So, I love to read.
The summer months seem to lend more opportunity to sit and take in a good story and this summer has been no exception.
Since I love reading other people's recommendations of books and often end up gettign a favourable lead, I have decided to share what I have been reading in hopes that it may be useful to some of you.
The Midwife of Venice
This story takes place in 16th century venice and does a wonderful job of depicting the sights, smells, beliefs and goings on of that period. Hannah, a Jewish midwife, has been called upon to deliver the child of a Contessa and in the process gets caught up in the evil and selfish doings of the Conte's brothers. When the Conte and Contessa leave their baby behind to make a long journey that would be too arduous for their newborn, Hannah discovers that the child has been taken. And so begins the story of retrieving the child. Meanwhile, Isaac, Hannah's husband set out to sell his silk in Constantinople but his ship was overtaken by pirates and he was being held prisoner in Malta. This suspenseful story unfolds as the two work out their troubles and try to find their way back to one another.
The whole time I was reading this book I could not help cheering the two of them on. The author really makes you want to see them succeed after all they go through. I also loved the intrique that the author has weaved into this story. It makes you think and I like that.
The Harem Midwife
This sequel to The Midwife of Venice is no less detailed or suspenseful. In this story, Hannah is summoned to be the midwife of a Sultan complete with a full harem and eunuchs and power and greed and selfishness. Once again, Hannah finds herself caught up in the middle of a sensitive situation within the walls of the harem that threatens her life. At the same time, there is unrest within her own home as a long lost sister-in-law (who is an imposter) stirs up negativity between Hannah and her husband Isaac.
What I loved about this book was the added intrigue that came when details from the first book are interwoven into this story. Such a brilliant read!
The Strange One
The book opens with a vivid description of a barnacle goose being torn from his migrating flock by a terrible storm and which deposits the goose amongst a flock of Canadian geese. The story then turns to Rory, a boy who grew up loving the barnacle geese and who pursues a career in biology so that he may study them further. One summer he is offered a job in Canada studying the geese at Cape Cree where he meets a lovely Cree girl named Kanina. Kanina had been taken from her parents when she was young to be treated for tuberculosis and was essentially raised by white man. She became educated and tried her hand at teaching in a white school only to be ostrasized and forced to return to her native home. Giving up on her 'white man's life' Kanina was just returning home defeated when Rory arrived in her camp for the summer and challenged her decision. The story parallels Rory and Kanina with the unnatural mating of the barnacle goose with a Canada goose and whether or not the two couples can make a go of it.
This book was loaned to me by my colleague who tells me she has read this book every year since her husband gifted it to her many years ago. This was not a story that I would typically pick up but enjoyed nonetheless.
The Perfume Collector
Grace Monroe inherits a lot of money from a Parisienne woman whom she has never met. Grace makes the trip to Paris to begin unfolding the story of Eva, her benefactor. As she learns more information about this mysterious woman, she comes closer and closer to discovering how she is tied to Eva and her perfume shop on the Left Bank.
I really loved the story of Eva and her life in Paris, how she made a name for herself and made a few bad decisions along the way too!
The Rosie Project
I picked up this book while on vacation at the beginning of the summer and read it all in less than three days! It was a quick, humourous read. After a few failed attempts at finding a wife, Don, a geneticist, decides to develop a questionnaire to help weed out incompatible women so as to not waste his time. At the request of his friend Gene, Don is introduced to Rosie and soon takes on the mission of helping her find her father. Since Rosie has failed the questionnaire (she is a smoker) and is not a candidate, Don throws himself fully into several schemes and escapades to acquire DNA from the men that could potentially be Rosie's father.
I laughed out loud while reading this book and even re-read portions to my husband. It was that good!
And now I am starting this one...
Have you read it? Did you like it?