Books We Loved: April
Mary Gordon wove a beautiful intergenerational tale about a grandmother Marian (who, in her youth, cut herself off from her conservative and wealthy Irish Catholic family to volunteer in the Spanish Civil war) and her kindhearted, but aimless granddaughter Amelia. Marian's history of ethical and personal challenges resonates with Amelia, whose generation is far removed from the kind of life experiences her grandmother went through. There Your Heart Lies explores how an instant of trauma and strength forge one's character that is then passed down through generations. With a heart-wrenchingly beautiful female bond at the core of the novel, you will be left to reflect about your own family, and...cry. You will probably cry, but it will be worth it.
There are some books to read for the plot, and some for a connection to your own life, plot be damned. In the Garden of the Fugitives is one of those where you decide what you want to take away. It is an epistolary novel which shows the murky and unsettling history between Vita and Royce. It is both easy and difficult to get through: it is not a book to be read lightly, but one to engage a meditation on memory and the problems that arise when the wrong repressed recollections are triggered. Dovey's raw and passionate work becomes addictive after you begin, so get ready to settle down with this one. Take water breaks. Have fun.
TESSA FONTAINE IS SO COOL!!! Seriously, this book was so beautiful full of everything you could want in a book: fire eating, family, snake handling, so much crying, beautiful honesty, magic. Tessa Fontaine’s gorgeous and heartbreaking memoir follows the author on a life-changing journey of self-discovery, the power of fearlessness, and loss. Absolutely gorgeous. A definite must-read memoir.
Kate has discovered a series of emails from her husband Adam to another woman. That's all you need to know to pick up Lover. It's not overly depressing for a marriage-gone-wrong story, but if you want to read a more-or-less honest portrayal of the intricacies of a break up after years and years of marriage, this is it. Lover is a rollercoaster of emotions, told with warmth, wit, and understanding of the 21st Century's triple burden of womanhood: family, marriage, and work. This is one step up from your regular beach read, so pick it up and go be in the sun. (Wear sunscreen).