Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways #2)
By: Lisa Kleypas
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
He has tried hard to forget her.
Kev Merripen has longed for the beautiful, well-bred Winnifred Hathaway ever since her family rescued him from the brink of death when he was just a boy. But this handsome Gypsy is a man of mysterious origins—and he fears that the darkness of his past could crush delicate, luminous Win. So Kev refuses to submit to temptation… and before long Win is torn from him by a devastating twist of fate.
Can she remember the man he once was?
Then, Win returns to England… only to find that Kev has hardened into a man who will deny love at all costs. Meantime, an attractive, seductive suitor has set his sights on Win. It’s now or never for Kev to make his move. But first, he must confront a dangerous secret about his destiny—or risk losing the only woman he has lived for…
Alrighty, book number 2 of the Hathaways! Going into this book I was rather intrigued as Kev and Win’s story was introduced over the course of the first novel. They are so different from each other that I was curious to see where their story would go here in the second novel.
The View from Castle Rock
By: Alice Munro
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
A powerful new collection from one of our most beloved, admired, and honoured writers.
In stories that are more personal than any that she’s written before, Alice Munro pieces her family’s history into gloriously imagined fiction. A young boy is taken to Edinburgh’s Castle Rock, where his father assures him that on a clear day he can see America, and he catches a glimpse of his father’s dream. In stories that follow, as the dream becomes a reality, two sisters-in-law experience very different kinds of passion on the long voyage to the New World; a baby is lost and magically reappears on a journey from an Illinois homestead to the Canadian border.
Other stories take place in more familiar Munro territory, the towns and countryside around Lake Huron, where the past shows through the present like the traces of a glacier on the landscape and strong emotions stir just beneath the surface of ordinary comings and goings. First love flowers under the apple tree, while a stronger emotion presents itself in the barn. A girl hired as summer help, and uneasy about her ‘place’ in the fancy resort world she’s come to, is transformed by her employer’s perceptive parting gift. A father whose early expectations of success at fox farming have been dashed finds strange comfort in a routine night job at an iron foundry. A clever girl escapes to college and marriage.
Evocative, gripping, sexy, unexpected these stories reflect a depth and richness of experience. The View from Castle Rock is a brilliant achievement from one of the finest writers of our time.
Another day, another Alice Munro book 🙂 This book sounds a bit different from her other titles as it weaves in some of her own family history as the foundation to which these stories stem from. So yeah, I picked it up on a whim earlier this year and decided to read it a few months ago 🙂
How to Be Both
By: Ali Smith
Format/Source: Trade paperback; my copy
How To Be Both is a novel all about art’s versatility. Borrowing from painting’s fresco technique to make an original literary double-take, it’s a fast-moving genre-bending conversation between forms, times, truths and fictions. There’s a renaissance artist of the 1460s. There’s the child of a child of the 1960s. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real – and all life’s givens get given a second chance.
I’ve been hearing much about this book time and again in the last year or so after it was shortlisted for a number of literary prizes. It was only after it won the Baileys Women’s Prize in Fiction for 2015 that I decided to pick it up and see what everyone’s raving about.
Here we go, another set of mini-reviews that couldn’t possibly fit in review posts of their own xD A bit of a theme, this edition of my mini-reviews, as the books I review are mainly classics that I read in the last few months, and short ones at that 😉 Included in this batch of reviews are:
Without further ado…
By: Heinrich von Kleist
Format/Source: Paperback; my copy
One of the few novellas written by the master German playwright, The Duel was considered by Thomas Mann and others to be one of the great works of German literature. The story of a virtuous woman slandered by a nobleman, it is a precise study of a subject that fascinated von Kleist: That people are sometimes seemingly punished for their very innocence.
I had been meaning to read more classic German literature so I was delighted to see this listed with Melville House’s The Art of the Novella series. The Duel was an interesting read, very accessible and easy to just slip into the story and the lives of these characters. It’s a fascinating look at honour, chivalry, and women’s role during the medieval period, as well as the role of the duel and the deadly consequences that result from it, both from the act itself and the implications afterwards. It’s also a fascinating study of one’s word, innocence and truthfulness and how these things were weighed during such a period. The writing was quite lovely as well, I highly recommend this title from The Art of the Novella series 🙂
The Plum Tree
By: Ellen Marie Wiseman
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
“Bloom where you’re planted,” is the advice Christine Bolz receives from her beloved Oma. But seventeen-year-old domestic Christine knows there is a whole world waiting beyond her small German village. It’s a world she’s begun to glimpse through music, books—and through Isaac Bauerman, the cultured son of the wealthy Jewish family she works for.
Yet the future she and Isaac dream of sharing faces greater challenges than their difference in stations. In the fall of 1938, Germany is changing rapidly under Hitler’s regime. Anti-Jewish posters are everywhere, dissenting talk is silenced, and a new law forbids Christine from returning to her job—and from having any relationship with Isaac. In the months and years that follow, Christine will confront the Gestapo’s wrath and the horrors of Dachau, desperate to be with the man she loves, to survive—and finally, to speak out.
Set against the backdrop of the German home front, this is an unforgettable novel of courage and resolve, of the inhumanity of war, and the heartbreak and hope left in its wake.
I first came across this book years ago on GoodReads. I hadn’t stumbled across very many books at that time set in Nazi Germany during World War Two and thought the story sounded interesting. I finally picked it up last year but it sort of sat and waited on my eReader ever since until I went into a bit of a WW2-theme recently with my reading.