Translated by Simon Bruni
From a beguiling voice in Mexican fiction comes an astonishing novel—her first to be translated into English—about a mysterious child with the power to change a family’s history in a country on the verge of revolution.
The day Nana Reja found a tiny baby under a bridge, wrapped in a blanket of bees, life in their small village in Mexico changed. Baby Simonopio had been kissed by the devil some said. With his deformed mouth, there are some that believe he is the devil. But not the Morales family. They have adopted Nana Reja and Simonopio and love them both deeply.
As he grows he wanders the fields with his swarm of bees. Listening to what they tell him. It seems his purpose is to watch over the family and protect them with the visions he has.
In the middle of the Mexican Revolution and the 1918 flu outbreak, the Morales family survives and with the help of Simonopio, they thrive. Is it magic? Is it love and faith?
Whichever it is there is always someone waiting to destroy what they do not understand and this evil could destroy an entire family.
If this book was this beautiful and moving after the translation, I can only imagine what it feels like in its native tongue.
It was a pleasure to read and I’m sure I will read it again!
From the author of the acclaimed, The Dry Grass of August comes a richly researched yet lyrical Southern-set novel that explores the conflicts of gentrification—a moving story of loss, love, and resilience.
It’s 1961 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The neighborhood of Brooklyn is almost entirely made up of black families and businesses. While there are a lot of run down and shabby homes and storefronts, Loraylee Hawkins lives in a nice home with her grandmother, her uncle and her son, Hawk. She works a full-time job and cares for her grandmother and her son.
Loarylee works at a cafeteria and is involved with her boss. A white man. All very secret, after all this is the South in the early ’60s.
The city of Charlotte has declared Brooklyn a blight on the city and has decided to do some gentrification. Which we all know means bulldozing every house and business and putting in buildings no one can afford. This is their home. They were born here and many died here. But now even the graveyard is being removed in the name of progress.
This is a very familiar story for those of us raised in the deep south. The strength of the characters of this cast was extraordinary. This was a community that supported each other, a family that stood their ground and fought for a better life and for respect.
I am so glad I read this one and I highly recommend it!
It’s 1964 when Cleo Sherwood disappears. It’s been eight months and no one is looking for her. Cleo was out to find a better life for her and her sons. Cleo wishes Maddie would stop looking for her.
There was a voice for every character. I wasn’t sure at first if Cleo was the Lady in the Lake. New characters kept showing up and got their own chapters. It was confusing.
The story centers around Cleo’s voice and Maddie’s voice. Maddie is married to a rich man. She has a lot of secrets and while she talks a lot to herself, we have no idea what is behind her character.
I got bored about halfway through. There was nothing to like or dislike. It was just boring. And that is not what I would expect from the author. I will definitely be reading more of her.
NetGalley/ July 23rd, 2019 by Faber & Faber
Max and his wife, Pip, are a perfect couple. And added to their perfect lives is Dylan, their son. When Dylan is diagnosed with a brain tumor their lives are forever changed.
Pip spends every minute in the PICU and Max is back to work and struggling with not being with Pip and Dylan. After so many months the news they receive from the latest scan is not good. They have a decision to make and if they can’t make one, the NHS will.
This first half of the book was heartbreaking and I can’t imagine having to make a life or death decision for your toddler. What would you do? Do you let go? Do you fight, knowing you will lose?
The second half I was confused. It wasn’t clear to me that this was a What if? story. What if the judge says no? What if they judge says yes? I was confused right up until the end. That is when I figured out that each of them was telling the story of what their own outcome would be. But I really wanted to know which one happened.
NetGalley/ June 25th, 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
The Second in the Victorian Village Mystery Series
Kate Hamilton is back in her hometown of Asheboro, Maryland. Staying at the dead Cordelia’s B and B. Trying to save the town and its history from going under. The only thing that ever made money in the town was a shovel factory that has long closed. It as well as the fantastic Barton Mansion were left to the city to be sold.
As Kate gets ready to get down to business and find out where Barton’s money came from and go through all of his documents, people start popping up asking questions, about the research and what she has found. And when one of them turns up dead in the library things get dicey.
I have enjoyed this author’s works before however, this one was pretty flat. Kate isn’t a likable character. All of the characters seemed flat. Although the historical parts were interesting the people were not.
NetGalley/ July 9th, 2019 by Minotaur Books
Memory makes reality.
Neuroscientist, Helena Smith has been working for a long time on a way to recreate memories. Helena’s mother has Alzheimer’s and Helena is racing the clock to create something that will allow people to re-live those memories they have lost. But with her budget small, it may not happen.
Then one day a man walks into her office and offers her the dream of a lifetime. Full funding, state of the art lab, everything she needs to bring her vision to life. But is her benefactor doing this for other reasons? Maybe not so pure ones?
Meanwhile, an NYC cop, Barry, is learning first hand about a phenomenon the press are calling False Memory Syndrome. Driving people to kill themselves. Believing they have lived other lives and being driven out of their mind, not knowing which memories are real and which lives they are living now.
When Barry and Helen team up to bring down the horrifying invention that has been unleashed as a weapon, things get insane. Time shifts, reality shifts, memories shift. What’s real and what is not?
This is one of my favorite types of stories. A puzzle in a puzzle in a puzzle. I had to pay attention very closely to remember all of the timelines and it was worth every minute!
Very Well Done!
NetGalley/June 11th, 2019 by Crown Publishing Group (NY)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Blake Crouch is a bestselling novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of the forthcoming novel, Dark Matter, for which he is writing the screenplay for Sony Pictures. His international-bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy was adapted into a television series for FOX, executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan, that was Summer 2015’s #1 show. With Chad Hodge, Crouch also created Good Behavior, the TNT television show starring Michelle Dockery based on his Letty Dobesh novellas. He has written more than a dozen novels that have been translated into over thirty languages and his short fiction has appeared in numerous publications including Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Crouch lives in Colorado with his family.