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RECENT RECOMMENDATIONS FROM SOUTHERN INDIES...
While Fuller’s first book, Cocktails Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, paints an exquisite picture of her early life in Africa, this memoir portrays her later life as she tries to navigate the world outside her African experience.
She marries an American in the hopes that he will take her away from her unorthodox upbringing only to discover that her life does not fit as she had hoped. She confronts her life and its difficulties, revealing the complexity of her family as they deal with suffering and loss.
A poignant narrative that is worth reading.
Leaving Before the Rains Come by Alexandra Fuller (Penguin Press) Recommended by Stephanie at Page & Palette Fairhope AL
This is the first novel by Chantel and it is as good as her other two.
Josephina is the daughter of a Cuban police sergeant in pre-Castro Cuba. She leads a wonderful life until she falls for a poor man.
She becomes estranged from her father and at one point thinks her father is dead. But he is not and the letters he writes to her (she thinks she is getting letters from a ghost) reveals his family relationship and his love for her.
A wonderful story of family with a pervasive Cuban flavor. I loved it! This book won the 2006 International Latino Book Award.
Love and Ghost Letters by Chantel Acevedo (St. Martin's Griffin) Recommended by Stephanie at Page & Palette Fairhope AL
In The Garden of Burning Sand, Corban Addison weaves a wonderful tale of a power struggle in an African city.
Centered on a case of child molestation, Addison introduces characters from all walks of life to give you the perspective of what child molestation does to everyone. The child in this story has Downs Syndrome and she finds people to help her in the court system. They are limited in what they can legally do, but they still work to bring justice to the child.
Addison wants to show how we as Americans have to be willing to help these children by bringing DNA labs to African courts This is definitely a novel with a message , but with skill he gives us an excellent story to surround the issues that he wants us to be aware of. If this book had been tackled by a less skilled author, it would have been a book that you thought you should read and you would struggle through. Corbin was able to weave a beautiful story through the difficult issues that he brings to the front in this excellent novel. I encourage you to read it.
In The Garden of Burning Sand by Corban Addison (Quercus) Recommended by Molly at Fountainhead Bookstore Hendersonville NC
In this haunting coming of age story, we meet a young Moroccan named Lakhdar who spends his days in Tangier watching girls, reading French detective novels, and gazing across the water at the elusive lights of Spain.
When he is kicked out of his house for an improper relationship with his cousin, he begins a journey that takes him from the streets of Tangier to the Straits of Gibraltar, and finally to Barcelona, where he finally finds some semblance of a home despite the squalor and chaos of his surroundings.
Set against the backdrop of the Arab Spring and the collapse of the European economy, Street of Thieves is a dark and beautiful portrait of a boy's fateful path to manhood.
Street of Thieves by Mathias Enard (Open Letter Books) Recommended by Tony at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC
Paula McLain does an exceptional job of capturing Beryl Markham and her singular life, as well as painting a vivid portrait of Kenya and a host of other noteworthy characters, including Karen Blixen, Dennys Finch-Hatton and the two British princes, Harry and David.
I've been a fan of Beryl Markham's since reading her memoir, West With the Night, in the '80s, and have also read whatever I could about her. This is a beautifully written, authentic novel of the acclaimed horse trainer, pioneer aviator, and gifted writer, about whom Hemingway famously wrote -She can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers...it is really a bloody wonderful book.
Circling the Sun by Paula McLain (Ballantine) Recommended by Sarah at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC
In this companion novel to Atkinson's bestseller Life After Life she tells the story of Ursula's brother Teddy, the favorite of his mother, his sisters - and, I have to believe, most readers.
Teddy's story is no less moving than Ursula's, skipping backward and forward in time from his dotage to his childhood and times in-between. The heart of the story is WWII and Teddy's years as an RAF pilot, making forays deep into German territory, an experience that will color the rest of his long life.
A wonderful novel that totally immerses you in a different world and at the same time makes you question many things about your own world.
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson (Little, Brown and Company) Recommended by Sarah at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC
Understanding that her more delicate husband would never survive the Civil War, Constance Thompson takes up the moniker Ash, disquises herself as a man and joins the Union army in his stead.
Inspired by true stories of women who wore blue and gray, readers should not dismiss Neverhome as one novel among many.
Neverhome by Laird Hunt (Little, Brown and Company) Recommended by Lyn at Square Books Oxford MS