I love a snow day! Due to the 8 or 9 inches of snow recently dumped in our corner of the Hoosier State, I had a couple of “snow days” from the library – even more time for reading! Here’s what I tore through as the snow fell outside…
1. Wildalone by Krassi Zourkova was a weirdly engrossing debut novel. Combine a brilliant and beautiful pianist from Bulgaria coming to the United States to study at university, two brothers with a lot of secrets, a sister missing under murky circumstances, Bulgarian legends, Greek myths, and the moody atmosphere of the Princeton campus, and you have a strange yet oddly compelling novel. Filled with references to Chopin and poetry, Greek gods and Bulgarian secrets, this is a smartly written novel that challenges convention and doesn’t really fit into one genre. Though I found the genesis of the romance stilted (I hate novels that have the characters have ONE conversation, and suddenly they are as entwined as Romeo and Juliet), I still really enjoyed the atmosphere and premise – and I learned a lot about classical music! They are saying this is a mashup of Gabaldon, Harkness, and Meyer, and while I disagree somewhat with Meyer being in there, I can see the parallels to all those novelists. Looking for something different? Try this one.
2. Her by Harriet Lane was…not good. It’s been lauded and praised by the review magazines, but one glance at “real” readers on Amazon will tell you – this novel is just not good. Emma and Nina are somehow entwined, and the book is told from their two points of view (in a bit of a cheat from the author, she reuses a lot of chapters), and you spend the novel trying to figure out “the mystery” – which is seriously anticlimactic. And the ending is absolutely nonexistent. In fact that novel made me so mad, I don’t even want to take the time to review it! Don’t waste your time on this one…really.
3. Epilogue by Will Boast is a memoir that freaked me out with how much it paralleled my own life. We’re both English-Americans, living in the Midwest, mothers died of cancer, complicated fathers, going home to England and treading the line between those two cultures constantly no matter where we are, and we both even went to Indiana University! Will, however, has a family secret – his father had a family back in England before he remarried Will’s mother. This memoir thus chronicles Will’s navigation of his father’s sudden death, meeting his half-brothers, and figuring out just who he is in the grand scheme of things. I really enjoyed reading about our parallels – an interesting memoir!
All of these books can be purchased on Amazon.