We Will Not be Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
I smiled and chuckled my way through this collection of essays. I love humorous essays, but this is the first time I’ve read a collection by a black author. There were differences, but I identified with a lot of what she talked about. We’re both from the north shore suburbs of Chicago, I’ve also battled the depression she describes, and while my health issues are different than hers, I understand.
Parts of this collection are very funny; others poignant and sad. There are so many lines I’d like to quote but can’t because I’m reading an ARC (advance reader copy) uncorrected proof. I will definitely buy her first collection MEATY.
Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book.
The Widow by Fiona Barton
Mystery > Crime
I read Barton’s second novel, The Child, first, (I received an advance copy—it’ll be out June of this year) and I liked that one a little more—I think in part because we got a closer perspective of reporter Kate’s point of view, and in both novels, she was the character I identified with the most. She has two kids, but she didn’t define herself by her children like the other characters did.
In this book, we start from the widow’s perspective. Jean Taylor’s husband has just been killed after being hit by a bus. He’s notorious because he was the main suspect in the child abduction of a two-and-a-half-year old girl. He was let go because the judge threw out some evidence.
Detective Inspector Sparkes became extremely close to this case, and it gnaws at him even after he’s told to drop it, although other “coppers” can still work on it—evidently Glen Taylor can be retried if the cops come up with new evidence—if I understand correctly, the laws are different in England.
The narratives are told from multiple perspectives. Jean “the widow” of the title is told in first person, and Kate, DI Sparkes, and the mother of the missing girl in third person. The story also bounces back and forth in time, from the present day of 2010 back to when the girl first went missing three years earlier. I read this on my Kindle, so if I ever put the book down in the middle of a chapter, it could get confusing for a moment where I was (and I read the book over the course of 24 hours). I could look at the Table of Contents, but it only said “Chapter One” Not “Chapter One – The Widow – Wednesday, June 9, 2010.”
The story is fast-paced (obviously, if I read it so quickly!) I enjoyed it.
Silver Bay by JoJo Moyes
Mike comes to Silver Bay in Australia intent on building a huge 5-star hotel that emphasizes water sports like water skiing and jet skiing in the bay. He stays at the run-down inn of 76-year-old Kathleen Whittier Gaines, her niece Liza, and Liza’s 11-year-old daughter, Hannah. Liza owns a boat and takes passengers out to see dolphins and whales. Mike falls for Liza and Hannah, too, and he sheds some of his big-city London ways the more time he spends there, but too much is already in motion.
Moyes does an amazing job describing what it’s like essentially coexisting with dolphins and migrating whales. Her descriptions of the sea animals’ lives are remarkable.