More Book Reviews

I am way behind on blogs so you get another book review this month. I am not way behind on reading because it is the thing I can do when on a road trip AND read is what I do, with my headlamp and candles, when the power is out…and it has been out. (For those not in California, you have probably heard about our dilemma.)

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. A debut novel, but Owens has been writing nonfiction about her life as a wildlife scientist. And won awards for it. That talent transfers to fiction and this is a great novel. The story of Kya Clark, known to the locals as Marsh Girl, she has survived for years alone in the North Carolina coastland. A bit of history, a lot of nature and a simple, but deep need for human relationships make this a touching and engaging novel. Rate: 4.5

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter. I don’t know why I have not read this author. She is prolific, been around a long time and I really liked this novel. The story of two sisters who suffered a life changing trauma, Slaughter is a master at both mystery and psychological thriller. I really like a story that masterfully leads me in several directions and ties everything up in an unexpected, but not un-introduced manner. I have ordered more of her books from the library, although I am starting at the beginning of her career, so headed back to 2001. Rate: 4.5 but violence warning.

Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter. Okay, got the first one from the library…and very graphic violence. Maybe this is why I didn’t get hooked on her novels. But I still liked it, although there is some nightmare material stuff. The story of a serial killer (very violent) and Sara Linton, pediatrician and coroner. Her ex-husband is the sheriff of the small town, so we have romance going on as well. Rate: 3.0

Kisscut by Karin Slaughter. Okay, this one is gruesome and covers a sad, upsetting subject matter involving children. But now I love the characters, Sara Linton, pediatrician/coroner and Lena Adams, detective. Frankly, Slaughter is an excellent writer and the characters are wonderful, the tension kept me reading….so….Rate: 4.0 for writing, but again, warning that it is a violent and graphic novel.

Eden Close by Anita Shreve. Another great book by this excellent writer. The story of Andrew, who returns home to deal with the death of his mother. Dreams fill his mind as he remembers traumatic events of his childhood involving the family next door. A bit of a mystery, but Shreve’s careful walk into the emotions of the events and characters, as well as her descriptive, but not flowery writing style make this a good read. Rate: 4.0

Madras on Rainy Days by Samina Ali. So, the books on India are a priority right now, upcoming trip in the wings! This was a great one, about a wedding, recommended by my mother. Ali is a good writer, digging deep into the emotions of the characters. Layla is a young Indian woman who has been raised half time in the United States and half time in India. She has returned with her mother for her arranged marriage. Complications arise (I won’t give any spoilers here) and the relationships between parents and children, husbands and wives, and the traditions of India all play roles in the complexities of this story. Rate: 3.8

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.