Told Me I Must Read!
Housekeeping by Marylynne Robinson
Ruthie and Lucille. Orphans. Truants. Recipients of unwanted family history, pain. Residents of a deteriorating home. Survivors of the deaths of mother and grandmother. Abandoned by father and great aunts, Nona and Lily. Enter hobo Aunt Sylvie. So when Lily said, with a glance at Nona, "What a lovely dress," it was as if to say, "She seems rather sane! She seems rather normal!" And when Nona said, "You look very well," it was if to say, "Perhaps she'll do! Perhaps she can stay and we can go!"...
Robinson writes beautifully. I found Housekeeping to be a sip and savor book. There was no intense action or mysteries to solve, but the type of story one could imagine listening to sitting in a porch swing in a remote village in the Rocky Mountains overlooking a beautiful river flowing into a lake with a train trestle crossing the water...wait that sounds like the setting of Housekeeping.
4.0 stars and I will read more from Robinson.
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
On a mountain above the clouds once lived a man who had been the gardener of the emperor of Japan. Not many people had known him before the war, but I did. He had left his home on the rim of the sunrise to come to the central highlands of Malaya. I was seventeen years old when my sister first told me about him. A decade would pass before I would travel up to the mountains to see him.
He did not apologize for what his countrymen had done to my sister and me. Not on that rain-scratched morning when we first met, nor at any other time. What words could have healed my pain, returned my sister to me? And he understood that. Not many people did.
It’s the beauty of Eng’s writing that captivated me from the first paragraph. It flowed from his pen with its daydream-y quality as ethereal as the mists upon the mountains but yet the book holds within its pages the stark reality of World War II as observed by those residing in Malaya. The pain and suffering of the Chinese, Malayans, British and yes, even some Japanese is portrayed eloquently. What begins for Yun Ling Teoh as a quest to honor her slain sister’s memory becomes oh so much more.
It has been such a pleasure to read this book that I look forward to reading The Gift of Rain penned by this same author.
My rating 4.5 stars
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Bring Up the Bodies.
My rating 3 out of 5 stars