How mystifying the customs of ancient peoples seem to us... but how far removed are we, really?
Sylvie and her parents join a small university class on "a summer experience" living as Iron Age Britons may have. As prehistoric tasks become more intuitive to the group, so do the rituals they once thought horrific.
This unassuming wisp of a book belies the disquieting story within.
"I shivered. Of course that was the whole point of the re-enactment, that we ourselves became the ghosts, learning to walk the land as they walk it two thousand years ago."
Hot with violet urgency, and shrouded in the moss and fog of the rural Northwest, Vera Violet opens with the eponymous Vera on the run someplace deep in Montana, and does not let up until the final page. In between is something like the root system of a tall cedar, or the wiring Harness on an old pickup: tangled at first glance, but intricate as soon as you start to trace it. This is an unforgettable novel.
Primarily taking place during the forgotten Laotian Civil War, a war that is known as “America’s secret war of the 1960s,” Run Me to Earth follows three orphan teenagers just trying to survive among the wreckage around them. Paul Yoon has written the perfect follow up to the gorgeous collection of stories in The Mountain, that also follows the lives of innocent civilians who are left to pick up the pieces after destruction and war. We see the three teenagers grow up and separate but they remain forever tied though their tragic memories of childhood. Yoon has proven to be masterful at creating quietly compelling characters with real human stories that stay with you once you close the book. This is a timeless work by a writer at the top of his craft.
Amazing characters and regional history. One of my top 10 books of the year.
Whitehead lined up the plot of this novel as meticulously as dominos and then with a flick tore everything down in moments.
I sobbed at the end. Read it read it read it.
Be prepared to glide across time, distance, and families in Regina Porter’s debut novel. Her writing has rightly been described as “effortless” and is a joy to read. You come to know well two families, one black and one white, and how related they (and we all) are. As I marveled at her ability to portray each family member so deftly, I wondered– what would happen if she spent a week with my extended family?!
Have you ever envisioned yourself curled up with a cup of tea while lazily reading through someone else's old diary? If that's you, then I'll do you one better: you can drink your tea, read an old diary, AND be completely overcome by this beautifully sparse knock-you-off-your-feet reworking of an old diary found at an estate sale. This weaving of plucked out lines and phrases from the original diary is crafted into a beautifully parsed down and essential portrait of a woman's day-to-day life. And yet, there is an urgency to this book that hits you like a truck. I couldn't read it fast enough and I couldn't wait to read it again once I had finished. If I have my life in order, this book is one I'll never part with.
Who is Juliet? She's any of us who ever felt like they were losing their minds. She's the friend you have that's beautiful and brilliant but can scare you sometimes. She's honest, she's real. She's you and she's me. For those who suffer from mental illness, this book will make you feel less alone. Read this book!
If you ever thought to yourself, “Hm. Mean Girls, but an MFA program. And, oh! Make it horror! And yeah, a dash of an unreliable narrator sounds good. And why not? Throw in an outlandish plot so brilliantly over the top you literally have NO IDEA what's going to happen next”—then yes, this is the book for you. I loved every page of the delightfully unnerving story.
Writing a review for this book is gonna be hard but I'm going to try. This may be the I best book I've read this year. So many raw and stunning sentences just waiting for you to fall in love with. Told through letters from a son to a mother, I underlined the hell out of my copy. It broke my heart but it also put it back together. Read this and join the Ocean Vuong fan club with me.