Book Addicts Welcome

I created this blog as a way for book addicts like myself to share their new favorite books and to find suggestions for great reads. Comments and suggestions are appreciated!

To Read List

The Hunger Games

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

Jordan's novel is set in rural Mississippi in the year 1946. Laura McAllen is a woman beginning to fear spinsterhood, who is saved from a life of loneliness by an honest, hardworking man who may not be the love of her life but is certainly someone she respects. This changes when he moves her from the only life she has ever known to a farm in the middle of Mississippi. As a city girl she has to adapt to a life of no running water, an outdoor toilet, a hateful father-in-law, and endless amounts of mud.

This novel is written from several points of view and also includes that of Laura McAllen's husband and brother-in-law, who is the charming, flirtatious opposite of the man she married. However, the point of view I found most interesting was that of Ronsel Jackson, the oldest son of the black sharecroppers who reside on the McAllen farm. Ronsel is a decorated war hero who is treated like an equal throughout the war in Europe but still has to use the back door of the country store in the town where he grew up.

Mudbound is certainly a page turner. I had a difficult time putting it down once I started it. My only complaint is that I never was really able to connect with the characters. I am not sure if it is because of the different points of view or just the fact that I was not able to relate at all. Besides that, it is a very well written novel that I would recommend reading. It unquestionably opens your eyes to the racism and hatred that existed, and may still, in this part of the country and leaves you with much to think about at the end.

Other reviews on Mudbound can be found at:

A Striped Armchair



Friday, February 12, 2010

House at Riverton

Kate Morton's debut novel begins in the present day with the narrator, Grace, living out her finals days mainly within her own memories of long ago. As a girl she worked for a very well off, aristocratic family in England during the two world wars and holds to this day their secret for which she has told no one. As she is the only remaining living sole who knows what really happened on that fateful summer night in 1924 she has decided to finally share her secret.

Morton has the ability to so seamlessly intertwine decades that you are carried from the present day to the 1920's as though in one of Grace's own daydreams. Morton's storytelling abilities paint a picture of the Riverton House and all that happens inside it so vividly you feel as though you are right there in the 1920's with the characters. I usually can see the twist coming, but was caught totally unaware as this tale ends. One of the best endings I have read in awhile, not to say it is a happy one, but it does leave you breathless.

This is a definite must read and ranks high among my list of favorites along with her second book The Forgotten Garden (read more about Morton's second novel by clicking here).