcelona on an over-the-top cruise ship, the Splendido Marveloso. As lovers new and old join the adventure, long-buried secrets are revealed, and the Perkins family is forced to confront the defining choices in their lives. Can four lost adults find the peace they’ve been seeking by reconciling their childhood aches and coming back to each other?
In the vein of The Nest and The Vacationers, Ward has created a delicious and intelligent novel about the courage it takes to reveal our true selves, the pleasures and perils of family, and how we navigate the seas of adulthood to cruise—we can only hope—toward joy.
I devoured this book, read it in under a day. I found the language the characters used to be a bit immature and stilted at times, but overall it was well done and fast paced. Most of it felt like a typical family drama, but there were a few surprises thrown in that I really enjoyed. The characters were all very unique and I wouldn’t say this book was predictable at all.