#WWWWednesday – 1st April 2020

WWWWednesdays

Hosted by Taking on a World of Words, this meme is all about the three Ws:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Why not join in too?  Leave a comment with your link at Taking on a World of Words and then go blog hopping!


Currently reading

Two books for blog tours and a NetGalley ARC.

The Far FieldThe Far Field by Madhuri Vijay (paperback, courtesy of Grove Press and Midas PR)

In the wake of her mother’s death, Shalini, a privileged and restless young woman from Bangalore, sets out for a remote Himalayan village in the troubled northern region of Kashmir. Certain that the loss of her mother is somehow connected to the decade-old disappearance of Bashir Ahmed, a charming Kashmiri salesman who frequented her childhood home, she is determined to confront him. But upon her arrival, Shalini is brought face to face with Kashmir’s politics, as well as the tangled history of the local family that takes her in. And when life in the village turns volatile and old hatreds threaten to erupt into violence, Shalini finds herself forced to make a series of choices that could hold dangerous repercussions for the very people she has come to love.

With rare acumen and evocative prose, in The Far Field Madhuri Vijay masterfully examines Indian politics, class prejudice, and sexuality through the lens of an outsider, offering a profound meditation on grief, guilt, and the limits of compassion.

A Thousand MoonsA Thousand Moons by Sebastian Barry (eARC, courtesy of Faber & Faber and NetGalley)

Even when you come out of bloodshed and disaster in the end you have got to learn to live.

Narrated by Winona, the young Lakota orphan adopted by soldiers Thomas McNulty and John Cole in Days Without End, A Thousand Moons continues Sebastian Barry’s extraordinary fictional exploration of late nineteenth century America.

Living with Thomas and John on the farm they work in 1870s Tennessee, educated and loved, Winona is employed by the lawyer Briscoe in the nearby town of Paris, as she tries to forge a life for herself beyond the violence and dispossession of her past. But the fragile harmony of this shared world, in the aftermath of the Civil War, is soon threatened by a further traumatic event, one which Winona struggles to confront let alone understand.

Told in Sebastian Barry’s gorgeous, lyrical prose, A Thousand Moons is a powerful, moving study of one woman’s journey, about her determination to write her own future, and about the enduring human capacity for love.

cover185432-mediumSummer in Provence by Lucy Coleman (ebook, courtesy of Boldwood Books and Rachel’s Random Resources)

Is a change as good as a rest?

When married couple Fern and Aiden have a windfall, their reactions could not be more different. While Fern is content to pay off their mortgage and build a nest egg before starting a family, her husband is set on traveling the world.

Fern’s not much of a back-packer so, before she knows it, the idea of a ‘marriage gap year’ takes shape. And, as Aiden heads off to the wilds of Australia, Fern chooses the more restful Provence for her year out.

Set amidst the glorious French scenery, Château de Vernon offers a retreat from the hustle and bustle of normal life, and Fern agrees to help out in return for painting lessons from the owner – renowned, but rather troubled, painter Nico.

As their year unfolds in very different ways, will the time apart transform their marriage, or will it drive Fern and Aiden even further apart…


Recently finished
(Links from titles will take you to my review)

20200214_125432-1_kindlephoto-138190928On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (hardcover, courtesy of Jonathan Cape and Midas PR)

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born  a history whose epicentre is rooted in Vietnam  and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to the American moment, immersed as it is in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.

With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years.

The Philosophers DaughtersThe Philosopher’s Daughters by Alison Booth (e-book, courtesy of RedDoor Press and Random Things Tours)

London, 1891. Harriet Cameron is a talented young artist whose mother died when she was barely five. She and her beloved sister Sarah were brought up by their father, radical thinker James Cameron. After adventurer Henry Vincent arrives on the scene, the sisters’ lives are changed forever. Sarah, the beauty of the family, marries Henry and embarks on a voyage to Australia. Harriet, intensely missing Sarah, must decide whether to help her father with his life’s work or devote herself to painting.

When James Cameron dies unexpectedly, Harriet is overwhelmed by grief. Seeking distraction, she follows Sarah to Australia, and afterwards into the Northern Territory outback, where she is alienated by the casual violence and great injustices of outback life. Her rejuvenation begins with her friendship with an Aboriginal stockman and her growing love for the landscape. But this fragile happiness is soon threatened by murders at a nearby cattle station and by a menacing station hand seeking revenge.

20200314_134401A Lodge in the Wilderness by John Buchan (hardcover)

An imaginary conference is arranged by a multi-millionaire Francis Carey at Musuru, a lodge located on the East Kenyan Plateau some 9,000 feet above sea level, to discuss Empire. The conference is made up of nine men and nine women, taken from the upper and professional classes. (Review to follow)


What Cathy (will) Read Next

HamnetHamnet by Maggie O’Farrell (ebook, courtesy of Tinder Press and Random Things Tours)

Warwickshire in the 1580s. Agnes is a woman as feared as she is sought after for her unusual gifts. She settles with her husband in Henley street, Stratford, and has three children: a daughter, Susanna, and then twins, Hamnet and Judith. The boy, Hamnet, dies in 1596, aged eleven. Four years or so later, the husband writes a play called Hamlet.

Award-winning author Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel breathes full-blooded life into the story of a loss usually consigned to literary footnotes, and provides an unforgettable vindication of Agnes, a woman intriguingly absent from history.

 

 

6 thoughts on “#WWWWednesday – 1st April 2020

    1. I’ve seen huge praise it but I’ve avoided reading reviews until I’ve read it and written my own. Confession: as I only have an ecopy for gblog tour purposes I’ve ordered a signed edition from Waterstones.

      Liked by 1 person

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