ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge – Day 21 & 22

Day 21 –  December Wrap Up

img_6461My December 2019 ended with a bang because I was lucky enough to read The Nickel Boys, Red at the Bone, and In West Mills. All three were five-star reads for me.  The Nickel Boys was saddening but a wonderfully told story shedding light on the horrors that took place in a real reform school in Florida.  Red at the Bone explored how an unexpected pregnancy affects an entire family.  Beautifully written and slightly melancholic,  Jaqueline Woodson manages to paint a meaningful portrait of a black American family.  Lastly In West Mills is a story of community and how community can become family and how living one’s life freely can be difficult in a small town.  Short and sweet In West Mills has unforgettable characters and lively dialogue.  It’s amazing how much De’Shawn Charles Winslow says in this novel in so few pages.  I highly recommend all three books.  Check out the video below to hear what Roxane Gay’s Book club thought aboutRed as the Bone.

 

Day 22 – Single Ladies

The Blackbirds was the first novel that came to mind when I thought of single ladies.  Kwanza, Indigo, Destiny, and Ericka will have you smiling, laughing, and shaking yourimg_2250 head throughout, despite their individual troubles.  Eric Jerome Dickey doesn’t leave anything out from  a cheating ex-fiance, crushes, alias, illness, etc.  All of that is glued together with a little erotica.  This book was surprisingly longer than I’d expected – just a bit over 500 pages.  I read it and rated it five stars but found myself missing Dickey’s writing style from his older novels which I feel are written so much better.

 

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24 Books to Christmas – Day 21

baublesWhen I came to live in France one of the historical events that I didn’t know very much about was the tragic destruction of Cambodia, otherwise known as the killing fields.  I started to hear more about it and my curiosity led me to pick up In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner.  I don’t flock so easily to nonfiction although in the past three years I have to say I’m reading more of it.  This being said I decided to read this novel a few years back with a book club. You can read my blog review here and check out my video review here.  I hope to get to Music of the Ghosts in 2020, which is a continuation of In the Shadow of the Banyan.

I highly recommend In the Shadow of the Banyan to readers who are interested in a fictional account(based on the author’s life) of the Khmer Rouge take over of Cambodia and reading a novel with beautiful writing.

 

Overview:

“Displaying the author’s extraordinary gift for language, In the Shadow of the Banyan is testament to the transcendent power of narrative and a brilliantly wrought tale of 13057939human resilience.

For seven-year-old Raami, the shattering end of childhood begins with the footsteps of her father returning home in the early dawn hours bringing details of the civil war that has overwhelmed the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Soon the family’s world of carefully guarded royal privilege is swept up in the chaos of revolution and forced exodus…” (In the Shadow of the Banyan, inside cover)

 

 

In the Shadow of the Banyan – Vaddey Ratner

Publisher:  Simon and Schuster

Pages:  322

My rating:   ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

If you’d like to pick up a copy of No Place To Call Home or any of my other recommendations please consider clicking my affiliate link for The Book Depository.  It would be much appreciated. It will help fund my incessant book buying, reading, and reviewing. Thank you!

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