Antonia’s world has turned upside down. She’s newly retired when her husband dies suddenly, her sister disappears, and a pregnant teen in need of help shows up at her house. She juggles her journey through grief, while the living demand that she engage with them. Much of the story is told through Antonia’s own reflections about herself and how she relates to the people and world around her at this new stage of her life. Who is she, Antonia Vega, without Sam? Who is she to her sisters, to her neighbors, to herself? And how does she wish to live? Introspective, intimate and honest – I loved it!
Compelling story crafted around a real-life reform school for boys that operated in Florida for 100 years, closing only recently in 2011. Elwood should never have been there to begin with, but he was young and black and in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was swept up into the corrupt, cruel net after being falsely convicted of car theft. He makes a friend named Turner, and the two boys plot their unlikely escape. Whitehead brings such humanity to the story of the Nickel Boys through Elwood and Turner that you have to keep reading; you can’t turn away even though you want to. Disturbing, emotional, and dark, the story is a reminder that racism and the cruel abuse of power continue right under our very noses. Colson shines a bright light on it, on us.
A captivating debut novel that transports you to the small-town-south of not long ago where two cousins, Eli and Delia, are growing up together in the same neighborhood when a terrible accident happens that affects their lives forever. The bond between Eli and Delia is so very strong and the actions they take to protect and help each other are admirable. The writing is wonderful – vivid, full of emotion, transporting!
Gutsy, candid and exposed, and a story of strength and survival. Set in Puerto Rico and Miami, this evocative memoir was a fascinating glimpse into a world very different from my own, where the day-to-day challenges were so extreme they seemed insurmountable. I loved her voice, her spunk and resilience, and her ability to keep reaching for and being her best self. Terrific first book!
A fresh read touching on multiple topics that draw and knit together three women and a child. Set in newly post-apartheid South Africa, it’s not just the tumultuous change going on around them that deeply affects their lives, but their own personal circumstances – past and present – that propel them toward each other and ultimately toward empowerment, resolution and love. I loved the humanity of it!