I’ve an enchanting featured read for you, followed by a list of the nine other titles I read in April 2023, and then we finish with a pair of bookish pictures!
- Author: Catherine Bakewell
- Author URL: https://www.catherinebakewell.com/
- Recommended For: I recommend Catherine Bakewell’s “Flowerheart” for fans of “The Glamourist Histories” by Mary Robinette Kowal, “The Worst Witch” series by Jill Murphy, and the “Tiffany Aching” books by Terry Pratchett.
- Review: In Catherine Bakewell’s “Flowerheart,” our protagonist Clara Lucas has magic that’s wild and dangerous, in a realm where most magic users are healers. The internal voice of her magic may be familiar to any of us who’ve struggled with depression &/or anxiety, and this verisimilitude grounds the magical elements, letting the author explore themes of intent, free will, and society’s constricting fear of the exceptional. While the book does touch on matters serious, it also has a playful tone, as Clara attempts to understand both her magic and her heart; one of her lessons is laugh-out-loud funny, and the romance is played with a gentle Austenian touch. Against this, time is running down for Clara and the people she loves most. With a deft grace, the writer balances her seemingly-contrary elements; tension and release, the familiar and the fantastic, love and hate, constraint and freedom. She also populates her world with an assortment of queer characters, and perhaps the most fantastic and refreshing element of the book is that they are simply accepted by their society. While Clara’s tale is brought to a satisfying point in “Flowerheart,” there are seeds in this novel that I’d love to see sprout into later books in this world. “Flowerheart” is a delightful bouquet of a novel; a book that feels like home.
- “The Book of Longings” by Sue Monk Kidd (Fiction)
- “Unbreakable” by (Seanan McGuire writing as) Mira Grant (Fiction)
- “Final Girls” by (Seanan McGuire writing as) Mira Grant (Fiction)
- “Kingdom of Needle and Bone” by (Seanan McGuire writing as) Mira Grant (Fiction)
- “In the Shadow of Spindrift House” by (Seanan McGuire writing as) Mira Grant (Fiction)
- “Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box” by (Seanan McGuire writing as) Mira Grant (Short Fiction)
- “The Happiest Place” by (Seanan McGuire writing as) Mira Grant (Short Fiction)
- “Passing Grades in Penance” by Seanan McGuire (Short Fiction)
- “The Dragons of Eden” by Carl Sagan (Non-Fiction)
Here’s a pair of pictures for you, featuring books I finished in April 2023.
(Comments about them are in the captions.)