REVIEW – Montauk by Nicola Harrison

“No matter how perfect all these lives might have seemed from a distance, so full of possibilities and promise, we all wanted more.”

I was expecting this to lean a bit more towards the historical fiction genre, but it’s ultimately women’s fiction that just so happens to be set in 1938. There were some slight historical references but none of them had any real impact on the story.

Readers who typically gravitate towards romance might really enjoy this one.

The treatment of women was infuriating (not a negative of the book, but of the time). I immediately hated Beatrice’s husband. The author does a great job of covering the overall sentiment towards women, the “necessity” of having children, and the enforcement of very archaic, traditional gender roles. We do have at least one character who has branched out beyond her “place” as a woman, but even she has her problematic views in the end.

That ending though – I was content for this book to take the expected route (rather, one of two) and it didn’t. Which was frustrating because I felt like the way it wrapped up was simply drama for the sake of drama, instead of it serving a real purpose.

I received this book as part of the BookSparks Montauk pop-up tour.

REVIEW – The Alchemy of Noise by Lorraine Devon Wilke

Full disclosure: I finished this book in one day. Partially because I had the day off with zero plans, and partially because it was so compelling I couldn’t stop reading.

The Alchemy of Noise tackles a lot of serious (and timely, relevant) racial issues. It doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable discussions between characters and it forces some of the characters (and most likely a lot of the readers) to examine their own prejudice and privilege.

I’ll admit, I was a little uncomfortable reading about the constant racism that black people face when this book was written by a white woman. However, Wilke’s note at the end of the book answers a lot of questions and explains why she feels qualified to tell this particular story.

Thank you BookSparks for the free copy!