Tag: books

Elena Ferrante’s — My brilliant friend *****

Elena Ferrante’s — My brilliant friend *****

From childhood, Elena and Lina are friends. Throughout the 1950s, they know nothing of Naples—the city they live in beyond the impoverished suburb they inhabit. Elena struggles to be first in class, but realizes she will always be second to Lina. When they reach adolescence, their lives take different directions, but will either of them be able to escape into a different life from the reality of their deprived mothers?

This is a compelling step into the Italian mentality of the times, from the limited lives of women to the overbearing macho mentality of the men who frequently react with violence. 

Richard Flanagan’s — Death of a river guide *****

Richard Flanagan’s — Death of a river guide *****

Alijaz is a river guide on the only remaining Tasmanian River that has not been dammed—the Franklin. In an attempt to save a tourist who’s fallen into the river, Alijaz gets trapped in the rapids. While he is entombed underwater, his dreams take him on an unforgettable journey.

Beautifully written, I didn’t want this story to end while at the same time, hoped Alijaz would survive.

Hyeonseo Lee’s — The girl with seven names*****

Hyeonseo Lee’s — The girl with seven names*****

Hyeonnseo’s page turning memoir begins when she was a child growing up in a loving family in Hyesan, North Korea near the border with China. Her life was simple until she was school-age and her political indoctrination began, where speaking even a word against Kim il-sung and his son, Kim John-il had diabolical consequences. As she grew older, more political involvement was expected of her until the great famine occurred partly from the Soviet Union’s collapse. Teaches praised the Great Leaders for eating less during this time, but Hyeonnseo noticed no change in their robust bodies. 

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Ariel Lawhon’s—Code name Helene

Ariel Lawhon’s—Code name Helene

Nancy is a freelance Australian journalist based in Paris in the late 1930s. In between assignments, she wiles away her time with her French friend, Stephanie who soon introduces her to handsome, playboy, Henri. But Nancy’s life is set on a different course when she witnesses the whipping and humiliation of a Berlin Jew. She cannot forget the German torturer’s face nor the mesmerized crowd when Hitler gave a speech. 

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