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Showing posts from June, 2013

Haunting Jasmine by Anjali Banerjee

Haunting Jasmine by Anjali Banerjee is the aforementioned novel that had common themes and settings with The Violets of March, previously reviewed here on the blog.  Both cheating husbands are real pieces of work, but the cheating husband in this one is a real stinking piece of work.

Jasmine is called home to Shelter Island in Puget Sound by her beloved aunt Ruma to take care of her aunt's eccentric bookstore while Ruma travels to India for a month.  It's a perfect opportunity to get away--to get away from her job, to get away from the ex-husband that cheated on her, to get away from the painful divorce proceedings that keep dragging on.  It's the perfect opportunity to return to her home, her roots and her family to heal from the betrayal of a cheating husband.

When Jasmine arrives she finds a dusty, gloomy, cluttered, old fashioned bookstore housed in a lovely, temperamental Victorian house that gets "cranky" when left unattended overnight.  This is a fact that…

The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

The Violets of March is Sarah Jio's debut novel.  It has a few things in common with the next book that I'll review: both books are set on islands off the coast of Washington near Seattle and both books chronicle a woman's healing in the wake of infidelity and divorce.  Sometimes it seems I read books with similarities in character names, settings or plot themes; it's not something that I try to do, it just happens randomly.

So.  This is what bothered me throughout the entire novel.  The familial relationship between Emily, a struggling writer suffering chronic writer's block, and Bee, an eccentric, secretive octogenarian, is described early in the book as such: Bee is Emily's mother's aunt.  Except pages later Bee is described as an only child, the sole heir of her parents.  As a genealogist, I worried over this the whole book through because how is Bee Emily's great-aunt if Bee is an only child?  It is never spelled out or specified that the relation…

The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. by Nichole Bernier

I think this is Nichole Bernier's first novel.  If I recall correctly, I came across this book in a review in BookPage and thought it sounded good.  Anyway that was a while ago and now I'm finally getting around to reading it.  Ultimately it's a good read--it reads fast. And you feel compassion for the main character, Kate, because she's kind of at a precarious crossroads in her life, she's mourning the loss of her closest friend, there's a growing distance between her and her husband, and while she tries to reach out to him while she works through her grief compounded by the terrorist attacks of 9/11, he's all, 'eh, I've worked through all that, and I'm over it and why can't you be too.'

It's the summer following the terrorist attacks of 2011, and Kate's struggling to cope with a world seemingly on fire--there are stories in the news every day about a new terrorist plot or cell being foiled, another anthrax laced letter, or a …