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For the Love of Reading: April 2023

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It’s the beginning of the month and that means it’s time to look back at the book I’ve read in April.

Marmee by Sarah Miller
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this book which retells Little Women from Marmee’s perspective. It offers interesting insights into Marmee’s childhood, political leanings, and commitment to social justice, while following all of the details fans of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy will remember clearly. It’s maybe a little long and it’s definitely sentimental at times, but it’s a worthwhile read for fans of Little Women.

Trespasses by Louise Kennedy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a wonderful debut novel, set outside Belfast in 1975, a time when the town was occupied by British soldiers and the Troubles were in the early years. The writing is nuanced, with some details merely hinted at, the characters are painfully human, and the plot meanders along nicely until there’s a rather shocking development that turns the world upside down in a myriad of ways. While there is terrible cruelty in the book, there is also an abundance of love, kindness, and compassion. Highly recommended.

Inciting Joy: Essays by Ross Gay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ross Gay’s latest collection of essays is wonderful. He starts off strong, suggesting we invite sorrow to a party, a brilliant way of embracing the sadness we all experience from time to time. Each subsequent essay has its own merits and his meandering way of covering an incredible variety of subjects is a welcome antidote to the world we live in. He’s never better than when his prose borders on poetry, I had to stop and think about his words many times before continuing. Highly recommended.

Murder in a Cape Cottage by Maddie Day
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When I need to read something light, I turn to cozy mysteries, and this series set on Cape Cod never disappoints. The characters are neighborly and relatable, the plot is easy to follow without being too predictable, and the details about Cape Cod pretty accurate. If you like cozies, I recommend this series.

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Stop thinking about who you were when you were living the wrong life
This is a lovely book about love, life, grief, heartbreak, family, and second chances. The nods to Little Women are perfect, they felt subtle while reading the book, but once I finished, the overarching theme of 4 sisters plus 1 boy next door and the dynamics of their relationships were actually rather brilliant. The shifting points of view provide insight into each character and Napolitano delivers an ending that is shattering and satisfying without being sentimental. Highly recommended.

The Push by Ashley Audrain
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A fast paced psychological thriller, this is a book you will want to read in one sitting if you can. Audrain tackles relationships, motherhood, and postpartum challenges openly, all while questioning the behavior of young Violet. Is she a diabolical child or simply a misunderstood and troubled one and a victim of a detached mother? Is the narrator reliable or overcome by her experiences of loss and grief? While this could have been another Gone Girl or Girl on the Train, it is set apart due to Audrain’s depiction of the struggles of motherhood, the silencing of women’s voices, and the myriad ways a life can be influenced by generational trauma.

It was another great month of reading for me and I hope you’ve found something that appeals to you, too.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Yup, another very good month of reading for you Carole. I enjoyed Trespasses a lot and am looking forward to our discussion in a little over a month!

  2. I’ve been seeing a lot about Hello Beautiful but didn’t realize there was a Little Women connection, which makes me much more interested in reading it!

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