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”

The Awkward Black Man

The Awkward Black Man by Walter Mosley (2020) is a terribly fatphobic book of seventeen short stories. I had a bad feeling when the first line of the first story “The Good News Is” ended with “after a lifetime of carrying an extra thirty pounds or more, I was finally losing weight.” While some ofContinue reading “The Awkward Black Man”