In January I read The Spy, The Sound of Gravel, Lilac Girls, Hollow City, and The Rosie Effect. And the winner of the auspicious title Elizabeth’s Best Book of January: a tie. I know, such a cop-out. But truly, I read two really phenomenal books in January and both so different.
First, The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner, still makes me want to cry just thinking about it. This horrifically sad memoir shares the struggles of daily life for a young girl growing up in a polygamist cult in Mexico and Southern U.S. Wariner’s writing is hauntingly beautiful and her words bring the stories to life. This book makes me want to care for all the children. I was so grateful for her epilogue of hope and redemption for her and her siblings. 4 stars.
Next up, The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion was amazing and also 4 stars, but in a completely different genre. This fictional second book in the Rosie series, gives a picture of life as an Aspie. I love learning all things related to how people with autism spectrum disorders think and feel; even though this was a fictional story it held fairly consistent with what I know about Asperger’s. I recommend reading the first book, The Rosie Project, before this one. This novel was lovely, although there were some times I got angsty because I didn’t like where I thought it was going, but it ended just as it should. A lovely read about relationships and communication and love. And family.
And the others:
- Lilac Girls. 3 stars. Good plot, but not as excellent writing as some of the others in the World War II fiction genre.
- Hollow City. 2.5 stars. The second book in Miss Peregrine series. An interesting dip into fantasy for me; easy read.
- The Spy. 2 stars. The fictionalized story of Mata Hari; outside of my normal genre–excellent writing, but didn’t love the character.
What books have you been enjoying?