Wonderful storytelling of the remarkable relationship between two siblings, Nouschka and Nicolas, who have grown up without parental love: a physically absent mother and an emotionally absent father. O’Neill captures the francophone world on Montreal in 1995, leading up to the separation vote. The sibling relationship is amazingly close but they are moving in different directions: Nouschka is going forward and Nicolas is stuck in the present/past. Wonderful writing, especially the metaphors!
A 10-year-old (Helen) and a 22-year-old (Flora, a cousin of Helen’s dead mother), spend part of the summer of 1945 together. Helen’s father is working at Oak Ridge on bomb development so Flora is a companion/chaperone. Helen is a precocious, petulant, self-absorbed and incredibly manipulative kid, so interesting character and the ending to the book is a surprise.
(thanks to Amy/Steph). Really excellent writing; book was read in one setting so clearly I was engaged by the story. The book describes the experience of the author’s life together with her brother, and details after his death. Perhaps I was primed by the [Miriam] Toews AMPS [All My Puny Sorrows] but I have a personal preference for introspective and insightful writing. Humphreys captures the cruelty of disease and the numbness of grief. She writes: fear the worst because the worst has happened” (first Matthew and then Anne).
Story is set in the unspecified past, a time of harvest by scythes and oxen. Strangers disrupt the village, bringing loss of civility and unsettling violence; a melancholy story describing what becomes the end of the village. (thanks Erin).
Copenhagen Detective Morck is suffering from PTSD, investigates a cold case of abduction. Not much Danish context but a good thriller with interesting personalities.
Story set in Shanghai from approx. 1900-1930, two mother-daughter relationships spanning 3 generations. Detailed description of life as a courtesan through good times and bad times. Chinese men have anglicized first names like Perpetual and Loyalty.
A really lovely book about a family just dealing with life’s relationships (Marie, children mainly). Understated, better than McDermott’s book Someone from April.