The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

<strong>A horrific mirage of humanity’ darkest controlling systems</strong>

I was struck by the possibility that the world of Gilead could have been real at some point in history, it might have well been real which is even more striking. The author is a genius developer of thoughts and whishpers of the deepest kind, a picturesque illusion that the human soul can be salvaged in the face of horrific events. The amasing resilience of the mind and body against psychological rape of values and norms. I honestly could not decide which was more worrisome: finding consolation in the restrictive yet previsible routine of the day as a Housemaid or the revolutionary thoughts and actions determining perhaps a slight change for better or worse in the regime.

This looks like a feminist movement led by men, thoroughly gone awry due to the greediness for lust and body control. Yet there were so many women who were adepts and helping, or was this also an illusion to keep the women slightly in charge as if the regime itself was created for their own good.

I have many many thoughts provoked by this book and endless questions and musings. It is for sure a must read and a genius work, no matter how horrific the actions and the ideas depicted.

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He said/ She said by Erin Kelly

This was one hell of a journey through eclipses and partiality among human lives; a harsh yet complex view of relationships and betrayals, lies and appearance. Once you start believing one of them, the author spins the wheel and turns you in favor of the next character telling his/her story.
My favorite portraying was Beth’s, even if her story also had a question mark of sorts. Nevertheless she proved to be the most resilient, most grateful yet the most used throughout the book.
Kit was completely unpredictable from the beginning, his character proving to be weak and easily susceptible to others’ manoevers. The final paragraph in the book revealed something pretty insane. How could Laura had such an amazing presence of mind in front of immediate danger?!
Laura was controversial throughout the book. In my mind, she is a chameleon of sorts, always weighing in the good and the bad and choosing the best for herself. A bit egotistical at first sight, yet a strong character which screams resilience.
A deep novel meant to raise huge questions about whom to trust and how to find out the real meaning of a love long lost, when faced with betrayal and insanity. Bluffing one’s way through life just doesn’t seem like the best alternative.

The Other Girl by Erica Spindler

This is a smartly written detective/crime novel, even unpredictable at the right times. I could not put it down and got completely immersed in Randi’s story and troubles. I am so honored to have gotten to know Erica Spindler’s writing style and so thrilled that she has more books I can read.

The characters went through big development’s throughout this book, one could actually say you got to literally know them better with chapter. Fantastic building of the plot and clues. I really enjoyed the search for the true culprit.

Thanks so much to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this arc.

Sing, unburied, sing by Jesmyn Ward

Beautifully written to the core, exquisite understanding of the human nature, a book set up to become one of the best of 2017.

I was amazed by the writing style, this being my first Jesmyn Ward book. There is a melodious ache in her words, deeply resounding and immediately compelling, comforting yet fantastic in a way. I would most likely buy the hardcopy and reread entire passages. I made so many notes on my kindle, so many beautiful phrases to treasure.

The characters​ in this book are going through complex struggles, psychologically and physically too. Jojo is my favorite and I felt so deeply with this boy, too mature for his years. I could not imagine being in his shoes, seeing and going through so much hardships and yet shouldering huge responsibility towards his toddler sister. His savior and role model is his grandpa, Pop. This just goes to show how important having a firm role model is to young kids.

Leonie is a wreck of a mother, I was engrossed by all her actions and way of thinking. I could not fathom her becoming who she was in the book. Her character is nevertheless well rounded descriptively and realistic.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who likes sublime writing about real life hardships. The message I manage to feel is that there is a glimmer of hope usually between the darkness of what life can be.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Confessions by Kanae Minato

IMG_20170801_182300_481.jpgI finished #kanaeminatoconfessions last night. Some say it is a dark novel, I say it is a deeply disturbing yet psychologically challenging thriller in a calm Japanese literature style sense. I was literally blown away by the clear cut style of #kanaeminato 📚 I am very honoured to bave stumbled upon the buddy read #cgbookclub and very much looking forward to the discussion. 📚 A few questions off the top of my head: How much worthwhile was it to take the law in her hands and handle the revenge by herself? How can one truly understand the irrational logic of a mom who’s hurting after the murder of her daughter? 📚
@criminallygoodbookclub

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This gem of a book is a must read, without exception. I will recommend it to my friends and to my kids when they are old enough to understand the subtleties in the woven stories and the beauty of the writing style.

It was both a slow read and an unputdownable one, characters lingering in the mind through their caring nature and soft inner voices. A novel about war, yes, yet so much more than that. I was sceptical due to its popularity and dived in courageously without reading any reviews beforehand. I read it slowly and enjoyed the art of the writing in all its magic.

This book is more than a war novel, it is a story about goodness and love, about finding each other and oneself throughout history, about treasuring memories that felt like moments yet influenced a lifetime. A must read.

Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed

I read this book in two sittings and I was literally struck by the harsh paedo conditions created in the book. A cult, a dystopia, a horrific place for women. The big questios to be answered and contemplated on: Why suffer the prejudice? Why being born a girl has to be this way? Why would ancestors leave such a legacy of rules? Why submit oneself to the rules when you know they are immoral?

I loved this book for approaching this extreme subject, which is so painful that gets to be taboo. If it were not written about in a novel, would people still talk openly about it in organised book clubs or media?  The whole father and daughter relationship is handled sensitively in a literal style sense. Nevertheless, the idea of it brings horrors to the mind.

I say that most girls in the book are corageous, innocent souls who have already gone through a lifetime of physical abuse before their coming of age. The exceptions in the book somehow anchors the dystopia to reality, in a strange sense. That there can be hope still, that they are not all corrupted by men who made the laws for their own sake.

There is so much to write about and to ponder on in this book! I could go on and on about the subject, the clear writing style and the subtlety of character portraying. Yet the best setting would be in a book club. I had the great pleasure of discussing this novel on instagram with a few insta book buddies. This is how I also discovered this novel and I am glad I had the chance to read it.

 

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

This book made so much sense! Its structure is so strong and beautiful that it took me through ages of family history in an honest way,being full of sensibility and strength, so delightfully complete.

I wanted to hug Marjorie and Marcus in the end, being so happy that they both found what they had been looking for through each other. And they also completed the journey of all the generations before them, starting with Effia.

Water and fire are symbols of unity and purpose in this novel, chasing each other through centuries. The characters themselves are like these elements, bold and determined to make a change, somehow burning their roots, yet still finding a way to swim ashore back home to what holds most meaning in life: family and love.

There are so many adjacent topics in this book, that at times I felt I was almost reading a second book. Nevertheless, the borders between segregation, slavery and family history are seemlessly woven to make this book an experience, a flow of emotions.

A journey of suffering, love, wandering and hope. Everyone should read this book!

Make space by Regina Wong

A necessary manifesto for a simpler and more fulfilling life, without clutter and going against consumerism! I have been trying and slowly succeeding to declutter, it is difficult and overwhelming. The good news is that it is possible. This little book introduces the basics of minimalism with inspiring quotes that reawoke in myself the desire to simplify more, hence to live more.

“When we crave simplicity, we are not after an easier life. We are after life”. —Dave Bruno

I recommend this for those who are toying with the idea of finding a way to simplify their lives, this books is a great start!

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.