If each day is a gift, I would like to know where I can return Mondays.
February 11th, people. That’s the day I proclaimed it was high time I pulled myself together. That went well. Sigh. Time for a serious reboot and there’s nothing like a little Tray time in the Motherland to refresh the soul and spur some productivity. Since we never know how long these spurts will last, let’s knock out three reviews at once, shall we? Here’s one I loved, one I liked, and one I wish I’d skipped.
The one I loved. Five stars for the first three quarters of this stunning read. It lost half a star from me for not finishing quite as beautifully as it began, but I loved it all the same. Delia Owens, author of Where the Crawdads Sing raved: “Liardet reminds us that mother-daughter love can arise from thrown-together hearts during the cruelest rubble of war. Through every scene, we see the tattered socks, the doll faces, the honey-smells of baby skin, but mostly we feel the strength and endurance of heart-crushing love. The war and weather-etched faces and life-long relationships of the villagers show us that real family has little to do with worn down definitions. This is a powerful story that proves how love itself requires courage.” (If you fancy a listen, this one is read by one of my favorite narrators: Jayne Entwistle. Perfection!)
The one I liked. Actually, really liked. Tray pegged this as a winner (before Reese, I might add) and that’s all the enticement I needed to click the download button. Once again, Tray was spot on. This review summed it up perfectly: “Mythical creatures, conversations with the dead, lucky numbers, Confucian virtues, and forbidden love provide the backdrop to Choo’s superb murder mystery. Mining the rich setting of colonial Malaysia, Choo wonderfully combines a Holmes-esque plot with Chinese lore.”
The one I wish I’d skipped. Not sure what possessed me to give this a try since I wasn’t a fan of Quinn’s last novel, The Alice Network (a Reese pick gone wrong). Could have been Kate Hannah’s ringing endorsement that got me—clearly, Great-Alone-Kate wrote that review. Someone bring Nightingale-Kate back pronto.