Two Books

In a recent post I mentioned about being behind on book recaps and I said I was about 11 books behind – make that 17. So I’m try to catch up and here is a bit on two books I read in the last few months.

The Book of Two Ways
By Jodi Picoult

“My mother, who lived and died by superstitions, used to make us say together before we went on a trip: We’re not going anywhere. It was meant to trick the Devil. I can’t say I believed in that kind of thing, but then again, I didn’t say it before I left home, and look where that got me.”

Dawn is a death doula, someone who is there for others as they are confronting their mortality. She used to be an Egyptologist and she dreamed of making great discoveries but her life path took her another way and she stayed in Boston away from digs and is married to a physicist and they have a teen daughter. However as the novel opens she’s headed back to Egypt to confront her past and as the plane begins to experience major turbulence and passengers and crews prepare for a crash her thoughts are on the handsome, Win who stole her heart. What if her decisions had been different, how would her life have turned out?

There is so much to unpack in this novel from the what-ifs to archeology and from physics to the afterlife. It is a lot and while I like a bit of all the things mentioned, well maybe not physics, trying to put all of this in a novel did not work out well in my opinion. And, then there is the ending. I read this long, slow book for that ending? I’m sorry, I think Picoult can really write an engaging story but this was not one of those.

By Sandi Tan

“The girls felt a certain nostalgia for how simple life had been just a month before, when their father was alive. There was a time for everything then. They were home from school at 3:40, ramen boiled at 3:45, homework was pulled out at 4:00 and at 4:02, the Mystery Boom Box started blasting its infernal melodies.”

Mira and Rosemary’s life is turned upside down when their father commits suicide and their mother believes that their own solution is to go back to Korea, never mind that the girls were not born there. The girls decide they must do whatever is in their power to convince their mom that they need to stay in their home and of course make destructive and unfortunate choices. Meanwhile the other residents of Santa Claus Lane are also dealing with their own problems, choices and consequences.

I think the title is very fitting for this story because you do feel like a voyeur, peeking into the sordid lives of the residents and almost flinching at what you encounter. From the beginning when we know the girls’ dad dies, I thought I was going to be feeling a lot for the predicament the girls found themselves in but I found them hard to like and don’t even get me started on some of the other characters. I read some reviews of this novel and how it’s witty and funny but I just found this too dark for me.

These were advance review copies from NetGalley.

Let me know if you’ve read these or have them on your wishlist. While my reviews were negative on these may be for you and if you did read them I’d love to hear what you thought.

  1. July 22, 2021
  2. July 22, 2021
  3. July 22, 2021
  4. July 23, 2021
  5. July 23, 2021
  6. July 23, 2021
  7. July 24, 2021