Renée Stone: Murder in Abyssinia by Birmant Julie – Book Review

My thanks to NetGalley and Europe Comics for a review copy of this book.

This book follows Renée Stone, a successful English mystery novelist. This is the first book of the series, set in 1930 and Stone finds herself in Ethiopia for the coronation of Haile Selassie I.43880310

This book was ok, but that it. I enjoyed the mystery element of this story and the illustrations were satisfactory but besides that, I don’t think there is much more to this comic book.

The main character is supposed to be an independent woman (which doesn’t sound very 30’s to me but I’d be okay with that) however she does not come across like that at all. Renée spends a big chunk of the novel lusting over one of the male characters and most of the time she waits for them to decide what to do, I would be okay (mind the book is set during the 30s) if this if she wasn’t described as “modern for her time” type of woman. For me, the lack of a tied up conclusion didn’t really suit the story.

For someone who loves a mystery, and doesn’t mind any of the cons I stated above, this is an enjoyable book.

I give this book 2 out of 5 stars.

Bye, keep on reading.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly – Book Review

Hidden Figures is a non-fiction book that tells the story of three African American women who worked for NASA during the Space Race. The book takes place from the 1930s through the 1960s, time when most people still viewed women as inferior to men and many parts of the US still practised segregation.DzTexxxXcAAB0T5

This book was very well researched and it was definitely an eye-opener for me. The narrative is for sure helped by the author’s personal familiarity with the subject, not to mention the relevance of the topic. I loved not only the history and science aspects of this book (because I’m a nerd) but the stories of the women and their intelligence and courage as well.

I really enjoyed this book even though its writing was somewhat dry which may be a negative point to some. What annoyed me a bit was the fact that the narrative jumped around quite a bit, both in time and between individuals.

Overall, I think this is a really good book and its strengths outweigh any negative aspect I could find while reading. I also really recommend the film if you read the book and felt a bit lost at one time or another.  If you like science, history, stories about civil rights, this book is a must-read for sure.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Buy, keep on reading.

Mother by Máximo Gorki – Book Review

There is a story behind this book and I feel like I need to tell it before I review it. If you want to go straight to the review go ahead, I’ll use a line to separate this from the review.

The first time I ever saw this book I was probably around 12. It was on a living room cabinet, which meant it wasn’t my mother’s since her books have always been kept at our home office bookshelf. I remember asking my father what book it was and remember him saying it belonged to my grandmother. For 12 year old me this was meaningless and I just went on with my life.

I came across this book again about a month and a half ago (on my twenties). I once again asked my father about the book. This time the story was more detailed. You might not know but Portugal had a dictatorship that lasted about 41 years, which ended in 1974. My grandmother only ever lived inside this dictatorship, but I’d say she was pretty different from the women of her time.

This book was basically forbidden due to its socialist message, which means that if she had been caught with it she would have ended up as a political prisoner and most likely tortured to death. According to my father, she always kept the book under her bedside table just in case there was a swoop.

Even though I never met my grandmother I can for sure say that all my rebellion comes from her. Not mention that from the stories my dad tells me, she was probably an extraordinary lady who valued both education and culture, which is something I look for in every person I ever encounter.


REVIEW:

Mother follows the life of Pelágia (Pelagueya for the English edition), Pavel’s mother as she enters her son’s world when he embraces socialism and starts bringing home forbidden books. The author describes a group of factory workers in the small Russian community at the beginning of the Russian revolution.img_20190124_164321_107

It’s mainly a story about a woman, from the beginning of the last century, overcoming her political ignorance to become involved in the revolution, and for me, she is the true protagonist of this novel.

It was slow at times but the reality brought out by the author was outstanding. The way the author described the struggle of the working class from the perspective of a mother, was honestly outstanding. I really liked his style of writing: having lines spoken anonymously by anyone in the scene, it’s like we are inside the characters minds. Given its revolutionary intentions nowhere does the book become preachy.

This book was an emotional rollercoaster but it is for sure not just another book to pass the time, you need to take time to connect with the characters. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone that likes history or is at all interested in this “revolutionary” type of book.

I give this book 4.5/5 stars.

Bye, keep on reading.