02 June 2014

Just a Taste: 3 Mini-Reviews

What She Saw – Novel by Lucinda Rosenfeld

What a great idea! To write your debut novel with its protagonist looking back on a list of past boyfriends. Each chapter finishes the sentence, What She Saw... in 'The Stink Bomb King of Fifth Grade’, ‘Spitty Clark’, 'The Anarchist Feminist’. And so it goes, as Phoebe Fine struggles to unpack who she is and what she wants. The author brilliantly presents Phoebe's hilarious and sometimes frankly dreadful romantic, emotional and sexual encounters. I liked this book so much I read it twice.

The Witness Wore Red (The 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice) – Memoir by Rebecca Musser

I’m fascinated by cults. Always have been. And I’ve read everything ever written about fraudster/child molester Warren Jeffs’ Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So this inside story, penned by 85-year-old Rulon Jeffs’ 19th wife (a child bride), was a must for me. I was fascinated by Rebecca Musser’s decision to bear public witness against the prophet of the FLDS, to protect little girls from being forced to marry. Yes, it’s long, but it’s well-written. And totally believable. 

P.S. I gave in to literary nostalgia…

I’ve only recently discovered the books of Kathy Reichs and I’m starting her Temperance Brennan (the ‘bone doctor’) series from #1, with Déja Dead. What a treat – to belatedly find an author who’s written 20-something novels for me to track down, in second-hand bookstores and on Kindle. If you’re interested, here’s a quick summary: Tempe Brennan is a forensic anthropologist (like Kathy Reichs), who investigates human remains at crime scenes where the flesh is too degraded for a coroner to obtain evidence. Her activities, and her ups and downs, are fascinating.

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