I love listening to books while taking a morning walk, lounging by the pool, or driving to the store. The audio narrations of these four novels recently blew me away.
Surviving Savannah is historical fiction based on the real-life sinking of the Pulaski in 1838. After undertaking exhaustive research, author Patti Callahan brings this story to vivid life, and its narration does it justice. The background of the ship and the historical detail of Savannah, Georgia during the antebellum period are so interesting and heartbreaking. And the modern storyline of a woman with a painful past and the ship’s wreckage being found under the sea are just fascinating. There’s endearing characters and lovely prose. My new fave by this author!
Memorial Drive is an extraordianry memoir narrated by its author, Natasha Trethewey–a former U.S. poet laureate and a Pulitzer Prize winner. It’s the story of her mother being killed by her former stepfather in 1980s Atlanta . . . and the lasting effect of this tragedy on the author’s life. The book is at once heartwrenching and beautifully told. I was utterly entranced.
The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis shifts between late 1920s and mid-1970s in the author’s signature New York City setting. There’s art! There’s vulnerable but strong women making their way! And there’s a mystery that weaves the women and time periods together. I love dual timeline novels and Davis is a star at writing this type of structure. She includes amazing details here about the Grand Central Terminal, too. I loved this book.
The Woman with the Blue Star by Pam Jenoff hooked me in the Prologue with its tension and tenderness, and I knew right then that I’d love this book. Then rarely does a novel move me to tears in the first chapter. But the main character is so lovingly developed and sympathetic. Her young life as a Polish Jew will take her and her family to a place I’ve never learned about in all of the WWII fiction I’ve read. This is the kind of novel that depicts the horrors of war but with language so lovely you keep reading on.