Rating: 3.5 stars
Summary: The USA is perceived as one of the most powerful countries in the world, yet it also has one of the highest maternal death rates. And those rates, already high, skyrocket if you happen to be a woman of colour, a gay or trans parent, or a working-class mother. In Belabored: A Vindication of the Rights of Pregnant Women, Lyz Lenz pulls apart these grim statistics to reveal just how harmful our cultural myths of motherhood have become.
From diminishing access to safe abortion, to the policing of pregnant bodies and the stigma of postnatal depression, the intimate and private act of creating a child has been dragged into the public arena for politicians to debate and everyone else to gossip over, or have an opinion about. Belabored is a furiously feminist manifesto that, finally, puts pregnant people, their bodies, and their choices at the centre. Continue reading Belabored by Lyz Lenz: Sarcastic, Unapologetic Feminist Statement
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
External link to A Dose of Empowerment: My Top 5 Memoirs Written by Women (Magazine Article)
I recently finished listening to the audiobook of Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch, an exploration of what it means to be mixed-race in Britain that is both broad and deeply personal. A traditional, analytical review felt as though it would somehow detract from the invaluable messages that are at the core of this book. With that in mind, I am instead going to list the 5 most important lessons that I took away from reading Brit(ish). Continue reading Most Important Lessons from Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch
I wrote this article for ‘We Love Memoirs Day’ which apparently happens every year on 31st August! It features some of my favourite memoirs by women writers, from Audre Lorde to Raynor Winn. I hope you enjoy reading… Continue reading A Dose of Empowerment: My Top 5 Memoirs Written by Women (Magazine Article)
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
Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Literary, Semi-autobiographical
Summary: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a semi-autobiographical bildungsroman novel that draws upon the author’s own childhood and life experiences. In a small Northern town in the 1950s and 60s, Jeanette is being raised by her formidable mother as a good Christian girl who dreams of becoming a missionary.
However, after falling in love with one of her female converts, Jeanette embarks on a series of lesbian love affairs that will force her to confront the darker sides of her community. Determined not to choose between her love of women and her calling as a preacher, she must fight to retain her identity, sexuality, and faith intact. Continue reading Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson: Quirky Lesbian Coming-of-Age Tale
External link to Non-Fiction Books to Fortify Your Feminism (Magazine Article)
Rating: 4 stars
Category: Literary fiction
Summary: In 1980, Elise follows her lover Connie from London to LA, where Connie’s novel is being adapted into a major film. Their stormy love affair will leave its mark on the city.
Three decades later, Rose is on the trail of the mother who left when she was a baby. The only clue she has is a book by elusive novelist Constance Holden, who may hold the key to why her mother left everything behind. Continue reading The Confession by Jessie Burton: Emotive Literary Drama
July is the anniversary of the first Women’s Right’s convention, so I thought it would be the perfect time to share this article I wrote about my favourite non-fiction feminist books! Featuring Roxane Gay, Helena Kennedy, Chelsea Kwakye, Ore Ogunbiyi, Michelle Obama and Mariam Khan… Continue reading Non-Fiction Books to Fortify Your Feminism (Magazine Article)
Rating: 3 stars
Summary: When Libby inherits a mansion from the biological parents she never knew, it offers life-changing possibilities and the ticket out of her dead-end job. However, this once-lavish house holds the story of Libby’s first months of life, and she can’t sell until the truth is uncovered.
A newspaper article records how the house became infamous decades ago, when three adults were found dead in what was suspected to be a cult-related suicide pact. Concerned locals reported children living there too, but their identities were unknown and no trace of them remained. These missing children could be the only family Libby has ever known: the question is whether they want to be found. Continue reading The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell: Thriller-Edition Escapism
Rating: 4 stars
Summary: Sarah Krasnostein first meets Sandra Pankhurst at a forensic services conference, where Sandra is promoting her trauma cleaning company. The lives (and deaths) touched by Sandra through her work, from murder victims to obsessive hoarders, immediately make an impression and inspire Krasnostein to learn more.
There is one story, however, that will become the greatest fascination – one that holds all of these other disconnected and diverse lives together. It is the story of the trauma cleaner herself. Continue reading The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein: Brave and Compassionate Biography