Sunday, April 15, 2018

Everything Here is Beautiful; Mira Lee and I Am, I Am, I Am; Maggie O'Farrell

Pamela Dorman Books/Viking - 2018
(library)

Everything Here is Beautiful was an impressive debut novel about sisters and mental illness.

Miranda and Lucia are sisters, Miranda is seven years old and has always been the cautious one, watching out for her ofter unpredictable younger sister Lucia.  After their mother dies of cancer, Lucia begins to hear voices and as her mental illness becomes more intense, she does some outlandish things including marrying someone she hardly knew and later even moving to a different continent.

Can Lucia ever lead a normal life, often refusing to take her meds?  Can her sister or Lucia's husband influence her and keep her safe?

Told in alternating POVs, this is a beautifully written, compelling story about mental illness and family. I will definitely be looking for future offerings from this promising new author.

Rating - 4.5/5 stars

Maggie O'Farrell
Knopf - 2018
(library)

This is a different kind of memoir in which the author describes in very short stories her, seventeen near death experiences.  The stories cover an array of experiences beginning when she was just a toddler through adulthood and follow no particular chronological order. It's not a memoir that feels like all doom and gloom and it never felt morbid or depressing. Instead, this was a book that helped me to reflect on my own life and the things that are most precious.

A few of the stories were quite intense and even felt jarring at times while a few others seemed far from threatening to me.  Overall, this book was great reading experience, I loved the quality of the writing.

Rating - 4/5 stars

11 comments:

  1. These both sound like interesting reads. I am about to begin Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

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  2. You've been on a roll with the good ones lately!

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  3. It sounds like you enjoyed both of these books, Diane. I hope you're having a relaxing weekend.

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  4. Glad you enjoyed both of these book!

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  5. I like your new system of two short reviews.
    Both books sound very good.

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  6. I've been eyeing both of these... thanks for the reviews.

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  7. Both sound good but I don't think I can read the first one given my sister's mental illness and homelessness situation. Too close to home.

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  8. Love both of these covers. Isn't it amazing the beautiful designs on books now, versus when we were little (well, when I was anyway--about 30 years ago!). I also love your collage of book covers to the right--cool!

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  9. Thank you for your reviews. I want to read both books. Maggie O'Farrell is a wonderful writer.

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  10. Glad you enjoyed both of these. They both sound good to me. I'm going to add Everything Here Is Beautiful to my list.

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