I’m currently also reading Rune Magic by Nigel Pennick and SPQR by Mary Beard, but I haven’t finished them yet. These are the books that I have read this month.
Black Water Sister, Zen Cho
Brilliant story of ghosts and gods and revenge, family ties, and the difficulty of coming out to your parents. There was a slight slump in the plot in the middle of the book but then the pace picked up again and the ending was excellent. The world of Malaysian deities is fascinating and the feminist aspects of the story are good too.
The Owl Service, Alan Garner
The legend of Blodeuwedd, Lleu, and Gronw echoes down the generations, ricocheting around the small Welsh valley, emanating from the land itself. A powerful exploration of myth exploding into the everyday, feeding on human emotions. Sometimes confusing but powerfully written and gripping.
The Giver of Stars, Jojo Moyes
It’s set in the countryside near Louisville, Kentucky in 1937 and is totally gripping. It’s about a group of women who form a packhorse library. It’s also about gender, violence, mining, marriage, trade unions, self-education, and being human. There’s even proto-environmentalism: the landscape of East Kentucky sounds amazingly beautiful. The book makes you realize how chancy and hard life is when people can’t afford medicine or a doctor. It’s named after a poem called The Giver of Stars by Amy Lowell (1874-1925). The main characters are very well drawn. There was only the tiniest hint of lesbians in it (I wanted there to be more), but it’s very well written and researched and I think Marge and Alice and Kathleen and Sophia and Izzy and Beth are wonderful characters. Highly recommended.