Yellow Wife follows the life of Pheby Delores Brown. Born on a plantation in Charles City, Virginia and the daughter of the esteemed medicine woman of the estate, she lived a sheltered life, favored by the master of the plantation.
The master promises to give her freedom at 18 and send her to school away from the plantation.
Due to circumstances beyond her control, Pheby finds herself torn away form the safety of her home and away from her true love, Essex Henry.
She ends up at the Devils Half Acre, which is a prison for slaves and hell on earth for all who get sent there.
When the Jailer takes a liking to her, she becomes the Mistress of the jail. Even though she is treated better than the slaves that reside there, she knows the jailer sees her only as property.
This book was inspired by Mary Lumpkin and Lumpkin’s Jail in Richmond, Virginia.
The lives of slaves were full of atrocities and it seems unimaginable how they survived both physically and emotionally. This is a difficult novel to read but should not be missed.
Piranesi is a young man who lives in an infinite palace, made up of a series of long halls and interconnecting rooms. Each room is full of marble statues and all are different in subject and size. The lower levels of the palace descend under water and the upper levels are filled with clouds. The tide comes in and out, flooding some levels permanently but leaving others filled with broken statues, seaweed and trash.
Piranesi sees nothing unusual about his existance. He spends his days investigating his environment, mapping the house, tracking the tides, and filling his journals with everything he learns.
He believes that only fifteen people have ever been alive in the world. Thirteen of them are now skeletons he found among the rooms, he is fourteen, and the fifteenth is a man he calls "the other."
Piranesi meets the other once a week to help the man on his quest for great and secret knowledge that the other believes will give him powers.
I won't say more, because this is one of those stories that is best enjoyed when you don't know too much going in.
Give it a read. You'll be glad you did.
Dearly was the perfect book to read to transition from the end of last year into this new year.
These poems focus on loss, the passage of time, love, nature, and even some topics I did not expect but was delighted to find within the pages.
It is safe to say that I will read anything and everything written by Margaret Atwood and if you like her writing, I highly recommend that you read this one too.
No one must speak about The Grace Year.
In Garner County girls are banished to a remote island the year they turn 16, sent away to rid themselves of their dangerous “magic.” “Magic” that can lure men from their beds and cause the men to do things beyond their control. Once purified they will return to their village and be ready for marriage. But not all the girls will make it home alive.
When 16-year-old Tierney is sent on her grace year, she realizes that the greatest threat to survival may not be the animals in the woods or the poachers waiting for them to stray from the safety of their camp, but may actually be each other.
Once I started this one - which felt like The Handmaid’s Tale meets the Hunger Games - I could not put it down.
Ebenezer Tweezer is a rotten man who keeps a terrible beast on the 15th floor of his house.
The beast keeps Ebenezer young, and in return, Ebenezer must provide the beast with anything it wishes to eat. But the beast has grown spoiled and greedy and it requests something he's never eaten before: a child.
Ebenezer goes to the local orphanage and finds Bethany, a perfectly ghastly child, and thinks he has found the perfect meal for the beast.
But as Ebenezer and Betheny get to know each other, Ebenezer realizes that Bethany might make a better friend than food...
This intermediate book is perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket.
Adeline is a young woman in France in the 1700s. She wants much more for herself than what is expected of young women at the time, which is to get married and have children. She manages to evade all prospects of marriage for years, until one day, her parents decide that she will be wed to a widower from her village and will finally put her wild days behind her.
On the evening of the wedding, she flees into the woods and says a prayer, desperate to be delivered from a fate she feels is worse than death - being connected to one person forever.
Her ill-timed prayer reaches the ears of an old God, one that agrees to save her from marriage for the cost of her soul.
Happy to be free, she agrees to the terms and realizes too late that deals made with the devil are never straightforward...
Grab yourself a copy of The Best of Me and take a hilarious stroll back through the best essays of David Sedaris. Even if you’ve read them before, I promise a re-read will still elicit a laugh - or in my case, super-ugly heaving laughter.
Sedaris has a unique take on everyday life and every time I read or listen to his work, I find myself looking closely at the mundane occurrences in my life, and wondering how Sedaris would present them in his unique point of view.
And, If you’re not already familiar with David Sedaris, The Best of Me is a great place to start!
After receiving a suspicious letter from her recently married cousin, Catalina, Noemi is sent to the crumbling old mansion, "High Place" to check on her.
When she arrives, she meets Catalina's husbands family and realizes that there is definitely something strange about the house and all the people living there.
Catalina tells Noemi that the house is haunted but after learning the history of the house, Noemi discovers that ghosts are the least of their problems.
I really enjoyed this strange, creepy story set in 1950s Mexico and recommend it for fans of gothic ghost stories.
Once again, Lindy West had me cackling my way through her newest book, Sh*t, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema.
In this book, bestselling author Lindy West focuses each chapter on a different popular movie from the last three decades. Lindy gives a summary of each movie and gives her humorous take on whether the movies we hold so dear can stand up to our current sensibilities.
Some of the movies discussed are : The Notebook, Face/Off, The Lion King, The Shawshank Redemption, and Twilight. Each is given a rating on a scale of 1 to 10 Dvd’s of The Fugitive - the authors “perfect” movie -which itself is rated 13 out of 10 Dvd’s of The Fugitive.
While this book won’t be for everyone, (as it leans politically left, proudly feminist, and relentlessly snarky) those who enjoy the work of David Sedaris, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will appreciate Lindy’s takes on absurd storylines, huge plot holes, and ridiculous characters in the blockbuster movies that mean so much to us.
If you’re looking for a quick read that’ll keep you laughing, I highly suggest giving this one a try.
Colin Dickey examines the United States most notorious haunted buildings, urban legends, and other historical events. He tells their “haunted” backstories and looks at the folklore as to why each are considered haunted.
I loved learning how and why ghost stories not only reflect our history, but are also used to "explain away” the things we are ashamed of and don’t want to face.
This is a spooky book full of historical detail that made me think differently about what it means to consider certain places “haunted."
A great read for Halloween time!
Arriving in France in 1948, Julia doesn’t speak the language and knows little of French culture.
With the fierce determination of a woman on a mission, she learned the language, mastered French culinary nuances, and became a household name.
Julia Child is the epitome of a brave, fearless female. Reading her story will leave you dazzled and inspired.
Once again, I am late to the party on a GREAT series.
If you are looking for a little escapism from the realities of life right now, may I suggest Nevermoor?
This intermediate series follows Morrigan Crow. Born on the unluckiest day of the year - Eventide, she is blamed for all the towns problems from burnt toast to failing crops. The worst part of the curse of Eventide? She is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.
On the evening of her birthday, a stranger named Jupiter North swoops in and saves her from her untimely demise. They escape to Nevermoor where Morrigan will face challenges to become part of a magical society, and if she wins, her safety will be guaranteed.
I loved the adventure, mystery, and wonderfully whimsical characters in this book.
This is a perfect family read – aloud and can be enjoyed by all ages.
Book three in the series Hollowpox will be released on October 27th. You have just enough time to read the first two: Nevermoor, and Wundersmith to catch up!