Beneath the Lion’s Gaze by Maaza Mengiste is a powerful and heart-wrenching debut set during the Ethiopian Revolution of 1974, the demise of Emperor Haile Selessie, and the terrifying military regime that followed.
Alternating between multiple perspectives, this book chronicles the struggles and sacrifices of one family through a diverse and intricate cast of characters and voices.
There is Hailu, a distinguished surgeon at the hospital in Addis Ababa, struggling with his beloved wife’s declining health, the friction between his younger son, Dawit and himself, and his duty as a doctor in a country whose government is brutally torturing and killing its citizens.
When Derg soldiers bring in a severely tortured prisoner and order Hailu to heal the victim so they can torture them some more, Hailu struggles with his conscience and ultimately makes a decision that will put his life in jeopardy.
I just finished The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abie Daré and I’m in awe. This is such a powerful, heart-wrenching book from such an unique and beautiful voice.
Just from turning the first few pages, I had a sense I was going to love this book and my inclination wasn’t wrong. This book amazed me! The books I rate 5/5 Stars are books which on top of being well-written with well developed characters and plot lines, also do something emotionally for me. This was certainly one of them.
That day, I tell myself that even if I am not getting anything in this life, I will go to school. I will finish my primary and secondary and university schooling and become a teacher because I don’t want any kind of voice….I want a louding voice.”
Carefully crafting the world around which forgery thrived, The Book of Lost Names opens a door into the underground world of the 1940s, and gives us a glimpse of what it could have been like to work in the secret cells of the Resistance.
Alternating between 2005 and the 1940s (with the majority of the novel set in WW2) it chronicles how this illegal act became a vital source of resistance work and one of the core means of survival and escape in World War Two.
Eva Traube is a young Jewish Frenchwoman living in Paris and attending university when she is told a shocking and unbelievable rumour: thousands of foreign-born Jews are about to be rounded up in Paris. Although, Eva herself is French, her parents are Polish and could be in danger if these rumours are true. And yet first, Eva doesn’t believe them–they are too horrible, too unimaginably unjust to be plausible until the unimaginable happens.
I’m currently reading too many books at the same time, but there’s so many good books out there I can’t help myself! I recently purchased The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré and am loving it. I’m pretty sure it will be a five-star read for me. It’s one of my favourite books so far for 2020. I’ll post a review once I’m finished it.
I also love that I have a hard copy of the book. E-books are a great way to access books, especially during COVID times and I really appreciate that I can access e-books through my library system and through Open Books and Net Galleyand I’m also very attached to the hardcover and paperback versions. I just love the feel of holding a book and turning the pages, rather than staring at a computer screen.
I started reading Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi through my local library system. I was struck by Yaa Gyasi’s breathtaking prose from the opening paragraph. Her writing is simply beautiful! I’m looking forward to reading this book.
I wrote a review for this book last year, however, I never got around to starting a blog and publishing it. Since this is one of my very favourite books I would like to share my review with you now.
“To know what a person has done, and to know who a person is, are very different things.”
Burial Rites–Hannah Kent
Based on a true story, Burial Rites is the story of Agnes Magnusdottir, the last person to be executed in Iceland in 1830. Convicted of the murder of two men, Agnes is imprisoned on a farm in Northern Iceland to await her execution. Surrounded by the family imprisoning her and the young priest she has chosen as her spiritual advisor, Agnes begins to make sense of the events which led up to her current situation as her life is drawing to a close.
The Strange Adventures of H by Sarah Burton captures the story of a young girl growing up in 17th Century England. H as she is called, chronicles daily life, both in the time leading up to the Plague and Great Fire of London and it’s aftermath.
She records her many hardships and adventures (with more hardships than adventures to say the least)–growing up as a penniless orphan, estranged from some of her sisters, and at the mercy of her kind, though unknowing Aunt and her licentious cousin, Roger.
When the Plague snatches everything that she has held dear, H is thrown into a dangerous and contagious world. Finding herself penniless and homeless, as well as friendless, she has to fend for herself in the Plague-ridden streets of London, where she must use both her will and her wits to survive.
Code Name Helene by Ariel Lawhon centres around the true story of Nancy Grace Augusta Wake, an Australian expatriate who became an crucial member in the French Resistance and later a trained spy for the British during World War Two, earning her the position as one of the Nazis’ most hunted targets.