Welcome to Friday Reads. Each Friday, I’ll review any books I’ve completed that week, as well as share what I’m reading right now. And by “Each Friday,” I mean “some Fridays.”
A Dangerous Collaboration—Deanna Raybourn 4.5* (Dec 13)
I enjoyed book 4 better than book 3. Though it begins with Veronica and Stoker at odds, they quickly find themselves on another adventure. This time, they’re trying to uncover the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a bride on her wedding day. Stoker’s older brother is along for the caper, as well as a cast of other questionable characters.
In the end, I suspected the right culprit but for the wrong reasons. It was a satisfying conclusion and there was finally some solid development on the will-they/won’t-they central relationship.
Marilla of Green Gables—Sarah McCoy 4.5* (Dec 15)
I loved the Anne of Green Gables books as a child. I reread them recently and enjoyed them again from the perspective of an adult. But there haven’t been new books in many years, so I was excited to come across this book about Marilla, the lady who adopts Anne.
In the official books, we only see glimpses of Marilla’s life before Anne joins her and her brother at Green Gables. This book goes back to Marilla’s childhood to explore her relationships with her parents, her brother, the townspeople (including neighbor Rachel Lynde and beau John Blythe). Even though you know where she ends up based on the canon stories, I enjoyed this imagining of her early years.
Even though this book is written by a different author, the source material is treated with great respect and the voice felt in keeping with the originals. It’s a nice addition to the world of Avonlea.
Born a Crime—Trevor Noah 4* (Dec 17)
Listening to this on audiobook was a great experience. I generally dislike it when narrators do voices and accents, but in this case, the impressions enhanced the storytelling.
I enjoyed his stories about family, friends, food, religion, education, and everything else he experienced in South Africa. It’s not a place or time (apartheid) I know a lot about so it feels a lot more relatable to hear it from an individual’s perspective.
Maybe don’t listen while you’re making breakfast though. Some of the meals he describes may make it hard to eat.
I’m quite intrigued by the characters in this story. While it focuses on the perspectives of the children over the years and I don’t always find their characters to be quite believable, the parents are fascinating and complex. I’m not sure that anyone’s entirely likable, but their hardships are written in a way that makes them plausible. I’m hoping that as the kids continue to age (the book began just prior to their births and they’re currently high schoolers), they’ll develop into more relatable characters as well.