Category Archives: Book Review

Review: Go Tell It On The Mountain

Go Tell It On The Mountain

Go Tell It On The Mountain
By James Baldwin
Vintage, 9780345806543, 2013, 272pp.

The Short of It:

A beautifully written, semi-autobiographical peek into the life of James Baldwin.

The Rest of It:

In one of the greatest American classics, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy’s discovery of the terms of his identity. Baldwin’s rendering of his protagonist’s spiritual, sexual, and moral struggle of self-invention opened new possibilities in the American language and in the way Americans understand themselves. ~ Indiebound

James Baldwin had been coming up a lot in my book club’s  various social media feeds and we had not really read him before, so when it came time to select a book, Go Tell It On The Mountain was chosen. From the short blurb above, you’d think that the story follows this young boy through his self-discovery process and it does, but there are other stories told along the way. Stories about his relationship with his step-father, how religion impacted him growing up, how the misfortune of others affected his family down the line. These stories are loosely woven together but not for one big epiphany at the end. I feel that the end is left for the reader to interpret as we all had different takes on where the character would go from there.

This story encouraged some thoughtful discussion so it worked well as a book club pick. I also enjoyed the writing. It had a flow to it that appealed to me as I was reading it and since it’s semi-autobiographical, I learned about Baldwin’s experience with the Pentecostal Church and how he struggled with his sexual identity.  There’s a lot to consider here.

Have you read it?

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Summer Darlings

Summer Darlings

Summer Darlings
By Brooke Lea Foster
Gallery Books, 9781982115029, May 5, 2021, 368pp.

The Short of It:

Everything you want in a summer read, a slow-burn romance, a Martha’s Vineyard setting, a 1960’s backdrop of money and glamour but also a tiny bit of deception to keep you interested.

The Rest of It:

I went into this read with an open mind and it surprised me in a lot of ways. It wasn’t a straight-up beach read, as you’ve come to expect from a cover like the one above. Summer Darlings offered quite a bit more and kept me interested very early on.

After losing her scholarship at Wellesley, Heddy must find a way to earn her tuition money quickly and the easiest way to do that is to be a nanny for one of the wealthiest families on the island. Heddy is great with children but the lifestyle is a stretch for her. She has never been surrounded by so much wealth and opulence, nor has she any experience with how social circles work.

At first she is envious of her boss. She seems to have everything, a beautiful home, an attractive husband but no matter how much money you have, things are never as perfect as they seem. Between the other inhabitants of the island and her keen observations, there is definitely trouble in paradise.

I really loved that this story had a little bit of everything. It had all the glitter and glamour you’d expect from the island rich, but there is a bit of darkness too and honestly, it caught me by surprise. Heddy is young and impressionable but she doesn’t always make good choices, which surprised me given her upbringing. Nonetheless, I found it to be a great summer read and a good kick-off to summer reading. Have you read it?

This is the first book on my 10 Books of Summer list.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.