Davida Chazan's Blog for mostly book reviews and literary musings (and maybe some chocolate).
Most people may have heard of the names Gustav Mahler and Gustav Klimt, but the names Alma Mahler and Alma Maria Schindler probably mean nothing to you. Admittedly they didn’t to me either. However, with Mary Sharratt’s newest novel, I’m glad to have finally had the chance to learn something about one very interesting woman. If you read my review of this book on my blog here, you’ll find out where all these names, and more, come together in one historical fiction novel. http://drchazan.blogspot.com/2018/07/an-eve-or-lilith.html
Thanks for the free book, @prhinternational! Anne Tyler’s fans were worried that her 2015 novel “A Spool of Blue Thread” might have been her last. How pleased and thankful are we all that she hasn’t gone into retirement because she just couldn’t stop writing? Her newest novel also takes us back to Baltimore (with a couple of short sidetracks) to hear Willa’s story; a woman who drifted through her 60 years of life, until a total stranger calls her, putting her on a path that will change everything. My review of this charming novel is on my blog now. https://drchazan.blogspot.com/2018/07/finding-her-time.html
Karin is having a hard time this frigid winter. To begin with, her deadbeat, criminal boyfriend left her with their newborn baby girl Dream. Add to this that she has almost no cash left, no job, practically no food in the house and must use the least amount of electricity she can, so they don't turn that off. The worst part is she's about to lose her home and her car. Karin must find a way out of this problem, and Karolina Ramqvist's novel is all about her search for an answer.
Sweden's bestselling author Karolina Ramqvist brings us a story touted as a powerful novel of "betrayal and empowerment." This short but complex study centers around how one woman, alone and lonely, is forced to grab at anything she can that might pull her out of abject despair after her criminal boyfriend abandons her with a newborn baby, with no money or prospects and the looming loss of her home. You can read the rest of my review here.
Readers of Michael Chabon's novels know that he has a wonderful way of mixing reality and fiction, to the extent that the lines can feel very blurred. I noticed this in his "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay," which won him the Pulitzer. Although that novel, (which I really should review someday) focuses on the rise of superhero comic books, with an aside into the realm of magical realism, this book takes on a much more personal form. Here, Chabon takes the last 10 days of his grandfather's life (well, step-grandfather, to be precise) and uses the recounting of the events of this man's life in order to create a fictional biography, or memoir. In this way, Chabon not only makes protagonists out of real-life relatives, but he also places himself and other family members into the cast of characters.
Read the rest of my review here.
Here is a book for which it is almost impossible to write a plot synopsis. Like many of Ondaatje's other works, this doesn't have narrative that follows conventional literary patterns or rules. Although there is an overall linear aspect to the novel, the general feeling is more of a shifting spiral. I'm sorry if this doesn't make sense, but I can't help what I feel about a piece of art.