The Memory Keeper’s Daughter … a review

I had heard a lot about this book so when I chanced upon it, I picked it up. It was meant to be a travel read, and it is a good size and weight for that. So if you are going away on holiday this summer and want something interesting, I would recommend this book.

The plot hinges on Dr. David Henry, who lies to his wife and tell her that one of their twins, a daughter, was stillborn. In reality, she had Down’s and he gave her away to the nurse to put in a home. The nurse Caroline, couldn’t bear it however, and decides to raise the child herself. The plot is a bit too iffy. There are too many coincidences and the fact that Mrs Henry is totally obsessed in her grief but manages to mother her son and have a life anyway (however grudgingly) is a bit strange. She also questions her husband surprisingly less in the initial year after her daughter’s death, even though she cannot get past it.

But, but, once you get past all that, and assume the plot is a given, the portrayal of the fragility of relationships is actually brilliant. The slow decay of the Henry marriage, the dysfunctional family unit for Paul – the surviving child, the evolving relationship of Mrs Henry and her sister, the secret between Caroline and Dr Henry, and the struggles of Caroline with her ‘dauhter’ Phoebe are all excellently handled. Life can sometimes be stranger than fiction and the various people in their individual journeys are well-bound by this strange secret – a disabled child.

The treatment of peoples’ past as well is nicely written and you can see how each character’s past shapes their thoughts and behaviour. This is generally always true for good books, but this one is particular was standout. Down’s children as well are very precocious  in some ways and through Phoebe, those sentiments are nicelyconveyed. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I can see why there was a hype about it.

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Book Blog Tour – My Life in a Nutshell: A Novel by Tanya J. Peterson

Hello!

By now, most of you know that I’m participating in the blog tour for Tanya J. Peterson’s latest book which is just out. You might have looked at the trailer last week and gotten intrigued by the teaser I shared too! Look out for another teaser up soon and my review of the book this Thursday! We’ll also have an interview on here and speak with the author herself. Like last time, if you have any pressing questions or comments, let me know!

The story, in a nutshell, is this: It’s the story of two people who don’t quite know how to live in the world—the man, Brian, because of debilitating anxiety, the girl, Abigail because of instability and abuse — and their journey to learn from each other. Here is the press release for you!

Book Blog Tour – My Life in a Nutshell: A Novel by Tanya J. Peterson

Hello good readers,

I’m excited to announce that I’m participating the upcoming blog tour for Tanya J. Peterson’s latest book which is just out. I will be reviewing the book in due course (to be honest, I’ve begun reading it I’m engrossed). We’ll also have an interview on here and speak with the author herself. Like last time, if you have any pressing questions or comments, let me know!

The story, in a nutshell, is this: It’s the story of two people who don’t quite know how to live in the world—the man, Brian, because of debilitating anxiety, the girl, Abigail because of instability and abuse — and their journey to learn from each other. Here is the trailer for you!

 

The Electric Michaelangelo … a review

I bought this book at the book fair because it was an old edition and was selling cheaply. I also read the blurb and saw that it was about the art of tattooing. Since it was something I had never read about before, I picked it up. Right at the onset, I was aware that the style of writing was very very different from ones I’d encountered in the recent past. This was the story of a young boy, who grows up in a seaside town in Northeast England.

You know the deal with Northeast England? It’s very grey… the sky, the waves, the wind, sometimes even the sand… it’s all grey. And this coast it very beautiful in this colour, it looks sad, beautiful, and mysterious. So, at this seaside town where people frequently come to spend their summers, our protagonist grows up. He is used to death from an early age too, the inn that his mother runs is a haven for people with sickly pulmonary diseases, who come to spend their last days here by the sea.

When the protagonist becomes a tattoo artist and later travels to America, what follows is a tale of art, emotion, love, and despair. What is the story of tattoos, who gets them done, who inks them in, who, why, what’re their thoughts… What is everyone thinking? How does art transcend an ocean? Is love like art? Is art love? The writing of Sarah Hall is beautiful, and it took me into tattoo parlours and hearts. I expected this book to end badly… but it didn’t. It just ended.

The only slight drawback is that there isn’t much in the way of action for the longest time and then a set of very action-packed pages! But it worked well for me because I enjoyed the descriptions as much as the events! If anyone has any other recommendations of books that are set against the backdrop of tattoos, I’d love to hear them…

Quote: “By midsummer of 1940 there were one hundred and nine tattoos on Grace’s form, from the soles of her feet to the base of her neck, so that she looked like a most extraordinary tree of eyes. And in retrospect, when Cy would try to relive his journey across her body and remember the revolution of its archaic landscape under his unyielding bevelled brush, perhaps those were the times he was making love to her after all.”

Happy Birthday, Gabriel García Márquez!

One from last year…

5 things about one of my favourite authors:

1. He is known affectionately as Gabo throughout Latin America.

2. Won the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature, and is the earliest remaining living recipient.

3. He practically invented ‘magic realism’, a genre where magic elements are a natural part in an otherwise mundane, realistic environment. It was probably a result of being in close touch with his grandmother. This is undoubtedly my favourite genre of fiction.

4. He began his career as a journalist while studying law at the National University of Colombia. Needless to say, both journalism and law went for a toss later!

5. Solitude and melancholy are two emotions that you will feel deeply if you read any of his works. So deeply, that they will stir out of your depths, out of those years of repressed feelings, that you may have let dust gather upon…

Teaser Tuesday (March 04)

My teaser: “By midsummer of 1940 there were one hundred and nine tattoos on Grace’s form, from the soles of her feet to the base of her neck, so that she looked like a most extraordinary tree of eyes. And in retrospect, when Cy would try to relive his journey across her body and remember the revolution of its archaic landscape under his unyielding bevelled brush, perhaps those were the times he was making love to her after all. From page 282 (Faber and Faber 2004) of The Electric Michaelangelo.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Enjoy!

Best Kept Secret … a review

This is the third book of Jeffery Archer’s Clifton Chronicles series, and mind you, as of now, this is as far as the series has been written. The story of Harry Clifton, Giles, and Emma Barrington continues as there is a vote in the House of Lords to decide who will inherit the Barrington estate. And while this bit is kind of predictable, it is still written up in a very interesting way. ntense courtroom scenes and everything. While the rest of the plot has moved on to include Harry and Emma’s son Sebastian, the older generations still play very important parts, and the novel becomes an interesting medley of stories old and new, of both generations.

Harry is in America promoting his novels and Emma is out solving mysteries that plague her own family. Giles Barrington is defending his seat in the House of Commons and if you can guess, you’ll know soon enough who’s out to thwart his efforts. But thanks to Sebastian Clifton, Giles is successful.

In 1957, Sebastian wins a scholarship to Cambridge, much like his Aunt Grace did all those years ago. But, you and innocent as he is, he is lured into a trap to smuggle a statue into Britain. Going to Cambridge becomes a really distant possibility as he ends up on a ship for South America and to be honest, till the end of the book, he hasn’t actually ended up in Cambridge yet. The ending is quite exciting, what with the Government’s interference to nab the smugglers and Sebastian’s parents pitching in to make it happen.

Does Sebastian go to Cambridge? Is his life in danger? Gosh, have to wait longer to find out!