Book Review: Kindred

Author: Octavia Butler

Genre: Sci-fi and historical fiction

Age Range: 18+

Published: By Beacon Press on July 20th, 1997

Content Warning: Slavery, sexual assault, violence, torture and suicide

Format I Read: Audiobook

Grade: Outstanding

Book Review: Kindred by Octavia Butler | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

Book Synopsis (section header)

Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother.

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Book Review: The Nightingale

Title: The Nightingale

Author: Kristin Hannah

Genre: Adult historical fiction

Format: Audiobook

Published: By St. Martin’s Press on February 3rd, 2015

ISBN13: 9780312577223 (US hardcover edition)

Grade: Outstanding

Content warning: Physical abuse, rape, death, war crimes

The Nightingale

Synopsis

Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.

As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

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Book Review: Faint Promise of Rain

Title: Faint Promise of Rain

Author: Anjali Mitter Duva

Genre: Adult historical fiction

Format: Kindle e-book

Published: By She Writes Press on October 7th, 2014

ISBN13: 9781938314971 (Paperback edition)

Grade: Outstanding

Faint Promise of Rain

Synopsis

It is 1554 in the desert of Rajasthan. On a rare night of rain, a daughter is born to a family of Hindu temple dancers just as India’s new Mughal Emperor Akbar sets his sights on their home, the fortress city of Jaisalmer, and the other Princely States around it.

Fearing a bleak future, Adhira’s father, the temple’s dance master—against his wife and sons’ protests—puts his faith in tradition and in his last child for each to save the other: he insists that Adhira is destined to “marry” the temple’s deity and to give herself to a wealthy patron. But Adhira grows into an exquisite dancer, and after one terrible evening she must make a choice—one that may carry her family’s story and their dance to a startling new beginning.

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Sorting Book Characters into Hogwarts Houses

July is the months for all things Harry Potter, so I got on board too. Initially, I wanted this post to be about some famous problematic books and how it’s okay to like them as long as you’re aware of the nature of the content, but I’ve been writing serious posts lately all the time, so I decided to take a break and do something fun instead. We’ll reserve that discussion for some other day, shall we? For today’s sorting ceremony, I’m doing four characters each from different books across genres for a bit of variety.

Sorting Characters

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Book Review – The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Title: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Author: Mackenzi Lee

Genre: Young adult historical fantasy

Published: By Katherine Tegen Books on June 27th, 2017

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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Summary

(adapted from Goodreads)

Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

So Monty vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

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Book Review – Salt to the Sea

Title: Salt to the Sea

Author: Ruta Sepetys

Genre: Young adult historical fiction

Published: By Philomel Books on February 2nd, 2016

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Summary

(adapted from Goodreads)

In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety. Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

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