I only read 3 books in May (usually I am at 4 or 5), but Where the Light Enters was a lengthy one! Let's get into the reviews, shall we?
Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune, by Roselle Lim
I received an Advance Reader Copy from Berkley Publishing (thank you!) - this book comes out June 11th. Quite often, I get into reading the same type of book for a length of time. You might remember last month I read 4 thrillers and then a more fun book - Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe. I would compare Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune very much to Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe. The storyline is about the main character returning to her hometown after a family members death, and is tasked with carrying on the family restaurant. For Natalie, it is her Mother who died and it is set in San Francisco's Chinatown. Natalie's Grandmother, who passed long ago, had operated a restaurant whose dishes seemed to bring magical help to the community. Even though her Mother kept Natalie from some of theses secrets, she felt it was important for Natalie to open the restaurant again. In order for it to succeed (and also bring the struggling neighborhood back to life), she must cook 3 special recipes from her Grandmother's book...... but some pages are missing. This book was so enjoyable and I loved the characters that came into Natalie's life. As with any book where food is involved, the descriptions are so vivid and essential to knowing the culture.
In the Blink of an Eye, by Jesse Blackadder
This copy was sent to me by St. Martin's Press (thank you)! This story was certainly not uplifting, but I still couldn't put it down. It tells of a family dealing with a terrible loss (2 year old drowning) which forces them to deal with underlying issues that had already been existing in their relationships (resentment over a move, infidelity, and bullying to name a few). Each chapter takes turns going between Finn (Dad), Bridget (Mom), and Jarrah (teenage son). There is a depth to the trauma, grieving and guilt all of these characters go through, and I was at peace with how it ended.
Where the Light Enters, by Sara Donatti
This Advance Readers Copy was sent to me by Berkley Publishing (thank you!) - it is released on September 10th. This was a long read, but well worth it. I didn't realize it is the second in a series, but I don't feel you need to read the first one to understand what is going on. The other thing I found intriguing about reading this is the same issues women were dealing with in the late 1800's are the same issues we are STILL dealing with. The story follows 2 female doctors (a hardship in itself during this time) who are involved in trying to solve a serial killer type case as well as a recent death and disappearance that may be linked. The way that medicine was practiced, the apothecaries, and life during this time kept this a page turner! It deals with so many things: gender discrimination, race discrimination, religious discrimination, adoption/foster care, and women's health. There is a huge presence of family, as the two main characters are cousins and very close with each others large families. I loved this book!