Ada is a remarkable young woman. Growing up with a single father whose whole life was centered around his work in science and technology, Ada is much more comfortable socializing with adults than peers her own age. When her father develops early-onset Alzheimer’s, she has to adapt to a whole new lifestyle. The way this book is written is incredibly smart – not because of complicated vocabulary, but the structure of the sentences and syntax evoke a feeling of sophistication and intellect. I was completely invested in the life of Ada and also totally intrigued to find out who David was and how he came to be.
Emily, a 6 month baby, has been kidnapped from her own bed in the middle of the night. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. Crosby crafts a story that brilliantly captures the time period (1970s), the small-town feeling, and the tremendous grief that parents experience when a child is lost. The book follows the timelines of Emily’s parents as well as her current life with new parents. The book has a lot of Southern charm and a strong sense of family and community. The ending is a bit contrived, but overall, this story really captures how far mothers are willing to go and how strong their love can be
This is the story of two sisters, Fern and Rose, who grew up under less than ideal circumstances. Fern is likely on the spectrum but has never been formally diagnosed. This book is more of a mystery than a thriller. We learn about the childhoods and adult lives of both sisters, as well as the good and traumatic memories that have made them who they are. The story is fast-paced and the twists are unfurled slowly. This was a great read about the complexity of family dynamics and it also highlighted the challenges that people with sensory issues have to deal with.
Unbound is the story of two women in two very different times, both in Shanghai. One is the story of Ting and the story of how she came of age in the 1970s and beyond. At the tail end of the Communist Revolution, her family has to acclimate to a new government in China and a new way of life. When her grandmother, Mini, comes back from America to visit, Ting learns the story of when Mini was a young woman beginning in the 1920s. The timelines in which the book is set provides the perfect platform for learning about the tumultuous events that China has endured in the past century. We can see how the various classes were affected and how China has not been the same since.
Schwarz is obviously a gifted writer with an exceptional writing style. There were many things that reminded me of the book What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan, such as living as an expat in an Asian country, multiple timelines, and the complicated family dynamics. The book centers around the disappearance of Philip. We learn about the life of the family in Thailand before he vanishes and then his reappearance decades later. The author describes the life of a wealthy American family in Thailand vividly; a lifestyle filled with servants and drivers and many luxuries that would not be possible in the US. The plot is propulsive, and secrets are revealed little by little, keeping the reader on the hook and making this 450-page book go by in a flash.
A poignant and informative memoir about a lesbian couple trying to have a child of their own, Berney’s writing is eloquent and concise, full of emotion and practical knowledge. We learn extensively about the process of finding a sperm donor, the failures of the medical system in dealing with same-sex couples, the challenges of adoption, and the heartbreaking extent some couples must go in order to have children. I was so moved by Berney’s experience. There are many components of her experience that are not typical, but just as many that heterosexual couples also go through. I have a much better understanding of the obstacles gay couples face when it comes to family planning and much more empathy for them.
This is an illustrated memoir of a couple’s real-life journey to overcoming their fertility issues and having a child of their own. The book details the heartbreak, stigma, and emotional turbulence many couples have to endure in order to successfully become pregnant. The illustrations are expressive and add a lot of context to the story. At times, figuring out who was speaking what could be a little challenging. This book seemed to give a well-rounded portrayal of the IVF experience.
Even though I have never been to therapy myself, I am fully aware of how beneficial it can be, whether or not the patient has suffered intense trauma in their lifetime. In this book, Gildiner highlights five of her most memorable patients in order to find out about their childhoods, their past, and what could be contributing to their current issues. The patients are extremely diverse and have wildly different upbringings. They often come to therapy needing more help than they are aware of. It was riveting to peek into the personal conversations between therapist and patient, and I was rooting for each of them to overcome their internalized trauma and thrive.
Isabel Allende has been a feminist even before she knew what that term meant. She saw the injustices against women that plague every culture and race and wanted to do something about it. She is thought-provoking and well-spoken and exudes elegance in all that she does. She makes excellent points about what it means to be a woman and the many changes that still need to be made to obtain true equality without coming across as preachy. This short book is only split up into two chapters, where Allende talks about her family, feminism, aging, and much more. The format is nonlinear but it is not scattered and nor hard to follow
Even though meditation originated from spiritual sources, the practice of meditation has many inherent benefits and does not have to be affiliated with a spiritual belief. This book delivers exactly what it promises. It explains the history of meditation, its various benefits, how to start a practice, different types of meditation, and incorporating meditation into your particular life. The guide is designed for beginners and describes each step in detail, identifying potential pitfalls and tips for success. There are more than 20 different types of meditation practices included, and this book is a great way to learn about the art of meditation. If you are interested in delving deeper into spiritual side of meditation, this book also provides information on how to start that journey.