I've actually maintained a healthy amount of reading despite the craziness of the move, the new photography endeavor, and the wedding planning. However, the review situation was lacking, so I thought I must rectify given that so many of you reached out about the RIP challenge even if I hadn't offered a thing in a whole month. You guys just made my day!
Titles read recently with a brief overview and my own thoughts:
Glaciers follows the daily life of one young woman in Portland, Oregon. A collector of antique items and an employee of the library system there, I was smitten with this one even before I started reading. The novel is short, try less than 200 pages or just about, and incredibly modern. Because the lead is around the same age as me I found there were moments I could relate to in a way that I've never found in another novel. The prose is also beautiful. There were whole lines I read again and again just to savor. Pick it up, you won't be disappointed!
The Song of Achilles follows the lives of Petroclus and Achilles as they grow up together after Petroclus is exiled from his kingdom for the accidental murder of a peer. A modern take on Achilles's story, Miller weaves a brilliant novel filled with detail that bring Greek mythology to life. I had an unfounded assumption that I wouldn't enjoy this one and almost didn't pick it up, but am so glad I did. The relationship between Petroclus and Achilles is one of the most heartbreaking I've read in ages, but sheds light on the complications of partnership. While there are definitely parts that I would scream CHEESE FEST, I really liked the novel overall and couldn't stop reading.
Rules of Civility is probably one of my favorite reads. I've stated before that if given the opportunity, I would unread it just to read it again for the first time. Eve in Hollywood follows the life of Eve after her falling out with Katey Kontent (essentially the life Eve leads after she fades away from Rules). First traveling to Chicago, Eve decides to take the train to Hollywood without concrete plans. Meeting people along the way, you learn more about Eve's situation, her inner dialogue, and how she's perceived by those around her. I loved this short read because each character really offers an individual voice. It also takes the reader back to a time when you could jump a train and start again in a star-studded city that was booming like never before. A novella, and special Penguin release, this is a title you should get your hands on if you loved Rules of Civility, or like imagining the glitz and glam of old Hollywood!
Another Penguin Special release, this novella is the precursor to Jojo Moyes's The Girl You Left Behind, which follows the lives of two women in different decades, setting up said novel. Honeymoon in Paris is a short, fun read that really manages to pack some emotion in so few pages. Those familiar with the delight of the honeymoon period, and perhaps the first argument thereafter, can definitely relate to this read. Moyes sets up her full-length novel beautifully with this one.
The latest in the Flavia de Luce series, Bradley once again manages to captivate the reader (despite the fact that it's highly unlikely one young girl would encounter so many mysterious murders in a quiet English village) and wishing for the next title. This one is a definite read for all the fans who have kept up thus far because there are several shocking events that I was quite surprised and delighted to see. After uncovering the body of the missing organist in a tomb hidden beneath St. Tancred's Parish, Flavia is once again vital in helping Inspector Hewitt solve the crime, while also getting into a bit of trouble and learning more about the de Luce family legacy.
The Girl You Left Behind takes readers through the ugliness of WWI in a tiny French village after the German army has decided to occupy and keep the townspeople prisoners in their own homes. When a commanding officer develops an unhealthy affection for Sophie, the beautiful hotel owner and wife of painter Eduourd Lefevre, and a painting she keeps displayed on the hotel wall, Sophie is put in a terrifying and dangerous position. Moving forward to present day, the reader watches as Liv Halston struggles with the untimely death of her famed architect husband, and the threat of losing a painting given to her on their honeymoon. Stories enterwine and it's captivating all around. My only issue with this particular story was that the breaks in narrative, moving from the past to present after lengthy moments with one character, ruined the flow for me. I found I'd be more interested in one character's story one moment, and another the next. All and all, another great read from Moyes!
Yes, most of these deserve an entire page dedicated to the beauty of their prose and the world it offered, but this is what I can provide at the moment. 2013 has been a great year in the reading department and I only hope to continue with my good fortune throughout the RIPVIII Challenge!