I actually managed to finish 3 books this month! Due to my long commute during the week days, as long as Avery is napping I can read. I really enjoyed the books I read. They were all about women and the stories were all different and beautiful. So let’s get into it.
1) IT’S NOT ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE BY TERRY MCMILLAN-
I really enjoyed this book! Its a great read about beauty supply store owner named Loretha who loses her husband unexpectedly. She sort of gives up on life after that because her husband’s death makes her think about her own mortality. She has a free spirited granddaughter who cant seem to settlw down, a daughter with an alcohol problem, and some friends who have their own issues. I liked it because I enjoy reading stories about senir citizens who are not not just waiting to die. Loretha reminds me of my mom when she finds out she has a health issue but refuses to take it seriously. I enjoyed how Loretha takes back her life and refuses to let the bad stuff that happens to her dictate how she’s going to spend her twilight yeats.Loretha was very open minded about homosexuality and mental health and that made her my favorite character. I thought the beginning dragged a little and that Loretha was a typical old lady at first, but it definitely picked up and ended on a high note.
2) SAY HER NAME BY ZETTA ELLIOT-
I’m not a huge fan of poetry but I really like this book because it drew from other poets both past and present and reminded us of all th brutality of Black men and women in the last 10 years or so. However it wasn’t overly sad and gave hope also by reminding Black women and girls of their power and magic. I really like the references to other poets like Angelou,Wheatley and Hughes as well as music by Nina Simone, and James Brown. It was very Black and I enjoyed it very much.Something that stood out about it is at the end of the book, there is an explanation for the inspiration for each of the poems,which gave great insight and inspiration.
3) A HUNDRED SUNS BY KARIN TANABE-
A Hundred Suns captivated me instantly because it was set in 1930s Indochine,a place and time I’ve never read about.A rich relative of the Michelin family(yes, the tires) moves his family from Paris, France to Indochine to run the family’s rubber plantation amd make some changes. It’s a whole different society than what the Michelins are used to but they are all drawn into the culture and society.There’s talk of alot of the native people being communist and the deaths and jailings of these communists as well as how workers are treted in the plantation.Jessie, the wife of the Michelin heir,(Victor) befriends Marcelle de Fabry,a mysterious carefree woman with a secret vendetta against the Michelin family. Her lover and her plot the demise of Jessie’s sanity in an attempt to make her fo back to Paris.
What I loved about this story is how Marcelle despite being vengeful is really just a woman seeking justice for her friend who died. She faults Jessie’s family. Jessies was certainly underestimated by Marcelle and herself because of her proverty stricken upbringing and family history of mental illness that she hides from Victor. The The native people of Indochine,play an important role in both Jessie and Marcelle’s life despite seeming to be secondary. Both women have different motives that are driven by heartache and by the end you feel empathy for both of them in some way. Issues of class,sex and race are also prominent in the telling of this story and it’s a great ride.
Two of the books,It’s Not All Dowhill From Here and Say Her Name are categories #18 and 22 from The Reading Women Challenge
Let me know if you’ve read any of these and drop your links for your January reads. Stay tuned for my February TBR. Happy reading!