Sunday, October 23, 2016

2 Good Books!

I have read several books lately, but will put my two favorite in this post, then add the others to another post!

I loved The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. I loved that the author had the
idea/concept of a real underground railroad and that he was able to put that into such a wonderful story!  That certainly takes talent!

The concept?  What if there was a real/actual Underground Railroad that slaves could ride to safety?

The book centers around Cora, a young black slave girl, who was being horrifically treated on the plantation.  The story begins:

"The first time Caesar approached Cora about running north, she said no.  This was her grandmother talking." 
The book's chapters are divided into a character, then a place.  So the first chapter is "Ajarry", Cora's grandmother, who had been taken away from her home and put on a ship.  Actually she traveled on several ships, until she landed in Charleston and was purchased for two hundred and twenty-six dollars. The first chapter begins with Ajarry's story. Then:

"It was her grandmother talking that Sunday evening when Caesar approached Cora about the underground railroad, and she said no.  Three weeks later she said yes.  This time is was her mother talking."
The next chapter is "Georgia", then "Ridgeway" (a slave-catcher), then "South Carolina", and so on.

Through-out the book, Cora travels and seeks true freedom.   That is doing the book such an injustice to end this review there, but the book is so well-written and the story is so well told, that I just can't say more about it.

This is a fascinating, disturbing, uplifting book. You should read it.  Seriously.

And then I read Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff for one of my book groups.  Oh my, another book
you must read! But here's the thing, before you read it, you must agree that you will finish it.  Because it's pretty guaranteed that you will hate the first half of the book.  Enough to want to not only stop reading it, but throw it away! But, dear reader, persevere and you will thank me!

This book is brilliantly written!  The first half of the book is written with Lancelot's (Lotto) view of his life and his twenty-four year marriage to Mathilde.  Lotto was an incredibly narcissistic character, who believed he was an actor, then a playwright. He was estranged from his mother and obsessed with his wife. I found him unbelievably unlikable.

Ah, but then! The second half of the book is written from Mathilde's perspective about Lotto, her life, and their marriage.  But with a twist!  Mathilde had many secrets that Lotto never suspected. So her story changed everything!

Great story about love and marriage and behind closed doors! This book made for intense, wonderful discussion at book group! I loved the book!

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