I have read Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin as part of a book discussion on Instagram.
Serpent and Dove is a Fantasy novel that pits the Church against witches. I enjoyed the themes that run through the novel and there were so many passages that I ticketed as I was reading. I have chosen to share with you an extract from a conversation between Lou and Ansel (a witch and a witchhunter-to-be) when discussing changing Reid’s opinion on witches:
“There are some things that can’t be changed with words. Some things have to be seen. Some things have to be felt.” (p 252, 2019, Harper Teen)
This quote is definitely one of my favourite from the novel. It resonates with me as I have often seen that people’s prejudices do not change unless it impacts their own life.
I am currently reading No Judgements by Meg Cabot, an author whose books I have enjoyed in the past. I look forward to reading a little romance this week, especially as it is cold and dreary outside.
The story is about Bree Beckham who needs to start over and decides to do so at Little Bridge – a tiny island in the Florida Keys. Things are ideal until a Category 5 hurricane bears down on the island. Bree has no intention of leaving and has access to a landline and plenty of supplies. She refuses her ex’s offer to fly her off the island but when the storm proves devastating she begins to worry – not for herself but for the pets people have left behind during evacuation. She begins a rescue operation with the help Drew Hartwell, the town’s resident heartbreaker.
I have not yet read much of the book. My teaser comes from early on in the novel when Bree’s friends and family and trying to get her to eave the island before the hurricane hits.
“But then I’d arrived in Little Bridge, and suddenly I hadn’t felt the urge to run any more. I wasn’t exactly sure where in the world I belonged, but at least I was done running … for now. And despite what my mother said, I wasn’t being stubborn – or maybe I was being stubborn, for what felt like the first time in my life. I was standing up for myself, which meant running towards something. I didn’t know what, exactly … but maybe that’s why I was still here.” (p 51, 2019, Harper Collins Publishers)
I am currently reading The Wedding Party, a romantic comedy by Jasmine Guillory. After all of the thrillers I read in October, this novel is perfect to relax with.
The novel centres on the relationship between Maddie and Theo who are both best friends with Alexa – but they hate one another (despite the simmering attraction beneath the surface). Now that Alexa is getting married, they are thrown together as they both form a part of her wedding party.
“For some reason, Maddie had hated him on sight. Okay, he was pretty sure part of the reason was the stupid way he had asked about her job the frst time they’d met. He hadn’t meant to sound like such a jerk. Fine, he had sounded like a jerk, but she hadn’t even let him back up and explain what he’d meant and had basically called him a pompous asshole. Whatever, he and Maddie would never have gotten along anyway. She was the cool, hot, party type, and he was the kind of guy everyone thought watched C-SPAN in his spare time.” (p 11, 2019, Penguin Random House)
I was accepted to read and review the following novel by BookSparks: After Kilimanjaro by Gayle Woodson. I was happy that my application had been accepted for two reasons: the book was set in Africa; and it dealt with basic women issues.
The novel is interesting so far and centres on a young woman doctor, Sarah Whitaker, who has travelled to work in Tanzania for a year. What she sees and experiences opens her eyes to the reality of the country she is in. The extract I am sharing describes one of the patients that she encounters:
” An awful stench floated in the next patient as she shuffled in with her head bowed. The chart said she was twenty years old, but she looked ancient. Her name was Charmaine. She was a victim of genital mutilation and a pregnancy gone wrong. The baby was tepees by scarring and after four days of labor, a dead infant was delivered in pieces. Charmaine was left with holes in her bowel and bladder and continually leaked urine and faces.” (p 107)
The content of the novel certainly makes me grateful to be living as a woman in a more modern society.
Yesterday when I opened the door to my home after work, the place was quiet. I was alone: my husband was still commuting home and my daughters were at university. I am still not used to being the only one at home by 5pm on a Monday. With my daughter no longer at high school, I think it is going to take a while for me to get used to these moments alone.
You may be wondering what did with my silent time. Yes, of course! I made myself a coffee, grabbed a new read, and put my feet up on the sofa. I had been wanting to start Pressure Point by Jessie Kwak since I had received it last week.
I haven’t read much of the novel yet so I will share a teaser with you from the prologue:
“Manu’s found that nothing helps a negotiation along quite so well as your enemy knowing just how close you can get to them.” (p 9)
(2019, Jessie Kwak)
I look forward to reading the third novel in Jessie Kwak’s Bulari saga. Guess what I will be doing when I get home today!
