I have to confess that one of my favorite things in life... is to read outside, specially on the beach. just laying on the sand, relaxing and forgetting about everything else. so, I would say, that carrying a book is just as important as a sunscreen!
bookshops perhaps conspire against me and fill their shop windows with new releases, leaving me very tempted to buy everything [even though I sadly would not have time to read them all]. with so many choices, sometimes we leave excellent options behind. having this in mind, and not in what is just trending, I've chosen 4 books from different genres and set out to read them during the summer.since I've already anticipated myself in order to write this, I will share with you my choices:
written by the french-moroccan writer leïla slimani's, "the country of others" follows the life of mathilde as she adjust to her rural life in morocco. mathilde who felt in love with a moroccan soldier during second world war, leaves france behind to live a new life in a very different society. torn between her new family and the longing for familiar surroundings, we follow her own path and morocco's independence struggle.
the book gives us mainly mathilde's perspective and the challenges she faces, the tough life in the farm, her complicated family ties and the lack of affection and compassion from her husband. the author manages to give us some glimpses of other characters' perspectives, in particularly from her young daughter aïcha.
it confront us with a variety of subjects as exploring identity, womanhood, sense of belonging, freedom, heritage, discrimination, religion, culture, family, race and tradition.
this is a captivating, richly atmospheric and intricately detailed portrayal of morocco in the mid-twentieth century.
I really loved it and the best part is that we can keep up the story with ... the second volume: "watch us dance".
winner of the booker prize of 2020 and shortlisted for over 20 major awards, this douglas stuart's first novel has captured my heart. it's a heart breaking story about a young gay boy, shuggie, who grows up trying to protect his alcoholic mother. along the story we follow agnes self-destructive journey and how her addition to alcohol ruins the life of her three children. in a scenario of poverty in 1980's glasgow, I felt crushed by the unnatural relationship between a son and his substance-abusing parent, aswell as the bond they share.
prepare yourself for a book that will not make you smile and happy. it's full of despair, bleakness and solitude. and it worth every page!
I've read all elizabeth strout novels, so I'll recommend the last one I read. if you have never entered the world of lucy barton, start by the first one "my name is lucy barton". it won't let you down!
this last novel takes place during covid lock down and settles lucy and ex-husband william in maine. it's a different lucy, with less energy and missing her new york's life terribly. there are no shopping afternoons at bloomingdale's with her daughters to clear the air and diminish claustrophobic feelings.
we can feel a "dejavu" sense about the mood of the first weeks and months of the pandemic, feel the political landscape of the time and all that changes lucy. she won't be the same, but finds hope in the new path ahead (like most of us).
I was really stuck from the beginning... and each chapter ended with some cliffhanger that made me mutter "just one more" and the pages fairly turn themselves. all begins in 1968 when desiree returns to mallard alone. no husband but with very present bruises, and a small daughter named jude. from then on we jump from present to past in flashbacks that allows us to go across decades and discover the story of the vignes twin sisters, daughters of a lynched man. degree and stella learn from young age that their creamy skin and hazel eyes won't protect them from prejudice or hate crimes. they flee from their small town in louisiana to set in diverging paths. other characters as jude, reese or barry, just make the plot even richer and diverse. a story to make us reflect about authentic and projected self...
happy readings and wishing you all a lovely weekend!
cláudia cavaleiro the editor in chief for CINCO editorial. born in '82 in coimbra, she is graduated in philosophy from the university of coimbra. passionate about books and podcasts in a geek kind of way, she always find something interesting to research. loves to bring awareness to social problems and loves working at CINCO!