Book Reviews August 2020

The Golden Cup by Belva Plain. This is an old one, published in 1986….I always find it kind of interesting, and a bit depressing, when I read books from what doesn’t seem like so very long ago…when I was a young woman…that show women in a dependent light. This story is about Hennie, a Sephardic Jew living in New York just before 1900…and the story continues through her life, morphing to different point-of-view of her son, and various other family members. It is well written, don’t get me wrong about that…but I didn’t like ANY of the choices made by the characters. So I’m not going to recommend it. Rate: 2.0

The Lake House by Kate Morton. I thought I had read this one before, and I think I did! But I couldn’t remember the end of the mystery and it’s a good book, so I read it again. In 1933 a toddler goes missing from a house in Cornwall….the story wanders around in time and from different characters point-of-view…leaving subtle foreshadowing (that can lead you in the wrong direction). My only complaint was that the end had just a few too many coincidences. Rate: 3.5

(NOTE: I looked up my old review! I read it in 2016, just after it was published in 2015…I gave it 4.0 then)

Coyota by Martha Egan. I bought this one directly from the author in New Mexico, where she actually does run an import shop. True to the command “write what you know” she writes fictions about the US Customs and the ups and downs of import business transactions. This novel is the story of Nena, a part time University professor and a seller of imported handicrafts. I enjoyed the story, partially because I was familiar with the places Nena traveled, but also because it was a well written novel, with foreshadowing and development of character. Rate: 3.5

Paper Butterfly by Diane Wei Liang. This is an interesting little detective story….Chinese! I think it’s the second in the series about Mei Wang, who retired from the Ministry for Public Security and now, some what illegally, runs a private detective service. Since it is against the law to be a detective, her business claims to be an information gathering source. Told from two characters point-of-view, I was a bit sad at the end. I’m going to try to find the first in the series and see if there are more as well. Rate: 3.0

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. This is a great book! Somer and her husband are both doctors, living in the San Francisco bay area. He is from India, and when the couple proves infertile, they go to India to adopt a child….in the mean time, the reader meets Kavita, a poor mother in India who makes the choice to take her infant to an orphanage, to save the babies life. Well written, good pace, deep characters….Rate: 4.2

Key for my personal rating system:

5.0 – A book I will never forget, will quote, will tell everyone I know they MUST read it.

4.0 – An excellent book, but doesn’t quite make the best books of all time list.

3.0 – A recommendation, good read, decently written

2.0 – Some redeeming qualities, I finished it, but I’m not likely to seek out more by the author

1.0 – Don’t waste your time.