Reviews

Fall 2021 Reads

Always so many books to read and so little time. (Not sure what I would do without my Audible subscription!) Here are a few of the best ones I’ve read this fall that I would recommend. A fantastical take on a terrible moment in history. A musical story of a teenage girl discovering the world of rock-n-roll. An autobiography of a recovered drug-addict who, by all accounts, shouldn’t have lived to tell his own tale. And a story highlighting one of the darkest times of American history.

Gathering of Waters by Bernice McFadden

This story – another magically woven tale by an author whom I have recently discovered and fallen completely in love with – tells of the murder of Emmett Till, as well as the lives of others surrounding him, through the fantastical voice of the town of Money, Mississippi. Part history, part magic and altogether captivating. A, absolute must-read.

Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau

This fun, music-filled coming-of-age story, set in the 1970’s, stars 14-year-old Mary Jane. Her summer job as nanny to the new family in town, who happen to be secretly hosting a famous rock-star couple, will introduce her to a new world of music, free-thinking and spontaneity. It’s a story that will remind everyone of the moment they realized the world extends far beyond the one their parents taught them about. A funny, charming and sweet tale – really fun to read!

From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle

Absolutely spellbinding narrative of the author’s struggle with addiction, homelessness and poverty, as well as the systematic racism that still faces Indigenous people. Thistle tells the raw and heart-wrenching journey of discovering the courage to fight his way out of addiction, through finding love, education and a connection to his Metis heritage. Couldn’t stop reading this one.

Between Earth and Sky by Amanda Skenandore

The part of American history we don’t talk about – the part where Native cultural was purposefully erased by forcing generations of young Native American children to attend residential schools run by white Christians – lies at the center of this story. The aftermath of these misguided schools left generations of both Indigenous people and those who were part of the horrible actions practiced there scarred and living suspended between two worlds. Alma and Asku’s story brings this history to light in a vivid, heartbreaking and memorable way.