Book Review: Appearances by Sondra Helene

“Those who’ve seen us
Know that not a thing could come between us
Many men have tried to split us up but no one can” – Irving Berlin

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3.5 disco balls

Published: April 9, 2019 by She Writes Press
Category: Women’s Fiction, Family Drama

I was recently selected to be a BookSparks 2019 Spring Campaign #SwipeRightonReading Ambassador! Over the next few weeks I will receive three ‘blind date with a book’ books. First up was debut novel Appearances by Sondra Helene.

When I first read the synopsis, I immediately thought of the song from White Christmas:  Sisters. Apparently I am not the only one; KIRKUS Reviews had the same thought and offered the following quote for the book’s back cover: “Sisters,’ the old Irving Berlin song, wrinkly covers primal themes of romance and family; this novel takes them with detail and realism…[and] makes quietly clear how precious any extra time with a loved one can be.Read More »

Goodreads Monday: Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners. To take part, you simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Don’t forget to check out Lauren’s Goodreads Monday blog post to share your Monday selections.

33026565I first heard of Rainbirds when I read the Brunette Biblio’s review of the book that I immediately added it to my TBR: so you can imagine how thrilled I am that it’s a March Book of the Month selection!

Obviously it was my March choice and I should be getting it any day now. Woohoo!

Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan
Publish date: March 6, 2018 by Soho Press
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BOTM $9.99 add on
Category: Mystery, Fiction, Contemporary

Goodreads Synopsis:

Clarissa Goenawan’s dark, spellbinding literary debut opens with a murder and shines a spotlight onto life in fictional small-town Japan.

Ren Ishida is nearly finished with graduate school when he receives news of his sister Keiko’s sudden death. She was viciously stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister’s affairs, still failing to understand why she chose to abandon the family and Tokyo for this desolate town years ago.

But Ren soon finds himself picking up where Keiko left off, accepting both her teaching position at a local cram school and the bizarre arrangement of free lodging at a wealthy politician’s mansion in exchange for reading to the man’s catatonic wife.

As he comes to know the figures in Akakawa, from the enigmatic politician to his fellow teachers and a rebellious, alluring student named Rio, Ren delves into his shared childhood with Keiko and what followed, trying to piece together what happened the night of her death. Haunted in his dreams by a young girl who is desperately trying to tell him something, Ren struggles to find solace in the void his sister has left behind.

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