Welcome to our June meeting of The Book Review Club. Perhaps you are clutching a bouquet of sweet peas or wearing a string of pearls or pearl-studded cuff links because . . . this is our 30th meeting!! Squee! Good for us, keeping this little book review club going despite life's many and varied obstacles! Again this month, we bring you great reviews of all manner of books. So, please continue scrolling after my review for the links to all the other marvelous reviewers!
THE GOOD DAUGHTER: A MEMOIR OF MY MOTHER'S HIDDEN LIFE by Jasmin Darznik
When Jasmin Darznik is in her twenties, her father dies. In the process of helping her widowed mother, Lili, downsize, Jasmin discovers a photo of her mother, aged 13, dressed in Iranian wedding clothes. In the photo, Lili stands next to a groom and looks as though she's about to burst into tears. Jasmin confronts her mother who refuses to speak about this secret part of her past. Eventually, Lili sends audio cassettes, one at a time, to her daughter. The audio cassettes describe Lili's past, a past with an abusive marriage, a daughter born when Lili was 14, a divorce at 15, and the forced abandonment of her child as per Islamic law.
Each chapter of THE GOOD DAUGHTER begins with passages spoken by Lili on the tapes. This book is written in beautiful, lyrical language with a generous sprinkling of Iranian terms. Lili's is an uplifting story. She is a brave, resourceful woman who left an arranged marriage, moved to Germany to study midwifery, married a German engineer, then returned to Iran to help its women.
MIDDLE GRADE/YOUNG ADULT BOOK REVIEWS
Ellen Booraem of Freelance Ne'er-do-well: THE GOOD MASTER by Kate Seredy (middle grade, a Newbery Honor back in 1935)
Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: FOURTH GRADE FAIRY by Eileen Cook (middle grade)
Kaye of the Road Goes Ever Ever On: THREE CUPS OF TEA by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (Young Reader's Edition)
Sarah Laurence: WHAT CANT WAIT by Ashley Hope Perez (young adult, review + interview)
Keri Mikulski: TWENTY BOY SUMMER by Sarah Ockler (young adult)
Alyssa Goodnight of the Writers' Road Less Traveled: THE LIAR SOCIETY by Lisa and Laura Roecker (young adult, mystery)
Beth Yarnall: THE OPPOSITE OF INVISIBLE by Liz Gallagher (young adult)
ADULT BOOK REVIEWS
Scott Parker: GHOSTS OF MANHATTAN by George Mann (science fiction)
Staci of Life in the Thumb: CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER by Tom Franklin (literary)
Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: THE GALLOWS BIRD by Camilla Lackberg (mystery)
Linda McLaughlin: A FIERCE RADIANCE by Lauren Belfer (historical)
Lindi Lamont: THE SURGEON'S LADY by Carla Kelly (Regence Romance)
Stacy of The Cat's Meow: CALEB'S CROSSING by Geraldine Brooks (historical)
Patti Abbott: A WIDOW'S STORY by Joyce Carol Oates
Sarahlynn of Yeah, but Houdini didn't have these hips: ASSASSINATION VACATION by Sarah Vowell
Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!