Summer Reading: Part One | A Small Book Blog

September 17, 2021 · 6:04 p.m.

I’ve read a lot of great books over the summer and now I have a lot of reviews to pick up. Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller It tells the story of 51-year-old twins, Jeanie and Julius, who still live in an isolated countryside with their mother, until their sudden death forces them to face the harsh realities of modern world life and the truth behind some dark secret family. . It’s a rather naughty novel, often a melancholy tone, but I really liked Fuller’s rich descriptive prose, which captures the oppressive atmosphere of the twins ’daily lives. ‘Unsettled Ground’ was nominated for this year’s Women’s Fiction Award, and it was no surprise that the judges nominated Susanna Clarae’s ‘Piranesi’ winner last week, I think ‘Unsettled Ground’ would be a well-deserved winner. also, and I will certainly look for Fuller’s other novels.

Maybe I’m not here David Harewood

David Harewood’s Maybe I Don’t Belong Here Actor Homeland tells the story of the breakdown in mental health he suffered in the early 20s and shortly after he left school in the theater and the racism that grew in the West Midlands in the 1970s and 1980s. The book follows the great documentary ‘Psychosis and Me’ by Harewood for the BBC a couple of years ago, and reflects on the impact of racism on mental health and identity in the most horrific terms. He was split in two during his illness and says, “I am absolutely convinced that if I had been in America at the time of my breakdown, I would probably be dead.” Her childhood racist abuse caused her to be “half black and half English” and her sense of self and identity was clearly broken in the nature of her breakdown, where a psychiatric report states: “The patient thinks he is the same. Two people.” Harewood fully recovered. and although he has had a successful career, making documentaries and reading medical notes about his illness has had a profound effect on him.Harewood’s informal and conversational style is very appealing to read.Thanks to Pan Macmillani for submitting a review copy via NetGalley.

Domestic Bliss Jane IonsEarlier this year my favorite indie press, Bluemoose Books, was published. Jane Ionsen Domestic Bliss and Other Disasters It is a comic novel about a middle-aged woman named Sally Forth who has taken a career break from teaching English in Secondary Education. Her son, Dan, has returned to live with her after graduating with a degree in performing arts and her daughter, Laura, has recently had a baby and is amazed at how difficult it is to find out. Ionsen’s novel has a long list for the 2021 Comedy Women In Print Award and is written in a very dry humor. I especially liked the competitive parenting dynamic between Sally and her friends and the depiction of seeding children reminded me a bit of the BBC sitcom ‘Mum’, whose main character played by Lesley Manville is not appreciated by almost everyone around her. Overall, the reading is light and fun.

Chinese Room Sunjeev SahotaSunjeev Sahoa Hall of China it is the author’s third novel and partly inspired by his family history. In the rural Punjab countryside of 1929, Mehar is one of three teenage girls who have had a marriage arranged with three brothers, but it is not known who she is married to. The women work in the family’s “chinchilla room” during the day, away from their husbands, at night until their mother-in-law calls them to a dark room to leave a child. Mehar eventually thinks that her husband has invented her brother, but this has dangerous consequences for her. Seventy years later, Mehar’s unnamed great-grandson travels from England to India, initially staying with his aunt and uncle and then leaving the farm where Mehar lived, trying to get rid of his heroin addiction before he started college. Sahura subtly draws the thematic connections between the narratives, with Mehar’s story being generally the strongest and most memorable of the two. I liked Sahota’s second novel, The Year of the Runaways, which was nominated for a Booker Prize in 2015, and I was a little surprised that it wasn’t ‘China Room’ again this year. comment). Many thanks to Random House for sending a copy of the review to Vintage Books via NetGalley.

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RC Verma

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