Another week of reading some backlist books! Last week was a varied mix of satisfying reads and audiobooks. Here’s a quick review of the three books I checked off my list last week.
Spells for Forgetting
Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young was one of my 2022 Book of the Month picks, and overall, it was a satisfying read. The premise—August returns to Saoirse Island, his home that he and his mother fled years ago, to bury his mother and finds himself reckoning with his past, including the love of his life, Emery. This book is about family, loyalty, and commitment, with a dose of ancestral magic. August and Emery were by far the most interesting characters in Spells for Forgetting, and I could relate to the experience of growing up in a very small, insular community. Overall, this is a book I enjoyed and may recommend in the future.
I had high hopes for Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner as it is a historical fiction novel set in a London bookshop. The plot and settings checked all the boxes for me, but in the end, the characters felt a little flat to me. I didn’t feel strong emotions toward any of them. The best part of the book for me was a scene at the end that was very reminiscent of one scene in The First Wives Club, one of my favorite comedies. I won’t say any more to avoid spoilers, but if you’ve read Bloomsbury Girls and seen The First Wives Club, I’m sure you’ll make the connection.
I finished Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson late Sunday night, and I’m still processing the book. A full review will definitely be posted soon, but what I can say for certain is that Yellow Wife is one of the most impactful novels about slavery that I have ever read. It’s brutal and unflinchingly open about the horrors that Pheby Delores Brown sees and experiences when she’s sold from Bell Plantation and taken to Lapier Jail, The Devil’s Half-Acre. This book, based on actual slave jails in the South in the 1800s, is one I felt through my core and a definite 5-star book. Everyone should read it.
And so, another week begins with more books to be read in between doing “life” things. What did you read last week?