Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “women”

rdoak03’s #CBR4 review 32: These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen

These Girls chronicals the drama of Cate, Abby and Renee, who all face their own battles as single women in New York City. All the drama was a little unbelievable, but the girls are likeable. I was expecting more focus on the women’s friendship, and there is some of that, but they are just really getting to bond and know each other towards the end of the book. Read my full review here.

Mrs Smith Reads Shame by Karin Alvtegen, #CBR4 Review #12

If I had read Shame by Karin Alvtegen before I read her novel Missing, I would never have read another thing by her. I hated this book and found it left a very bad taste in my mouth when I got to the end.

Shame tells the stories of two Swedish women, Maj-Britt, a morbidly obese woman who lives alone and relies on care workers to provide for all of her needs, and Monika, a well-respected doctor with no self-esteem or personal life. Each is living with the burden of an assumed responsibility for the death of a loved one, which causes them constant mental dispair and crippling shame and leads them both to life decisions which only serve to push them to reject the good things that come into their lives as they believe themselves to be wholly undeserving.

Shame by Karin Alvtegen

Agnewcat’s #CBR4 Review #1 All the Nice Girls by Joan Bakewell

This is my first review for CBR4, the reading is easy the blogging is not. I am sorry for being late to this most awesome party. Anyway here we go.

This is the interwoven story of a few generations of a family. One part of the story takes place during the second world war, and the other is contemporaneous. In the first part, the action flips between a grammar school for young ladies and a ship that is part of the Atlantic Convoy bringing supplies to Britain during the war. The second part concerns a woman and her seriously ill daughter, the mother has been tested and is waiting to see if she can give her daughter a kidney and considering, if she can, weather or not she will.

Read more here

Valyruh’s #CBR4 Review #7: City of Veils by Zoe Ferraris

Zoe Ferraris brings us another fascinating murder mystery that takes place in Saudi Arabia, her second in what could well become a series of novels showcasing the detective skills—and burgeoning romance–of forensic scientist Katya and desert guide Nayir. As with her first novel Finding Nouf, Ferraris opens City of Veils with the discovery of the seriously mutilated corpse of a young woman. Because Katya works for the police, she manages to get access to autopsy reports, criminal evidence and the ongoing murder investigation itself, and as an enlightened Saudi woman who daily battles sexual discrimination on her job and on the street, she once again feels compelled to step forward and give an identity, a voice, and hopefully justice to the victim.

As in her first novel, Ferraris peoples City of Veils with an array of characters representing the cultural spectrum that is Saudi Arabia. She has conservative traditionalists, both men and women, who embrace the suffocatingly rigid guidelines that they feel define them as Muslim, and on the other side, self-liberated Muslim men and women who risk censure, ostracism, jail and even execution to express themselves as individuals, first and foremost. While Ferraris is careful not to portray all the traditionalists as the bad guys, and not all the “enlightened” Muslims as the good guys, she leaves no doubt where her sympathies lie and sometimes her characters on the ends of the spectrum come off as too stereotyped. As a result, I found that the subtle pull and tug between the more enlightened Katya and the just-awakening Nayir is where Ferraris wages her battle most effectively.

What I found especially provocative about this second novel is that Ferraris imbeds in her plot a discussion of the dangers of literalist, or fundamentalist worship, that while addressed to Muslim fundamentalism, I found equally applicable to all the religions. As one of her characters puts it, “The idea that there’s only one way to read (the Koran, the Bible, the Torah), reduces the whole book to something flat. It’s not dynamic anymore. It can’t keep up with the changes in humanity. It just becomes an ornament.”  That argument, which horrifies Nayir who was taught that the Koran is “pure,” the word of Allah, unchanged and unchangeable, resonates in Nayir’s mind—and the reader’s—through much of the book.

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