Sadly, we had to cut down eight trees in our yard because they had died. It broke my heart…and now our house looks super naked. I’ve already noticed our house being much hotter…I can only imagine how rough that’s going to be next year! We’ll get some new stuff planted next spring, but it’s always awful to see thirty year old trees die. 🌳🍃🍂
On a happier note, I am loving the fall weather that has finally arrived. The leaves are falling and I love to hear them crunching underfoot. I wish I could live in perpetual fall – I am NOT looking forward to winter! ❄️
Last Week’s Reads:
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
This is a story that is going to stick with me for a long time. I feel like I’ve found a new beloved author in Akwaeke Emezi – I finished Freshwater last week and I’ve picked the book up several times since just to reread parts of it. It would be hard to pick a “winner” between these two – what’s more important here is the gift of writing that Emezi shares with the world.
Emezi writes their characters so well that it’s almost as if they become a part of the reader. I feel what they feel, I hurt where they do, and I feel joy when they do. I imagine it would be an astronomical assignment – to write in such a way that the story and characters jump off the pages straight into the reader’s hearts – but Emezi has done that now two times, back to back.
Vivek Oji gave me a new lens to view the world from. People have different sides to them and they chose to show those sides to certain people. Vivek taught me the significance of finding people who celebrate who you are, who give you unconditional love and acceptance without being asked to, and who protect you at all costs. I hope to be that person for the people in my life, and Vivek’s story gives me renewed commitment to that effort. I will never stop thinking of Vivek Oji and the importance of the story they told. I have no doubt it will be one of the top books for me this year. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
*** A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers
When Helen agrees to go on a blind date, there is something oddly familiar about the man she meets. After that first encounter, Helen begins to dream about another life in 1890s Paris…and a whole separate life opens up to her.
She comes to realize that she is part of a recurring curse – one that repeats itself every thirty-four years. There are three players to this curse and they appear in each separate (but connected) lifetime – Helen (or Juliet or Nora or Sandra), Luke, and Auguste. They’re all caught up in a love triangle that presents itself very differently each time. The patterns may be similar, but the stories and people are not.
Interestingly, Sayers almost creates four different stories, and for that reason the reader must trust the unfolding of the story over time. I definitely connected to two of the stories more than the other two, but found them all equally necessary for the puzzle. While it may sound confusing to follow four different timelines, all with their own cast of characters, Sayers was masterful at connecting the pieces in a way that required no effort on the part of the reader.
By the end of this book, I felt like I had been transported through a beautiful and nostalgic story. I expected a different story than I got, but one that I think I liked more than what my imagination had brewed up. I would categorize this as historical romance fantasy (is that a thing??), and admittedly that description wouldn’t make me want to run to pick it up, but I am so glad that I did! I can’t wait to read what Constance Sayers writes next! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
*** Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
I know there are some mixed reviews of Sager’s books, but for me, they always provide the perfect amount of escapism and the spooky/creepy vibes. Each time I finish one of his books, I think it’s my favorite one yet, and Home Before Dark is no different.
This was absoutely the perfect book to read this time of year. It gave me chills up and down my spine and had several twists I didn’t see coming. I will never be able to look at snakes the same again (IYKYK) – not that they ever were my favorite. 😳 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
*** The Ringmaster’s Daughter by Carly Schabowski
I’m so close to DNFing this one…but there’s something that keeps drawing me back. I think it’s the characters. And I also think it’s the hint of something deeper. I originally picked it up because it sounds like The Orphan’s Tale (a book I read years ago and still think about to this day). But I am frustrated by the slow pace and the unnecessary side conversations that don’t really seem to be contributing to the story. And I would like some action. I’d say this one is definetly a toss up right now and it has to really come around to be a memorable book for me.
*** The Aftergrief: Finding Your Way Along the Long Arc of Loss by Hope Edelman
This one is tough for me because there are some true parts of grief genius, but other parts are so mundane that I skim through it. I will keep perservering, but it’s definitely going slower than I anticipated it would.