I really want to give this 3 1/2 stars, but I rounded up because love the premise and foundation of the plot. The run-on dialogue Ms. McMillan is so fI really want to give this 3 1/2 stars, but I rounded up because love the premise and foundation of the plot. The run-on dialogue Ms. McMillan is so fond of made me want to rate lower....more
This latest book in the Blessings series by Beverly Jenkins is the one I didn’t know I needed and the one that I maybe enjoyed the most. So much of thThis latest book in the Blessings series by Beverly Jenkins is the one I didn’t know I needed and the one that I maybe enjoyed the most. So much of these books focus on the newer residents of Henry Adams, Kansas and all the changes that are happening there, that I forget that there are still rich backstories to be told about some of the characters.
Trent July is a descendant of one of the founding families of Henry Adams and he and his high school sweetheart are finally married and raising the two boys that they’ve adopted. Raised by his grandmother Tamar, the town’s matriarch, Trent has always wondered about the birth mother that he never knew, but being surrounded by the love of such a close-knit community helped him not to dwell on it. Now new information about his mother comes forth and shakes up Trent as well as the town.
As always with this series, the town itself is a character itself. Welcoming newcomers and dealing with the envy of surrounding communities continue to test the strength and resilience of Henry Adams and its inhabitants. This is one of those series that you hope will go on forever and ever, and I can’t wait to read the next one....more
Madeline Santiago smokes cigarettes, has the mouth of a sailor, and is very serious about being a jazz singer. She’s only 9 years old, though, so eachMadeline Santiago smokes cigarettes, has the mouth of a sailor, and is very serious about being a jazz singer. She’s only 9 years old, though, so each of those things can be a problem. Her mother passed away a year ago leaving her father in a depression so deep that he rarely leaves his room, so Madeline is basically on her own with help from a few people in her Philadelphia neighborhood. 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas covers just the span of one day, Christmas Eve Eve, in the life of Madeline, her teacher, Sarina Greene, and Lorca, the owner of the jazz club, The Cat’s Pajamas.
Madeline’s story was the most interesting to me and the reason that I chose to read this book. Her desire to sing the music that her parents loved so much keeps her motivated despite all of the obstacles thrown in her way. Her determination is inspiring. Moving back to her hometown after a recent divorce, Sarina is reconnecting with old friends and navigating getting back into the patterns of those relationships. Lorca is faced with losing the jazz club that has become the most important thing in his life at the expense of his son and girlfriend.
I loved the interconnected of the stories of these three along with other people in the neighborhood as everyone moves through what turns out to be a very special day. Bertine manages to tell this tale and provide enough back story without the reader getting lost. There was a section about 3/4’s in and also during the ending of the book that left me scratching my head. I wasn’t sure if it was a dream sequence or not and it really distracted me from the story and left the ending a little off to me. Aside from that, I did enjoy the book and was mostly satisfied with how events played out.
I recieved a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review....more
I’ve been really good lately at picking novels to read without knowing anything about them first. The only thing I knew about Time of The Locust was tI’ve been really good lately at picking novels to read without knowing anything about them first. The only thing I knew about Time of The Locust was that the story surrounded an autistic boy, Sephiri, and his internal life. I wasn’t prepared for any of the rest of the characters and their respective journeys or the magic realism that runs throughout.
The water world that Sephiri has created in his mind is the only thing that makes sense to him and the sea creatures that inhabit it help him to understand “the land of the air” where his mother, Brenda, and the rest of us live. Increasingly, he begins to be pulled in deeper and deeper into the water world and when he comes back he starts to sketch elaborate pictures of this place in his mind. With Sephiri’s father, Horus, serving a life sentence, Brenda is tasked with trying to raise and reach her son on her own with little or no help save an occasional appearance by her brother-in-law. But she never gives up on the hope of one day having Sephiri one day really “seeing” her and becoming reachable.
While reading this, I was really affected by how severely alone and imprisoned each of the characters were due to very different circumstances: autism, imprisonment, health issues, guilt, emotional pain. Yejidé’s beautiful and poignant writing make all of the pain that these people are in seem real enough to touch. But the magic she includes, especially in the second and third parts of the book, offer much hope in the form of love and family bonds. Time of the Locust is definitely one of the most meaningful books I’ve read in a long time.
I received a complimentary copy of this e-book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review....more
If you read Walter Mosley for his gritty noir mysteries, don’t expect this book to be the same. While you get glimpses of that style of writing in somIf you read Walter Mosley for his gritty noir mysteries, don’t expect this book to be the same. While you get glimpses of that style of writing in some of the character’s development, Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore is one of Mosley’s departures from the genre is most known for.
Debbie is a porn start who experiences a revelatory moment on set at the exact same time as her husband dies in their home. Finding out about his betrayal and the debt he has now left her with makes her come to the conclusion that she isn’t going to do “it” anymore – she’s done with porn.
This is far from a quiet novel. Debbie has to deal with the police, her dead husband’s dangerous creditors, and her own past. But Debbie herself is written in a wonderfully subdued way, contrary to what you would expect a famous pornstar to be....more