Alas, it is still early in the year, but I have yet to read a novel that I just loved. The ones I’ve read I’ve liked well enough, but none of them are making me rush to recommend them. Maybe it’s just the funk I’ve been in recently.
Anyways here’s a few of the novels I’ve read in the last month and you can decide for yourself:
Making History by Stephen Fry. I enjoy reading alternate histories, and this one was a fun premise on a serious topic: How would the world have turned out if Adolf Hitler had never been born? One would think that would be an easy answer, but Fry’s story makes it complicated and definitely something to consider, though in a lighthearted way. I picked up this book at the Waterstone’s in Amsterdam where I was browsing with Judith from Leeswammes and she said she enjoyed this book as well.
The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore. If I had to choose a favorite book of this group, I’d probably choose this one. It is a novel set in the 1970s in rural Tennessee and is about young Emmalee Bullard, a new mother who takes on the task of making the funeral dress for a woman she worked with and who was her mother figure. It is a lovely story about community.
Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda. Another story about community, in a way. This is a novel about 4 unlikely roommates who share a grand Paris apartment. As you all know I have a hankering for all things Paris so that is what drew me to this novel.
A Star for Mrs. Blake by April Smith. I should have loved this novel. It is about a group of Gold Star Mothers in 1930 who are sent on a pilgrimage to France to see the graves of their sons who died in the battles of World War I. So it theoretically fed my interest for France and for history. Alas, there were too many other stories going on in the novel that took away from the mothers’ journey, and there was one sub-plot – that of the African-American mothers – that, once revealed, would have made the novel a lot more compelling for me had it been fully developed.
Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts on them?