Review: Mischling

Mischling by Affinity Konar

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Twin girls arrive at Auschwitz and immediately become part of the experimental population of twins known as Mengele’s Zoo. Pearl is in charge of: the sad, the good, the past. Stasha must care for: the funny, the future, the bad. This was harrowing, haunting, and somehow lyrical. I couldn’t put it down. So beautifully written …

“A violet night was falling and we heard a clock ticking in the air, addressing us, telling us that we were running out of time. Two steps farther, I realized that this sound was only the pound of my heart, though the message remained the same. The ticks quickened when we rounded a corner and saw a Red Army soldier … leaning against a wall alongside a broom. I wondered if that broom was so young that it had only the experience of sweeping ash and rubble.”

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Review: Heroes of the Frontier

Heroes of the Frontier
Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really wavered on this. I wanted to love it more than I did. Josie, the protagonist, was either intriguing or infuriating by turns. Does Eggers mean her (and by extension her pilgrimage/escape/adventure) to be profound, or is she the fool? Perhaps I’m too old for her self-indulgence. Not my favourite read recently.

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Review: Miss Jane

Miss Jane
Miss Jane by Brad Watson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A delightfully quiet and contemplative book, inspired by the true story of the author’s own great-aunt, the novel explores the life of Miss Jane Chisolm, born in rural, early-twentieth-century Mississippi with a urogenital birth defect. Her grace and resilience in the face of being a permanent social outcast is beautifully developed and she is not the only wonderfully authentic character in the book. A deceptively simple, and simply beautiful book.

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Review: The Girls

The Girls
The Girls by Emma Cline

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Edgy, engaging, disturbing, and very readable, The Girls is loosely based on the Charles Manson clan/murders and the events leading up to that summer. Told from the twin past & present perspectives of Evie, who, as a 14 year old, is disenchanted with her family and friends and has a powerful need to belong to someone or something.

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