Tag Archives: Literary Fiction

Review: The Incendiaries

The Incendiaries

The Incendiaries
By R.O. Kwon
Riverhead Books, 9780735213890, July 2018, 224pp.

The Short of It:

Misplaced faith can blind anyone.

The Rest of It:

Phoebe and Will meet during their first year at Edwards University. Phoebe comes from money. Will, the opposite, doing his best to keep his scholarship while working part-time. In whatever spare time he has, Will finds himself completely obsessed with Phoebe. When Phoebe is lured into a religious cult by its enigmatic leader, John Leal, Will, puts his judgement aside and joins Phoebe and this cult just to be close to her, which ultimately leads them down a path of no return.

The Incendiaries is short but powerful. Beautiful but destructive. As a reader, you can’t help but sense the underlying unease that is interwoven between each page. Phoebe’s increasing passion alarms Will. Her dedication to a group she knows so little about is at once admirable and terrifying. Their love is fleeting and there is a definite sense that something horrible is about to happen.

This is a dark subject but Kwon delicately dances between the dark and the light. The Incendiaries is very well-balanced and simply told. No fluffy language or extra anything but the story will stay with you after turning that last page.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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Review: Unsheltered

Unsheltered

Unsheltered
By Barbara Kingsolver
Harper, 9780062684561, October 2018, 480pp.

The Short of It:

Kingsolver is known for taking on the big issues and she does the same here.

The Rest of It:

Unsheltered tells the story of two families, from two different centuries, who live in the same house. The present day family struggles financially. The house is in disrepair, they are caring for an elderly parent, insurance isn’t covering it and although they did everything right, this couple is on the brink of ruin. It’s a situation that many find themselves in and it’s definitely a story readers can relate to.

But the other story, the one from the past, is not as compelling. That story involves science, truth and how the people of that time would rather turn a blind eye to Darwin’s research than investigate it.

Two very different families but what they have in common is the home they live in. Interesting concept, but overall, it didn’t work for me. I loved the present day story, but really did not enjoy the story from the past and found myself skimming through it.

I think there are a lot of things to ponder in Unsheltered such as our failing healthcare system, but the alternating timelines caused me to ultimately lose interest in the story as a whole.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.