The Imperfects

What I read: The Imperfects by Amy Meyerson

Why I picked it up: I liked the cover and downloaded it on Hoopla.

How I read it: On audio at 1.5x while planting bushes on my hill and working around the house over 4 days.

What it’s about: Their grandmother dies, and the email Bec sends to announce it to her family begins a reunion fraught with turmoil. Helen’s daughter and grandchildren have struggled with how to love each other, and now there’s a very large diamond coming between them. The story also includes a World War II story line as well, but there’s not a lot of confirmed knowledge about what happened to Helen and her mother, Flora.

What I liked: There’s a lot going on in this book, and I appreciated the varied storylines.

What I disliked: There’s a lot of distance between the family members throughout, and even when apologies are made, almost none of it is resolved. More like real life than a HAE story – which this one is not.

Genre: Family saga, dysfunctional family, World War II, grief.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and yes.

The Storyteller of Casablanca

Goodreads

What I read: The Storyteller of Casablanca by Fiona Valpy

Why I picked it up: It’s our book club selection for March.

How I read it: On paper, over almost a week, took me some time to get into it.

What it’s about: Zoe is an expat in Casablanca due to her husband’s job. She finds Josie’s, a 12 year old girl, journal from her time there as a refugee in 1941. The writing is lovely, and I appreciated a new location explored for a WWII historical novel.

What I liked: The intertwining stories were a delight.

What I disliked: I wanted a longer resolution to Zoe’s story. I think it wrapped up pretty quickly, but I wanted more of her and Tom’s marriage.

Genre: Historical Fiction, WWII.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and absolutely!!

19: The World That We Knew

The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

After about ten pages, I almost put this book down. I thought it was an exploration of Jewish magic, and I wasn’t really here for that. So I went to Goodreads to look at some reviews and everyone loves it. They love everything by Alice Hoffman. After reading my friend Beth’s review about the beautiful language and that it was magical realism, I decided to pursue.

I’m really glad I did. It’s not often I read a book with an omniscient narrator. I read a lot of books where the perspective changes with each chapter, but it’s mostly from the perspective of the character. This was a nice change, although sometimes hard to follow because it does take place in many locations.

Each time I read a book set during World War II I’m amazed at the courage of the people. While this book is a work of fiction, the situations the characters are in were real. Every time I can’t help but think, “How did we let this happen?” While also hoping and praying we never let it happen again.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

14: The Beekeeper’s Promise

The Beekeeper’s Promise by Fiona Valpy

My reading life has been filled with WWII stories this week as I also began listening to Cilka’s Journey, the follow up from The Tatooist of Auschwitz. It’s important to remember what happened so history doesn’t repeat itself. We can get caught up in justifying horrific actions because of some greater purpose we’ve convinced ourselves of or even because we’re too scared to stand in opposition.

Eliane in this story stood up in opposition in whatever way she could. She did so by playing a small part as asked by her employer in the resistance. From reading both this and the other two books I mentioned, I’m realizing even more so that we don’t know the whole story behind why people do what they do. That’s not to excuse anything … only that we need to listen more, understand better, and do what we can to prevent ourselves from jumping to conclusions.

This book alternates being Eliane’s story in the 1940s and Abi’s story in 2017. Eliane’s story heals Abi and reminds her that she’s stronger and braver than she thinks. Also that just because someone else doesn’t see it, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. This book weaves together a beautiful story from WWII with a woman in 2017 leaving an abusive marriage. Two women who are sorely misunderstood by those around them and yet, have found the bravery needed to persevere.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️