What I Read in May

Once again I am continuing the 2022 trend of reading two books a month, I would really like to get up to at least 4 books a month, but I accumulated a decent amount of hobbies over the pandemic; reading, blogging, needlepointing, that all take time, but now that social stuff is happening again, it’s hard to actually do all of them.

Book 1: That Summer by Jennifer Weiner

TW: rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, light domestic abuse/grooming.

Starting off with the trigger warning that I wish this book started with… yeah. So, once again, this book is not at all what I expected (cough Northern Spy cough) but I was expecting a nice, light summer book, a beach read if you will. This is very enjoyable, but it is not light. We start off by meeting Diana “Daisy” Shoemaker, a Main Line Pennsylvania wife, who dropped out of university to marry her much older husband when she was 20. She is now in her early mid-thirties and has a teenager and a small business teaching cooking lessons (incidentally how she met the aforementioned husband), neither of which her husband takes seriously. For months she has “mistakenly” been getting emails to a woman who shares her first name and last initial, Diana Starling. Diana is older, single, and a powerful career woman. Or so she tells Daisy, little does Daisy know the connections that she has to Diana and how “The good old boys’ club”, the Me Too movement, and the patriarchy in general are about to derail the life she thought was unshakeable.

Overall, this is really good. It is really well written, the plot is well paced, the dialogue and the character development are realistic but with my history I kept being taken out of the story and found it hard to get through (although the revenge aspect is appealing). So, I don’t know if I can recommend it without knowing you. But it is a good book. [However, I am going to put it in the Free Little Library by my friend’s house].

Book 2: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

I was quite nervous about this one, it was so hyped last year, but then one of my go-to’s for book recommendations, Grace Atwood, said that she didn’t like it that much. But I did really enjoy this book! It also reminded me of the Blake Lively movie The Age of Adeline since they are both a woman who doesn’t age and are both named Adeline.

Adeline is born in a small village in France in the late 1600s, she grows up going to market with her father in the nearby town so he can sell his wood carvings and furniture and spending time with the old woman, Estele, across the road who still follows the old pagan religions. Adeline is a bit different than the other girls in the village, her father taught her to read her letters, she would rather spend time alone drawing or with Estele, and she does not want to marry. She manages to avoid it for a few years, pawning her admirers off on the other girls in the village, but eventually she runs out of time, it is 1714 and a woman must marry. Right before her wedding she panics and runs into the woods, and for the first time she ignores Estele’s commandment to never ask for anything from the gods that work at night and she is free. She will not age, she will not run out of time, but no one will ever remember her. Until 200 years later, when somehow, a boy in a bookstore does.

My favorite line in this book is after the first time Addie’s father takes her to the market, the first time she travels: “And by the time they return home…, she will already be a different version of herself. A room with the windows all thrown wide, eager to let in the fresh air, the sunlight, the spring”. I really think it just encapsulates that post-travel feeling, so excited and grateful to have seen what you’ve seen, but even more excited about what is still left to be seen, what is left to fill you up.

I really, really enjoyed this book. It is heartbreaking. I did absolutely sob at the end, but it was also okay, because you know that even though Addie nor the boy in the bookstore will ever recover, they will be okay and they will be okay because they had each other. Aaaand I’m crying again.

Also the Maître-d’ at the restaurant in the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg thought this was a Very Serious Book because it is a thick book and it has a very serious cover, which was funny to me.

I have already finished my first June book and I am super excited to write about it next month!

Hope you enjoyed!


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