And now for some book reviews...
Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A virtuoso performance. Taiye Selasi is an author to reckon with. Her prose is a lullaby, taking its sweet time drawing us into the lives of the characters who populate Ghana Must Go. The narrative flits among members of a fractured family, each of them nursing their specific heartaches. What they share along with the ties of blood is abandonment, which leads to separate paths. A return to Africa to bid farewell to the man who left them is what brings them back together. Along the way we learn their secrets and sources of pain. Scattered moments throughout their lives fit together to form the image of a family, one that has been broken, but not irreparably. The arrival of death signals an ending, as well as the opportunity for new beginnings.
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I can never read too many grail quest yarns. This one doesn't have quite as infectious a pace as The Da Vinci Code. The style of prose ventures closer to literary than Dan Brown's strictly commercial blockbuster. Labyrinth also had me struggling to remember my high school and freshman year of college French lessons, for whatever that's worth. The narrative provides readers with two stories to follow (somewhat similar to Raymond Khoury's The Templar Salvation), one taking place in the present and the other in the distant past, the two racing to reach a point where they will merge. There are a good deal of characters to keep track of (perhaps a couple too many for my taste) with prime spots going to women. So I suppose this is the most feminist of the grail chase books I've read to date. It won't be the last, as I simply can't get enough of them. And I may return to the fiction of Kate Mosse someday, because even though this novel didn't quite wow me, it was crafted well enough to have me hooked to the end.
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Hilariously absurd. Entertainingly original, in spite of the fact that this book basically has the same ending (spoiler alert) as one of my favorite movies - The Usual Suspects. Wacky illustrations perfectly match the zany tone of the prose which will have you and your little ones laughing out loud (very loud) throughout. Even the title is awesome.
The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Oprah was right. This is an exceptionally well written story. Some of it I saw coming. Some of it I didn't. All of it was masterfully executed.
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