A Willful Woman…

Thoughts about books from a romance addict.

February 2020 Reading

on March 2, 2020

Recurring themes in my reading:

Tumors involving the optic nerve. Wives with seeeecrets. Families that take in lost boys. Closeted gay teachers. The scent of eucalyptus.


Anna and Her Daughters by D.E. Stevenson

Much more depressing than I was expecting — even the Nazi book was more lighthearted! It’s about selfish people and unrequited love, and it doesn’t help that the object of unrequited love is noble in a very annoying way. (I’m reminded of The Life and Death of Harriet Frean by May Sinclair, in which a girl nobly gives up her friend’s fiance; years later, she tells a young woman the story and the modern 1920’s girl is aghast by the stupidity of ruining three lives that way.) Also, anyone who’s selflessly noble without even thinking about how it might affect their child is beyond the pale.

To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

So many chills. So many tears. A gorgeous vision of the future. I love Chambers’… optimism isn’t quite the right word. Perhaps faith? She shows us a future with plenty of problems, but isms aint one.

Mail Order Prairie Bride by Julianne Maclean

Little House on the Prairie, adult style. Great heroine, who doesn’t let being a damsel in considerable distress keep her asserting herself. The hero is a jerk at least once too often, but redeems himself.

Hey Harry, Hey Matilda by Rachel Hulin.

One of the most WTF reading experiences of my adult life.

Starting: This is such a cute epistolary novel between close siblings! I have to send it to my mom, because she’s a twin.

Then: Huh. These two are both deeply horrible people.

Then: INCEST????!!!!!

I need to stop reading fiction that hasn’t been vetted for me by romance readers. Or at least have a peek at GoodReads first, where this has a 2.6 rating from readers who had exactly the same response.

Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore

Several threads tell stories about a Romani girl in 1500s Strausburg, where a “dancing sickness” is killing people, and two modern day teens, one with Romani ancestry and one whose family makes shoes. It’s about the importance of identity, and choosing your power. Though a bit too repetitive, it has the most glorious ending.

4 responses to “February 2020 Reading

  1. Liz Mc2 says:

    I would totally pick up a cute epistolary novel, so thanks for the heads up on that WTF-ery.

  2. Do you think that someone is trying to tap into the long dormant Flowers in the Attic fans??? Because ewwww – that was always a horror story.

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