logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Family-Saga
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-03-15 17:29
Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
Pachinko - Min Jin Lee

It took me almost four months to read Pachinko. As I read, I began wondering about my slow pace. My fall semesters are busier, yes, but I still manage to finish most books in what's a timely manner for me. It certainly wasn't because I found the book hard to read in terms of comprehension or engagement. As I got closer to the end, I realized: it was because I was so invested in the characters and storytelling I had to take time to process the intense feelings the novel evoked. There are also regular gaps in time that take place between chapters where characters' situations change significantly; I needed mental space before diving into the story again. I can't think of another novel that required this sort of reading from me.

 

In addition to Rushdie's The Moor's Last Sigh, Pachinko has served to establish that "family sagas" can engage me, or at least when another culture is involved. Through the family portrayed here, I learned more about Korea, but it never feels like a history lesson. Everything comes from the characters. The novel also provokes thought about national and racial identity.

 

There were moments I dreaded, as with the return of a less sympathetic character, though not in a way that made me dislike the novel or its author. There were moments that shocked me to the point of gasping. There are many scenes that easily and vividly come to mind when I recall my reading, which I finished more than a month ago.

 

I would love to teach this novel. I have the feeling I may reread it some day, regardless. For me, that's a rarity, a compliment, and a sign of deep gratitude. 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-03-01 14:38
December/January 2018 Reads
Bad Behavior - Kiki Swinson,Noire
A Song Unheard (Shadows Over England) - Roseanna M. White
The Good Daughter - Karin Slaughter
Tempest - Beverly Jenkins
Best Laid Plans (Madaris Family Saga) - Brenda Jackson

This winter has not been kind to me. I've been quite ill. I only managed to read one book in December and four in January. In Bad Behavior, I was only able to finish the story by Kiki Swinson. The second story by Noire is erotica and I don't read that genre. Here are my ratings;

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White

 

The Good daughter by Karin Slaughter

 

Best Laid Plans by Brenda Jackson

 

 

 

3 Star 

 

Bad Behavior by Kiki Swinson and Noire

 

Tempest by Beverly Jenkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-01-19 13:10
Art of Forgiveness by Monique Orgeron
Art of Forgiveness (A Stern Family Saga Book 2) - Monique Orgeron

Art of Forgiveness by Monique Orgeron is book Two in The "Stern Family" Saga. This is the story of Liam Stern and Avery Edwards. I have read the previous book (and Loved it!!) 'Art of Seduction', but feel this is easily a standalone book.
Liam and Avery knew each other when they were younger. They had fallen in love and in the back of their minds would get married. Although their relationship was a secret one that only they knew about it was series between them. But then Liam learned what his family really did and turned Avery away. Now years later Avery has found herself kidnapped, hurt emotionally and physically. But Liam ends up saving her when he and his brothers where looking for someone else that was taken.
Avery is broken not wanting to go on along with hurt feelings toward Liam for his past treatment of her. But Liam knows that he has to make this right with her. But can their love withstand all that they have been though?
I am so crazy about this series! I am so happy I found this author and her books!!

Buying Links:

➾Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2ENlNUx

➾Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2DB1ABO

➾Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2ELB5Jk

➾Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2DaMjH6

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-01-14 22:33
Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Kintu - Aaron Bady,Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

This is a big, ambitious book, relating the story of an extended family that begins with a patriarch in 1750 and then jumps ahead to 2004, tracing the fortunes of his descendants in modern Uganda. It’s been much discussed as a very Ugandan book, written for local readers and enjoying massive popularity there, but it’s an excellent novel with much to offer international readers as well.

The story begins in the old kingdom of Buganda, where Kintu Kiddu, a governor, journeys to the capital to pay his respects to a new king, who just took power by murdering his brother. Kintu’s most pressing concerns, however, are closer to home, with the large number of wives he’s obliged to marry for political purposes, the grooming of his heir, and the adopted son whose father curses Kintu’s family.

By 2004, Kintu’s descendants are scattered. Suubi, abandoned as a child, has found material stability but is haunted by her dead twin; estranged from her adoptive family, she tentatively searches for her relatives at the urging of her boyfriend. Kanani is an old man who, along with his fanatical wife, has found refuge in an evangelical Anglican sect, but their zealotry has driven away their children and the family keeps a shameful secret. Isaac has overcome childhood neglect and survived war to be economically successful, but he believes he has given HIV to his wife and child and is afraid to confirm it. Miisi is foreign-educated but chooses to live in a village, where he is raising a small tribe of grandchildren after the deaths of his children.

