What I’m Reading in February

by Josée

Books I Recently Finished

After You by Jojo Moyes
It has been two year since Will, her fiance, died and the pain of loss continues to cast dark shadows in Louisa’s world. Trying to eke a living out of a dead-end job while suffering through the oppression of loss, Lou’s world suddenly comes to a halt, somewhat accidentally. The characters in the story are quirky yet authentic and all seem to be progressing through various stages of loss and grief. I did not realize that After You is a sequel to Me Before You, which I have not read. Some people insist that you should read Me Before You first, but I still enjoyed After You without knowing the full story. (4/5)

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
Circling the Sun is a historical fiction based on the life of Beryl Marham, born in England but raised in Kenya, and best known for being an accomplished horse trainer, aviator and non-conformist. Towards the end of the book Beryl posed a question that for me summarized many of the events of the book “a shadow smothering a shadow, emptiness and more emptiness, and what could be done?”. Throughout the story Beryl is constantly searching for freedom and independence and yet often encounters loss and brokenness. Despite her struggles she displayed great tenacity and resilience but as the reader the story felt like a long list of calamities and lovers overshadowed by dark brooding moods. While I enjoyed the setting of the book, the characters left me wanting. (2/5)

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
On a ranch in Mexico during the Mexican Revolution, Tita, the youngest of three sisters, is bound by her fate of caring for her cruel mother until the day she dies. But despite her curse she fall deeply in love with Pedro; it is a forbidden love. Tita tells her story in twelve chapters, one for each month of the year, and each chapter begins with a recipe. Tita’s cooking is the thread that binds love, loss and magic that weave the story of her life and that of her sisters. (4.5/5)

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
Driven by loneliness, seventy-year-old Addie Moore decides to invite her widowed neighbour Louis Waters to stay with her at night. Despite town gossip, their arrangement is not what might be expected. This gentle heartwarming story unfolds through simple conversations, and yet the simple narrative is heartwarming and profound. (4/5)

The Cruellest Month by Louise Penny
It is April and Easter is fast approaching. For the small town of Three Pines this means painted Easter eggs, baby geese and murder. Three Pines is in upheaval once again and with its third high profile murder cases in a matter of months. I am starting to see this town as rather ill-fated. Nevertheless, Gamache is on the case once again. The story is told through the view points of the various characters and there are many similarities to the first two books: Still Life and Fatal Grace. What interested me most in this book was the progress and climax related to Inspector Gamache’s professional decisions relating to a past case. For me this was the heart of the story, so much so that I had to re-read the end to remember who the murdered was. (3/5)

The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine by Alex Brunkhorst
Thomas Cleary, a young journalist for the LA Times, is living in rundown apartment and writing insignificant stories, but his life and career are about to experience a seismic shift. It all begins with an assignment to get quotes for an obituary from the daughter of legendary film producer. Suddenly without much warning he finds himself launched into the world of the rich and famous. Yet, with all its glamour and glitz there are many secrets, but it is one in particular that surprises and wholly captivates him and that is the life of Matilda Duplain. An addicting story about secrets and their power to captivate both literally and figuratively. (4/5)

The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One by Patrick Rothfuss
Kvothe is an innkeeper, at least that is what he wants everyone to believe, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. When The Chronicler discovers this legend of a man tucked away in a quiet inn he does all he can to convince Kvothe to tell his story, to set records straight. And so begins the story of Kvothe, thief, magician, man of many names and many adventures. Not a typical fantasy book but probably my so far. (5/5!)

Books I am currently reading

I am currently digesting all the stories I had the pleasure of reading in the last few weeks while relaxing down south. I am sure that it won’t be long before I begin reading a new book.

Books I am planning to read

Morning Star: Book III of The Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown 
After the exhilaration of Red Rising and the disappointment of Golden Son I am curious to see how the third book of the Red Rising Trilogy will unfold.

The Wise Man’s Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two by Patrick Rothfuss
The sequel to The Name of the Wind.

This post is linked to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Quick Lit.

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