Curated: Sunrise Sunset by Edwidge Danticat

anomaly-602398-unsplash

Surely one of the best stories I’ve read this year. 

It comes on again on her grandson’s christening day. A lost moment, a blank spot, one that Carole does not know how to measure. She is there one second, then she is not. She knows exactly where she is, then she does not. Her older church friends tell similar stories about their surgeries, how they count backward from ten with an oxygen mask over their faces, then wake up before reaching one, only to find that hours, and sometimes even days, have gone by. She feels as though she were experiencing the same thing.

Her son-in-law, James, a dreadlocked high-school math teacher, is holding her grandson, Jude, who has inherited her daughter’s globe-shaped head, penny-colored skin, and long fingers, which he wraps around Carole’s chin whenever she holds him. Jude is a lively giggler. His whole body shakes when he laughs. Carole often stares at him for hours, hoping that his chubby face will bring back memories of her own children at that age, memories that are quickly slipping away.

continued on the New Yorker

Continue reading “Curated: Sunrise Sunset by Edwidge Danticat”

Review: Brunch at Ruby’s

ruby's

Brunch at Ruby’s had me captivated from the first page. DL White brings her three protagonists; Renee, Maxine and Debra, to life with distinct voices and vivid personalities. Best friends for thirty years, they’ve watched each other grow, accompanied each other through the ups and downs of life and always returning to Ruby’s diner in their home town of Atlanta.

I loved it. Beginning with a poorly-thought-through affair, the book takes us through a period in these women’s lives so turbulent that they each stand to lose what they love the most.

Of the relationships explored in this novel, certainly the most poignant is that between Renee and her father, Bernard, as they struggle with his early onset Alzheimer’s. We watch as Renee watches his condition deteriorate and as she tries to make room for herself in her own life.

Ultimately, Brunch at Ruby’s is about three different love stories – the best part. Yet at the same time it explores the multi-faceted nature of a modern woman, in this case a black woman’s, experience as a mother, lover, carer and entrepreneur.

The book’s strength is how well each of the main characters personalities are developed and conveyed. Its weak point is a needlessly drawn out ending. Nonetheless, this is a novel that deserves a much wider audience.

Review: Weeping Women Springs

61qc+3K--uL

For the women of Weeping Women Springs, mourning has become a way of life. The author, Tamara Eaton, lets you into their world which she fills with details of a seemingly normal existence.

Perhaps the books strongest point is Ms Eaton’s ability to bring its setting to life. She describes it until we can see the world the women inhabit and place them perfectly within it. A tiny rural town in the 1940s and 1950s is vivid in the reader’s mind.

It’s a fascinating tale, reminiscent of Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘Never Let Me Go’: the springs are a device for an exploration of human emotion, the nature of grief and the impact on war on those that are left behind. Within this microcosm, we meet women such as Ruth, who has a yearning for the outside world, Anna, whose grief is unspoken and perhaps the hardest to bear. We watch the women do what’s necessary to create lives for themselves while retaining a place for their lost boys and men in their hearts.

At times, the women’s voices lost their distinctiveness and it was difficult to discern their personalities but overall Weeping Women Springs is a highly recommendable read.

 

Author: Tamara Eaton

Available: Weeping Women Springs