Sometimes, choosing which book to review among the many I read can be challenging, so to avoid frustrating myself and picking just one, I’m going to write my first in what I’m sure will be a series of posts titled Quick Reviews, where I give short summaries and a few thoughts on recent reads. This time, all the books reviewed are new arrivals in the department:
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
This is a well-written novel about a young girl growing up in Montana and struggling with the fact that she is attracted to women, something she knows will cause problems for her, particularly as her aunt, who became her guardian after her parents died in an accident, is a born-again Christian.
This novel has great character development and realistically portrays young people. Its slow pace early in the novel is a way for us to grow increasingly familiar with Cameron, how she thinks and what she believes. This is a good choice for people looking for a slow-paced, character-driven realistic drama. It’s more appropriate for older readers, but don’t let that dissuade you from picking it up. It’s received great reviews from lots of different sources, so it’s worth taking a look.
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith
Hadley is begrudgingly travelling to London for her father’s wedding to his second wife, a woman she has never met and has no interest in meeting, when she misses her plane. It is while waiting for the second flight that she meets Oliver, a charming young British man who is returning home after a year away at university. They are seated near each other on the plane and as they travel across the Atlantic, they fall in love.
I was pleased to see that this novel had some emotional depth and complexity beyond romantic love. Hadley is angry at her father, resentful of his new life, and unsure she wants to have anything to do with him. Oliver has a tense relationship with his father, who has never been happy with Oliver’s choices. In the end, however, this book is about the spark that surprises them both. Fans of romance will find this book gripping, but I thought the best parts of the book were about Hadley’s relationships with her parents.
My Family for the War by Anne C. Voorhoeve
As World War II looms, Ziska Mangold, who has Jewish ancestors but who has been raised as a Protestant, is transported out of Germany and sent to live in England. There, she is taken in by a Jewish family, who introduce her to the religion of her ancestors and help her find comfort during the war.
This book, originally published in 2007 in Germany, is heartbreaking at times, but Ziska is a rich, vibrant character who is angry at her mother for sending her away, but whole-heartedly loves her new English family. While some of the secondary characters seem like shadows of people, Ziska comes to life and pulls the reader along through her journey. A worthy read, although one that will require tissues.
Happy reading, and feel free to share your thoughts on these titles in the comments!