Together Tea

Book 7 in 2020.

“Together Tea” by Marjan Kamali.

I enjoyed Marjan Kamali’s “The Stationery Shop of Tehran” so much I wanted to read another one of her books. This is her only other one and I am so sad I have nothing else of hers to read. Such great stories.

This is about an immigrant family from Iran in the 1990’s. The story is mostly told in the perspectives of the mother and daughter. Their lives together and apart. Here in America, and how it was in Iran. There is also a little love story in there as well. Just an amazing tale of life and love. Overall afterthought, enjoyed it.

Map of the Heart

Book 6 in 2020.

“Map of the Heart” by, Susan Wiggs.

I cannot remember why I got this book from the library. I have not ever read anything by Susan Wiggs. I am super excited though because I really liked her! I love finding new authors to try. Even though, once again my reoccurring theme, it was a story built around a tragedy, I wanted all the feels and got them.

It takes place in present day with a widowed mother and her teenage daughter. Their aging father/grandfather wants to go back to his ancestral home in southern France. To my pleasant surprise, there is also a little side story from WWII involving the father’s mother.

All the feels involves:

Death. War. Peace. Life.

Young love. Lost love. New love.

Family. Friends. Perseverance.

Such a well rounded, well written story. I could not get enough. Overall afterthought, good stuff.

All the Flowers in Paris

Book 5 in 2020.

“All the Flowers in Paris” by, Sarah Jio.

I am apparently on a roll for tragic, tear jerker stories. This takes place in present day and 1943 German occupied Paris. Two women’s lives from different times are trying to make their way through the life that has been given to them. Hardships, heartaches, a mother’s love , and the city of Paris, have their stories intertwined in unexpected ways.

I think if I had not just finished the saddest book ever yesterday, “The Stationery Shop of Tehran”, I may of been a little bit more up for this story. Ugh. As a mom, there was so much gut wrenching stuff in here. However, I did like Sarah Jio’s style. Her story flowed and kept me wanting to know what was going to happen. I read this all in one day. I will for sure check out some more of her books. It was a great, tragic, well written story. Overall afterthought, so sad though.

The Stationery Shop of Tehran

Book 4 in 2020.

“The Stationery Shop of Tehran” by,

Marjan Kamali.

Can I just say that sad stories are not my favorite. I feel there is so much sadness out there, I am not always sure I want to spend my limited free time sobbing. (I can get a little emotional ok) I know these are fictional characters, experiencing fictional tragedies, but they do happen to real people! Sniff.

This. Story. So. So. Good.

But. So. So. Sad.

I actually really, really enjoyed this book. I almost did not read it because I thought it was going to be too political. (I hate politics more than sad stories… ha. Apparently I am high maintenance) It tells a story of two young people who fell in love in Tehran, Iran in the 1950’s. The political unrest and social hierarchies of the time had them fighting a losing battle on all fronts. They believed that their love could change it all.

Listen, if you are up for it, read this tragic love story and have a good cry. Overall afterthought, loved it.

The Winter Guest

Book 3 in 2020.

“The Winter Guest” by, Pam Jenoff.

If you know anything about the books I read, you had to know a WWII historical fiction book was coming up soon. I have an entire stack of new books just waiting to be read , several of them are about WWII. My husband asked me if I was opening a used book store. No dear, they are just amazing library books. It is my personal mission to keep libraries in business. I just want to hold a paper book in my hand and turn its pages. No school like the old school.

This story takes place in a rural village in Poland. Eighteen year old twin sisters are struggling to survive with their three younger siblings during the beginning of WWII. Their mother is sick at a convalescent home and their father died in an accident. The Germans have occupied the neighboring city and it is only a matter of time before they come to their quiet village. One of the sisters finds an injured American airman in the woods. Helping him changes the entire course of her small family.

This was not my favorite. It was ok, just felt like it moved very slow until the end. Then it was rapid succession. There was enough to keep me reading, that darn closure thing I struggle with. Overall afterthought, eh.

A Call to Mercy

Book 2 in 2020.

“A Call to Mercy”, by Mother Teresa.

Wow. Why I have never actually read anything on Mother Teresa? Of course I knew who she was but that was about it. This tells you a little bit of her story. Then recounts things that she had said in speeches, letters to people, or just written about. After you read her words, there are several “testimonies” or other people’s accounts of their personal experiences with her.

What an amazing selfless journey of love. I felt kicked in the gut several times. What am I even doing? What can I even do? Give love. Spread mercy. Be kind. Love people like Jesus did. See everyone as He does. Wouldn’t the world be a better place? Maybe if we all start in our little “worlds” it would spread. Overall afterthought, powerful, challenging.

The Memory Police

Book 1 in 2020.

“The Memory Police” by, Yoko Ogawa.

Happy New Year! Ha. Ok so it’s already the 15th. I have been reading, just not posting. I started the year off with something new and different. This book is from a Japanese author and translated into English. I don’t read too many international books. Every once in a while I get a little crazy.

“The Memory Police” takes place on an unnamed island during an unnamed time. The people on the island keep waking up to things disappearing. Hats, boats, birds, etc, either disappear or leave. When things leave, the people on the island are responsible to search their homes, find the items that need to “disappear ” and must take them to the river and dispose of them. Then they forget those things every existed. However, there are some people who cannot forget. Their memories of the things lost remain. If you are discovered remembering, the memory police comes and takes you away.

Bizarre. I have yet to read such a book. There was definitely a political feel to this. An undertone of “don’t let the man control you”. I know if I was super into symbolism I could really dissect this. But I won’t. It was sad and kind of doom and gloom. Overall afterthought, I’m glad I don’t live on that island.