Reaction to 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction Winner & Thoughts on the Longlist

Hello readers,

The winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction has just been announced!

An American Marriage is a really good book, an easy read and the first third of the book was so amazing – to add to that, the topics An American Marriage deals with are really relevant: racism, the judicial system, loyalty, family and marriage, which I think are the reasons why it was chosen for Oprah’s Book Club. It’s a good book for creating discussion, for sure. But it’s not, in my opinion, the greatest book written by a woman in 2018, the most innovative and unique, the most creative. Tayari Jones is an amazing writer, there is no doubt about that. But the Women’s Prize for Fiction is about more than just a good book people will like – it’s about giving a voice to a group of writers who used to be (and still are) constantly silenced and dismissed as “serious” authors. I don’t mind if the main character is unlikable and if the book is not one I loved and will die for – but it needs to have something more, a challenge perhaps on the way it’s written, on the way the main character is, on the plot, anything really. The themes are important and definitely need to be talked about and represented more in fiction, but that does not change the fact that An American Marriage is a conventional contemporary, even if a very good one, and does not bring anything new. So it’s disappointing.

I would have been happy with most of the books that never made it to the shortlist winning the prize, but I’m not surprised by this result at all. The entire prize has been, so far, giving off a vibe of trying to please the crowd instead of challenging it. An American Marriage is the safest book of the entire longlist. It would have been a truly satisfying ending to see The Pisces or Ghost Wall win, they both felt like they had that extra oomph that a lot of the other books don’t. Continue reading

Review: Ghost Wall, by Sarah Moss

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Rating: ★★★★★

Genres: Literary Fiction

Goodreads

Ghost Wall is the story of a group of students, a professor and a local family who want to re-enact the life in the Iron Age in Northumberland. As they become more and more involved in the re-enactment, tension builds and threatens to explode into violence.

Ghost Wall is one of the most impacting books I’ve read all year and I am sure this will stay with me for a long time. First of all, the writing is absolutely beautiful, and it’s all I want from literary fiction – nothing pretentious, but gorgeous nonetheless and with so much nuance to it that I surely missed a lot of details on this first read. Continue reading

Review: Freshwater, by Akwaeke Emezi

freshwater akwaeke emezi

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Fantasy

Goodreads

Ada’s father wanted a girl child so much he prayed – and his prayers were answered. By another god altogether than the one he prayed for – and thus the children of the snake goddess Ala, bloodthirsty and merciless, were born in the body of Ada, driving her insane little by little.

This is a dark, gritty and delicious fantasy. I was hooked from the beginning! There are several fantasies out there with gods, but a lot of times the stories are rather tame. Freshwater is not tame at all – it makes you feel like you are going through all the dark thoughts Ada is going through, like you could understand the limitation a god feels in human flesh. It was so, so interesting a read. Continue reading

The Sunday Snuggle Week 22 2019

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Hello readers!

I didn’t write a Sunday Snuggle last week because I wanted to read and post as soon as possible all the books I’ve been reading for the Women’s Prize Longlist. Since I didn’t want to be late and have still books being read by the time the result came out, I’ve been prioritizing posting those reviews.

By the way! I am in the middle of moving from two different apartments in two different cities to a third one in a third city… so the posts in the blog will probably be a lot of pre-scheduled reviews I’ve been saving up, and fewer Sunday Snuggles, discussions and other posts that I normally write closer to the posting date… a lot of reviews of books I’ve read months ago, too. And I will be late with answering comments, I think… so please be patient if my content becomes a little boring in these next couple months! It’s because I’ll be only able to use my hands to pack boxes and will be covered in paint all the time, probably.

Continue reading