Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Review Summary This, my friends, is a story with potential. Who wouldn’t want to read a feminist rethinking of the “crazy wife” trope that snaps from the corners of Jane Eyre? It’s a sure ticket to a gritty, messy, ingenious exploration of the patriarchy in 18th and 19th century England. We’ll ignore the fact that we already know …

Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves

Work Like Any Other recounts the story of Roscoe, a 1930’s Alabama electrician who moves with his wife, Marie, to her late father’s struggling farm. Farming isn’t Roscoe’s calling, and he spends a year refusing to do farm work, widening the distance between him and Marie that began when their son Gerald was born. In …

God Help the Child by Toni Morrison

In God Help the Children, Morrison presents us with an unapologetic and steely story about a series of intertwined characters who have, in some way, experienced or been affected by child abuse, usually of a sexual nature. But, unlike many books on that topic, the story isn’t really about child abuse. It’s about resilience and …

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

The plot of Midnight’s Children revolves around the life of Saleem Sinai, a boy born in Bombay at the exact stroke of midnight when India achieved independence from British rule. Due to this ominous birth, Saleem’s life (and the lives of 1,000 other children born during that midnight hour) becomes magically and devastatingly intertwined with the life of the new India. Remember how, in Forest Gump, Gump always stumbles into some important moment in history by accident, or how his actions somehow lead to an important event taking place? Midnight’s Children is like that, but the tale is woven and braided together in such a complicated pattern that it’s difficult to understand how only one mind could have contained and produced it all. Elements repeat subtly and enchantingly; sorrow and joy are intertwined with such complexity that one feels, upon finishing the book, that one has lived through someone else’s lifetime—it’s exhausting and disorienting to say the least, and yet it’s an experience unparalleled in all my years of reading.

The Woman in the Dunes, by Kobe Abe

Imagine a world enveloped in endless waves of sand. You find yourself, somehow, held hostage in an eerie village pocked with cavernous sand pits, tasked day in and day out with shoveling back the encroaching sand. The sand never stops flowing; it rots your skin and crusts in your throat as you sleep. There is …