Rebecca

Rebecca (1938) by Daphne du Maurier is considered a classic of modern gothic fiction, and was voted Britain’s favorite book written since 1800, but I hadn’t read it until late 2022, having felt guilty that I had never picked it up. I should not have felt guilty, as I had a near-instant strong dislike ofContinue reading “Rebecca”

The Book of Form and Emptiness

I was really looking forward to The Book of Form and Emptiness (2021) by Ruth Ozeki because I loved her 2013 A Tale for the Time Being. It both exceeded and fell far short of my expectations in different ways. The great: I was hooked from the very first page. Ozeki has the book tellContinue reading “The Book of Form and Emptiness”

The Other Man

In The Other Man (2021) by Farhad Dadyburjor, Ved, the closeted heir to his father’s Mumbai business empire, gets himself into trouble when he submits to the pressure to get married to a woman. Ved’s work is his life; he lives with his father and avoids his mother because she reminds him at every opportunityContinue reading “The Other Man”

Alice I Have Been

Alice I Have Been (2009) is historical fiction based on the life of Alice Liddell, the girl who inspired the fictional Alice in Wonderland. Full disclosure: I have never read Lewis Carroll’s classic, although I’m aware of the characters and general overview. Alice Liddell was the daughter of an Oxford dean and lived across theContinue reading “Alice I Have Been”

The Elephants in My Backyard

The idea of The Elephants in My Backyard (2016) by Rajiv Surendra was interesting–a young actor is so enthralled with a character in a book and the similarities he shares with the character that he starts an email correspondence with the author and goes on a years-long quest to prepare himself for the role byContinue reading “The Elephants in My Backyard”

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters

It took two tries for me to stick with The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters (2019) by Balli Kaur Jaswal–I think I needed the audio version to fully get into it. although Jaswal’s third novel–2017’s Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows–was an instant favorite. Unlikely Adventures opens with an ill Punjabi-Sikh mother of adult daughters,Continue reading “The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters”

When We Believed in Mermaids

In When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal (2019), we meet Kit, a Santa Cruz ER doctor, and travel with her to New Zealand to look for her presumed-dead sister, Josie, after catching a glimpse of her in a news story. Through flashbacks, we learn the sad history of the family, disintegrated by neglectfulContinue reading “When We Believed in Mermaids”

That Summer

In That Summer (2021), Jennifer Weiner illuminates both the individual cruelty of an entitled teenage boy and the everyday misogyny of a privileged male lawyer. Both take advantage of women named Diana. Daisy Shoemaker is Hal’s wife. They have a house in the suburbs and a 15-year old daughter Beatrice, who is giving them someContinue reading “That Summer”

The Queen’s Gambit

I wanted to like The Queen’s Gambit (1983) by Walter Tevis. Although he died in 1984, many writers list him as one of their favorite authors. (See The Writer’s Library, by Nancy Pearl and Jeff Schwager.) I’ve always wanted to learn to play chess, so was drawn to the idea of a girl/woman chess player,Continue reading “The Queen’s Gambit”