Rating: 5 stars Category: Emotional Synopsis: Donna Tartt's masterpiece The Goldfinch follows the story of Theo. Aside from his recently-gone-AWOL father, Theo is a relatively normal New York schoolboy. That is until his life is irrevocably shattered at the age of thirteen when he loses his mother in a suspected terrorist attack at a museum. As a cast of wayward characters makes their way into and out of Theo's life, he clings to the art his mother loved as a way of maintaining a connection with her. However, this remnant of stability will also be shaken when the art he treasures so much draws Theo into a spiral of criminal activity.
Circe by Madeline Miller: Entrancing, Empowering Adaptation of Ancient Greek Myth
Circe, daughter of Helios, is born with the voice of a mortal without the glow of a god. Shunned by her nymph family, she observes from a distance the gods' cruelty and greed. When a defiant act of compassion leads to island exile, it is here that Circe finds the freedom to shape a self outside of her divinity. More than a goddess, she is Circe, witch of Aiaia...
Archive Nostalgia: The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak: Timeless Story of Familial Love
Of the 'young and story-hardened' Dunbar boys, it is Clay, the fourth of five brothers, who has the most moving stories of them all. When their estranged father returns to enlist help to build a bridge, Clay is the only volunteer. He becomes obsessively absorbed in the task - it is clear that, for him, the project means more than just a bridge. The secret to why Clay is building lies in the tide of Dunbar past...
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: Character-Driven Drama
Rating: 5 stars Category: Emotional Synopsis: Shaker Heights seems like an almost flawless town - careers, families and entire lives are carefully constructed with little margin for error. All this changes when free spirit Mia moves in with her daughter Pearl. Secrets and scandals begin to emerge that threaten to crumble the community's perfect facade.
Archive Nostalgia: Room by Emma Donoghue Book Review
I'm bringing back my review of Room by Emma Donoghue for those of you who want to read a unique and heartbreaking novel this summer. Rating: 4 stars Category: Emotional Synopsis: Jack is a 5-year-old boy who has never set foot outside the confines of the tiny shed where his mother is held captive by her abuser. Narrated from Jack’s innocent perspective, the novel follows his ‘Ma’ and her attempts to save him from their desperately mundane and unnatural existence. But even if she can find a way to escape, will she and Jack be able to survive in a world that has been a stranger to them for years?
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes: Science Fiction with a Big Heart
Algernon is no ordinary lab mouse – scientists have performed a pioneering experiment to exponentially increase his intelligence. Charlie is a man with learning difficulties working as a cleaner in a bakery. He longs for a higher IQ, believing it will make him feel more equal to those around him and is to become the experiment’s first human test subject. It opens up a world previously closed to him, but Charlie soon learns that increasing IQ is too simplistic an approach to solve the complexities of human emotions and relationships. With Algernon’s behaviour also becoming more erratic, Charlie’s future looks increasingly uncertain… I have mentioned previously on Miscellany Pages my prejudice against science fiction. Too often, I find the genre crosses a line of “weirdness” that alienates me. However, a friend at book club was so enthusiastic about Flowers for Algernon that I felt I had no other choice but to put aside my snobby sci-fi misgivings. I am so glad I did.
The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
Many years ago, Anthony Peardew broke a promise. The only promise he has ever made. In atonement, he begins to carefully collect a hotchpotch of objects that have been lost, in the firm belief that they have a significance to someone, somewhere. When Anthony dies, he leaves the collection to his assistant Laura. Adrift in a comfortable but unadventurous existence, Laura finds a new purpose in the monumental task of reuniting the lost objects with their owners. Her quest to fulfil Anthony’s legacy of love makes for a moving tale of wonder, compassion, triumph and the infinite endurance of human connections.
Room by Emma Donoghue
Jack is a 5-year-old boy who has never set foot outside the confines of the tiny shed where his mother is held captive by her abuser. Narrated from Jack’s innocent perspective, the novel follows his ‘Ma’ and her attempts to save him from their desperately mundane and unnatural existence. But even if she can find a way to escape, will she and Jack be able to survive in a world that has been a stranger to them for years?