Plot summaries about this book tend to focus on the ancient curse, but as someone who usually finds fictional curses to be boring plot drags, I was impressed with Makumbi’s handling of this element. The Kintu clan believes that they are cursed, but the story leaves room for other interpretations. The characters experience a lot of hardship, but in the modern story it never feels inevitable, as in those books where you know every hope will end in tragedy. When the clan ultimately comes together in an attempt to remove the curse,

the outcome is ambiguous; but what’s clear is that they have connected with one another, forming a support network to buoy relatives who are isolated or in crisis. Perhaps their isolation from one another was the problem all along, and the ceremonial aspects are simply a way to bring people together and give them a common goal.

(spoiler show)

But having more than one possible reading is a sign of good literature.

And this is a really good book. It’s engaging and moves quickly, with short chapters and lot of dialogue, and a few secrets for readers to guess. The characters are believable and complex, even those who only appear for short periods of time, and this is quite a feat given that there are a lot of them. The writing is good and there is a strong sense of place, though this is a book much more focused on people than descriptions; the culture comes out in the way people speak and what they think and worry about. When people talk about this book being “too African” for British readers (Makumbi evidently couldn’t get a publisher there), I suspect it’s not really about the book’s lack of white characters or focus on colonialism and its aftermath. All that has been done before, though this book remains notable for the lack of European presence in such an expansive historical epic; there’s a lot more to Uganda’s history than its decades of British rule, and we see that in context here.

No, I think the British publishers just took issue with the book’s being aimed at Ugandan readers: the language, the names, the culture aren’t simplified, but form the foundations of the book’s complex world. I doubt international readers will actually have trouble understanding it. No matter where you’re from, it’s an engaging story with a lot of humanity that anyone will recognize, and books tend to be better when they don’t make patronizing assumptions about their audiences.

Aside from being a good story, this book has a lot to say. In the introduction (which I recommend actually reading – it’s spoiler-free and provides interesting background and context), Makumbi describes the book as “masculinist,” for its look at how patriarchy hurts men. The book doesn’t explicitly discuss gender roles, but it’s there, from Kintu’s struggles to sexually gratify the many young wives politics require him to marry when he only wants one, to Isaac’s issues with female sexuality, which lead him to marry a woman who can recognize his issues and use them to manipulate him. When asked if this isn’t feminism, Makumbi replied that her next book is the feminist one – which has me excited for that book. But I can see where she’s coming from: this book is more focused on the men, though the women are complex and varied.

Finally, it’s a fascinating look at the combination of tradition and modernity. There are a lot of traditional Ganda beliefs in the novel, but it doesn’t idealize the past or portray it as monolithic. (One of the funniest scenes involves a traditional all-night advice session for Kintu’s son on the eve of his marriage; the men give him a lot of contradictory advice about sex and marriage.) In the present, the clan varies in their adherence to tradition, from Kanani, who wants to do away with it, to his sister Bweeza, whose persistence and enthusiasm for the old ways make her the “Great Aunt” of the clan. Modernity creeps into traditional ceremonies, where the hired medium is foreign-educated, while old ways and traditional motifs reassert themselves in modern contexts.

Overall then, this is an excellent novel, combining storytelling prowess with big ideas and food for thought. I hope its unfamiliarity won’t scare readers off; one of the great advantages of reading is the ability to experience other lives and cultures, and this is a perfect book for the armchair traveler. And it has an engaging plot, complex characters and universal themes to interest those with no connection to Uganda. I hope it is widely read and that we get more books like this.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-01-08 00:00
Best Laid Plans (Madaris Family Saga)
Best Laid Plans (Madaris Family Saga) - Brenda Jackson Best Laid Plans sets out to seduce with cunning women, alpha males, hot romance and a hint of suspense. This time around Mama Laverne sets her sights on Nolan and with a little help from her family and friends, just may get her wish. Ivy and Nolan take readers on a tempting chase of danger, romance and stubbornness. What begins as a meeting of the minds turns into a lesson in love. Count on Brenda Jackson to deliver a lesson in family while writing an epic love song along the way.
More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?