Mother/Daughter Bookswap 1. – January.

My book for Beth  – “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker
Beth’s book for me – “All The Truth That’s In Me” by Julie Berry

The Mother/Daughter Bookswap got off to a fabulous start with us both loving the other’s recommended reads. Here’s what we thought…

“The Color Purple” by Alice Walker

What I said:

This was a ground breaking novel when it came out – there hadn’t been many stories about black women told by black women before. Celie, the protagonist is beautifully written – a young girl who overcomes the most appalling abuse to find happiness and a sense of self. A+

What Beth said:

It was a really good book. I really loved the main character and was rooting for her through the entire thing. The tone was a bit jarring at first – but it was a really interesting way to show a black woman’s voice without westernising it, and made it more authentic. It was a beautiful story and I loved all the characters. I’m excited to read the sequel (“Possessing the Secret of Joy”) which features Tashi.

“All The Truth That’s In Me” by Julie Berry

What Beth said:

I have NO WORDS for this book. IT’S SO GOOD. (This is a joke, you’ll understand when you read the book)*. Maybe don’t read it first as it will set the bar way too high. Also really feminist!  A+++

*(yes I get it)

What I said:

Beth was right. This is a wonderful book, which is utterly compelling from the very first page. Judith, the heroine, lives on the edges of a small rural community in colonial America. An outcast since she returned from a mysterious disappearance after her friend’s murder, she is unable to communicate because her half her tongue has been cut out.  Despised  by her mother and brother she pours out all her thoughts and feelings towards Lucas, the young man she has always loved, who is about to marry someone else.  When the village comes under threat from native Indians, she begins to confront her past, encountering kindness and cruelty along  the way. The novel is told in the second person, which is possibly the most challenging voice to write in, but here  it is a perfect mechanism to capture Judith’s desperate yearnings. The result is another beautiful story about the oppressive nature of small communities, courage,  determination and a young woman discovering her voice. Highly recommended.

And now we’re in February I’m down to read “Thieves Like Us” by Stephen Cole, and Beth’s reading “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte. (I was due to read one of the zombie books but since it’s on loan to a friend, I get another zombie free month).  “Thieves Like Us”is very different from “All Truth That’s In Me” but has got off to a good start. I’m wondering what Beth will make of “Jane Eyre.” We’ll be back in a month  to let you know.