Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Book Reviews - Stories That Stay With You

Finding a common thread for this quartet is easy. These are the type of books that stay with you long, long after you finish the last page. They are each absolutely worth reading.

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave was a thriller that I could literally not put down. Y'all, I read it in a day! The story begins with a simple note from a husband to a wife. Hannah knows exactly what, or rather who it's about. But then things get intense. Hannah's husband is nowhere to be found. She's worried, and then, AND THEN, the FBI and US marshals are involved. Hannah's husband is not who she thought he was at all, and Hannah is trying to figure this all out while also trying to figure out where he even is. This was such a ride as Hannah was navigating the emotions of a missing husband as she was also learning she didn't know this man at all. The reveals along the way were just so, so, so good. I was bummed when this one was over because there just weren't any more secrets!

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd was unlike anything I've read. It was so wonderfully brilliant and thought-provoking and emotional and really just all the things. The book centers on Anna - Jesus' wife. The author re-imagines the life of Jesus to include a wife. In doing this, she centers Anna, not Jesus. In other words, this is stories I know, but told in a completely different way. It was such an interesting and powerful experience to read about Jesus as a secondary character and to instead have a woman centered. The story is truly about Anna's quest to find faith and love in a complicated world. I absolutely loved the care the author took to write Anna and really explore her story and struggles. This was just such a captivating read all around! 

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel was a book people have been raving to me about for years, and I finally read it. First of all, I shouldn't have waited this long. Second of all, if you take my recommendation to read it, be ready to be up in your feels. This is the story of a family trying to figure out how to support one another and specifically their youngest child. Rosie and Penn have four boys, and they are confident that their fifth child is going to be a girl, but it's not to be, and they have a fifth boy, Claude. Claude yearns to be a girl and feels he is truly Poppy. With Poppy, the family has to make decisions. This includes who will get to know who Poppy really is. Both keeping and telling this secret has consequences, and the family has to determine which route is best and then deal with those choices. This was such an emotional journey as this family must navigate in the name of care, love, authenticity, and safety.

No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality by Michael J. Fox was just a fascinating reflection. We watch a lot of Family Ties in our house, and I mean A LOT. While we watch it a lot, I'm not as familiar with Michael J. Fox outside of Alex P. Keaton, so thought this new book was the perfect time to learn about how he navigates life. Y'all, this was just such a powerful read. It's emotional and raw, while also being funny and real. It was such an honest window into his life. It was about how he finds the good in each day, but also about how he pushes through the bad. It was truly a portrait of who he is and how he navigates his reality each day to get what he can out of life.

Onto the next ones!