Because we are now on the road so much we are back to listening to books on Audible in addition to our regular reading. So this week I have two short reviews to share.
The Dollhouse: A Novel by Fiona Davis ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This book grew on me as it went along. Sometimes when I listen to a book on Audible, if I don’t love the voice reading it detracts from the experience of the book. And at first I did not love the reader of this book. But I eventually got into the groove and I am glad I stuck with the story.
Fiona Davis creates an interesting tail of 1950’s women in New York City. Focused on Darby, an 18 year old from Ohio who is in New York to go to Secretarial School. She is as green as they come and finds herself in a huge city, with competitive women and no friends. She is truly out of her league. Her adventures take her into seedy jazz clubs with her only friend Esme, a Puerto Rican immigrant trying also to find her way in the world.
The book lays out this story and this world and then quickly moves forward to modern day, where a New York Journalist is assigned a story about the women of the 1950’s who lived in the Barbizon Hotel for Women. The journalist, Rose, is dealing with her own set of personal troubles and as an escape becomes completely engrossed in the life and story of Darby and Esme and a tragedy that occurs in the 1950’s.
The book goes back and forth between the two stories and the different decades until eventually both collide in the end with a resolution to the drama. Although parts of the story don’t seem exactly plausible I still enjoyed the tail and was caught up in the whodunit.
Broken Verses by Kamila Shamsie⭐⭐⭐⭐
I don’t know much about the country of Pakistan and its political history. And although Broken Verses is a fictional story, it gave me great insight into some interesting cultural, religious and political aspects of Pakistan. All while weaving a wonderful tale of love, deception, devotion and rebellion.
Kamila Shamsie has a beautiful and lyrical style of writing. As a wanna-be-writer myself, I have so much admiration for writers who can find just the right word and create just the right phrase to help the reader tumble willingly and lovingly through the pages of a book. Not only does Shamsie have a great sense of the English language but the book itself is about words, verses and poetry. All wrapped up in a tale of political murder, mother-daughter love and true romance.
For 14 years Aasmaani hopes her mother, a famous Pakistani activist will return. She disappeared two years after the murder of her life love – Pakistani’s greatest poet. As Aasmaani mourned for years her family and friends worry about her mental health. When she gets a job at the Pakistans first independent TV station she reunites with her mother’s former best friend and falls in love with her son. Shortly after Aasmaani begins to receive mysterious letters that bring back the past, open up old wounds and create chaos and renewed pain of love and loss.
A beautiful story.
Not sure what I will review next week so just remember to tune in.