The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak Book Cover Image

The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak: Rich & Understated Literary Fiction

Rating: 4.5 stars

Genre: Literary fiction

Summary: Raised by her mother and three aunts in a bustling Istanbul home, Asya is tired of negotiating their multiplying expectations and dreams of fleeing to lead her own, unfettered life.

Across the continents, in America, Armanoush is also struggling to deal with the demands of her large and dissonant family. When the two young women cross paths, they will force their families towards a reckoning with the past that has been almost a century in waiting. Continue reading The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak: Rich & Understated Literary Fiction

The Corset by Laura Purcell Book Cover Image

The Corset by Laura Purcell: Feminist Historical Fiction with a Magical Realism Twist

Rating: 3.5 stars

Genre: Historical fiction

Summary: Dorothea has enough of her own worries – trying to continue her studies of phrenology under the disapproving eye of her father, dodging her simpering stepmother-to-be at society balls, and dissuading men with matrimonial hopes. Yet when visiting a woman’s prison on charitable errands, she feels drawn to the tragic story of Ruth Butterham, a maid and seamstress condemned to death for the murder of her mistress.

Ruth is an enigma, a girl of only sixteen who has already endured a lifetime of suffering. Always refusing to become a victim, this young prisoner holds onto a burning core of vengefulness that allures and repels Dorothea in equal measure. Is Ruth guilty, or is her confession the product of her own disturbing delusions? Continue reading The Corset by Laura Purcell: Feminist Historical Fiction with a Magical Realism Twist