Today I am sharing an extract from Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik. I bought this novel on Amazon about three years ago because I was intrigued by the blurb. At that time, I had not read any diverse novels and I was curious about a story based on the dating experience of a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.
In this novel Sofia Khan is ready to renounce men when her sort-of boyfriend/possible-marriage-partner-to-be proves to be a little too close to his parents – until her boss persuades her to write a tell-all exposé on the Muslim dating scene and she makes a foray into online dating.
I am sharing an extract from when she is describing her first experience of dating on the internet.
“You know what the problem is?” I continued. “There are the men who’ll marry a hijabi – but then expect her to move in with a hole-in-the-wall, or think she’s going to be this weird paragon of traditional values.” I sighed. “And then there are the men who are all, “You’re living in the west – what’s with the hijab?’”(p43)
(2015, Twenty7 Books, UK)
Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged by Ayesha Malik is a story that had me chuckling throughout. This diverse rom-com was published in 2015 and was my first diverse read.
Today I am sharing an extract from Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty. I read this novel about two years ago when it first came out. I enjoy Moriarty’s writing as she scrapes off all the layers of people and their relationships and gets to the gritty part of a person.
In this novel we meet Sam and Clementine who have a wonderful albeit busy life. Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbours, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger-than-life personalities there will be a welcome respite. Two month’s later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?
I am sharing an extract in the voice of Sam reflecting on the morning of the barbecue:
“He found himself remembering the morning of the barbecue. It was like remembering someone else, a friend, or someone he’d seen playing the role of a father in a movie. Surely it had been somebody else, not him, strolling about, strutting about his sunlit house, so sure of himself and his place in the world. What happened that morning? ” (p47)
(2016, First Flatiron Books, USA)
Something happens at the barbecue that exposes the underlying faults in the relationships of the characters.
Have you read this novel by Liane Moriarty? What did you think?
Today I am sharing an extract from Pride by Ibi Zoboi. I picked up this Young Adult novel last year when I heard that it was a retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I loved reading Zoboi’s perspective. Not only did she incorporate references from one of my favourite classic novels, she also added the viewpoint of a culture far removed from that of Austen’s England.
The novel is set in Brooklyn and is told from the POV of Zuri Benitez, a woman who has pride in her Afro-Latino roots. The wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, the epitome of those who are slowly gentrifying her neighbourhood. Zuri wants nothing to do with the Darcys but as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial shifts into understanding.
“I don’t smile when Mrs. Darcy greets us. Her eyes immediately drop down to our shoes. So I look down too, to see Mama wearing her leopard print platform stilettos that she bought for her fortieth birthday party at a small club in Bed-Stuy. My face gets hot with embarrassment because I knew that this wasn’t the kind of party for those kinds of heels.” (108)
(2018, Balzer + Bray, Harper Collins Publishers)
Pride is definitely worth the read for those who enjoy Pride and Prejudice retellings, or diverse reads.
Do you enjoy reading Pride and Prejudice retellings?
I received Crossfire by Jessie Kwak and eagerly picked it up to read as I had enjoyed the first novel in her Bulari Saga. Yesterday found me sitting on the sofa reading the story until it was done – I could not help it, I had to now what would happen!
“Pitch darkness is strange. It’s claustrophobic, shrinking down the entire world to the amount that fits into your awareness, a palm-sized space where your breath leaves your body, your organs thrum in your chest cavity, you feel the tiny, disconnected sensations where parts of your body press against unknown objects. But it’s also expansive, your potential environment no longer confined by the physical walls that once hemmed you in. Pitch darkness is what your imagination makes it.” (p298)
(2019, Independent Author)
In Crossfire, I have learned more about Kwak’s characters – and I am getting to love them. I also enjoy the writing – it is precise and the imagery is on point.
It had been a while since I had read a good science fiction read and was thrilled when I picked up Double Edged by Jessie Kwak to discover that the good writing kept me interested and on the edge of my seat.
“Level C hits Manu like a physical thing: the scents, the din, the crush of people. Manu pauses in the entry, taking it all in. The air is heavy with fry grease and engine oil and voices echo off the high ceiling, jumbled so it’s hard to pick out anything individual. Warring news and music programs blare from the lunch stands, callers hawk wares as they wander the crowds, and the buskers and street performers only spike the chaos” (p36)
(2019, Independent Author)
The novel is gritty and realistic. And I loved it. A reader can almost forget that it is set in a futuristic environment.