It was quick, beautiful, sad read and I enjoyed it very much. This would definitely be a great story for a book club to deep dive themes of class, familial obligation, the role of young women in underdeveloped country’s and voting reform…
If you allow yourself to be distracted by Siri gone wild, ghosts, strange men, mean maids and angry teenagers the ending is a nice twist on events.
“Your lot in life is dictated by a comprehensive test given at age 10. Score high and you move on to the next level. Fail or score low, your education stops and you end up living in the slums, impoverished for life…”
“The gangster has killed Eddie’s partner, threatens Eddie’s family, straps a bomb to his chest and forces him into the courtroom. If Eddie doesn’t get the guy off, all is lost.”
Very interesting way to tell an old story of teenage pregnancy. I also liked the middle/upper class representation of blackness. Not all blackness is earmarked by poverty and lack.
I must say, between Queenie, Eleanor and Autumn from Speaking of Summer – I liked Eleanor best.
A.I. is a audio only book narrated by Regina Hall and Mindy Kaling. And with those two on deck combined with Cole, who typically writes historical romances, A.I. is part comedy, sci-fi, thriller, and romance.
One day, while struggling to complete her exercise on the communities suicide stairs, she meets a man in a black hat. He offers to change her life forever, and does. Pretty much overnight, she becomes the smart, attractive, popular girl the popular guy is interested in.
Winter Garden, though written beautifully, is not an easy breezy read. A large portion of the story is set in Leningrad, Soviet Union between 1941 and 1944, during The Siege.
This is a suspense novel but the action doesn’t happen until you are more than midway through the book. If reading about peoples lives doesn’t interest you unless theres shooting and killing involved, this is not your book. Move around.
The descriptions around characters, food, action scenes and locations: all beautiful beyond reproach. The imagery WILL transport you to the marketplace, the fights on the countryside and onto the castle grounds. The book cover itself is a work of art. We get to understand more about the Maji and their complicated history. Major uptick in action from the first novel.
In present time we meet sisters Maddie and Allie. Allie is set to be married and we learn how and why Maddie is having an affair with her sisters fiancé. Oh, tragedy.
Unlike Queenie, I actually like Autumn and don’t find her to be a self hating, self-sabotaging, casually racist, insufferable psycho slut. Both books tell a story of young black women dealing with trauma in a world that doesn’t allow them to acknowledge that trauma.