Bookseller Bron really gives the best recommendations when it comes to books (children’s books and historical fiction in particular). Here’s what she’s reading this month.
Bron is reading…
The Sun Walks Down, Strout’s pandemic novel, a book about cats & more
Thankfully, going hand in hand with these seemingly endless grey sky days is an amazing overflow of brilliant new books at Roaring Stories! The hard part is narrowing down the selection.
First let me tell you about the book that will probably become my favourite and best book of 2022: Fiona McFarlane’s The Sun Walks Down. This is a lost child story set in the majestic Flinders Ranges in 1883. Gorgeous prose and magnificent descriptions fill every page, while the vibrant storytelling and the surprising array of characters who all come alive make this book a page-turner from beginning to end. Dare I say, a classic in the making.
Haven by Emma Donoghue was the perfect holiday read. With just three characters (and an island) to keep track of, it was like viewing our world in microcosm. If you’ve ever wondered how we got to this point of environmental chaos and destruction, Haven looks back in time to unearth the detrimental thinking that started it all.
I deliberately chose to start reading After Sappho by Selby Wynn-Schwartz knowing next to nothing about what I was in for. All I had gleaned from the back of the book and some of the news from the Booker longlist folk, was that After Sappho was a collection of vignettes about feminists writers through the ages.
The stories begin in the late 1800s in Italy, moving through Paris and into London before WWII. They introduce the reader to almost a hundred women, many whose lives were intertwined in fascinating, tragic and romantic ways. The one thing they all shared in common was a passion for improving the lives of all women everywhere. I loved it.
She and Her Cat by Makoto Shinkai and Naruki Nagakawa is a Japanese short story collection for lovers of cats of any age. In each of the four stories cats, who are either related or friends, are adopted by lonely women. The stories alternate between the cat’s point of view and the human one. A rather remarkable and very wise dog also makes his presence felt. The stories are delightful, sad in places, but mostly full of the simple joys of being a cat. A real treat for yet another rainy day!
Finally, I have just started Lucy by the Sea, the fourth book in Elizabeth Strout’s Lucy series. This is Strout’s pandemic story. Lucy and William find themselves sharing a house in small town Maine to escape the lockdown in New York. So far I have been delighted by the number of cameos from Strout’s other characters as Lucy gets used to the ‘new normal’. Strout’s writing is as perspicacious as usual.