Turns out March was a month for reading odd books. These were all books on my To Read list on Goodreads and I was able to get them all from the library on my Kindle around the same time, I guess.
Anyway, I am writing these mini reviews quite sometime after reading them, so bear with me as I struggle to remember specific details!
8. Cinema Lumiere, Hattie Holden Edmonds
I’d say this was probably the one I enjoyed the most of the 3 I read this month. The cast of characters was good, they were well-developed. I enjoyed the main character, Hannah, as well as her shy new office assistant Ian. Their interactions were really good and helped pull Ian out of his shell. The other main character to enjoy was Victor, the elderly gentleman that Hannah had befriended but lost connection with prior to the start of the novel. The novel bounced back and forth between past and present which I thought was a nice build up to the end of the story (albeit, slightly predictable by a certain point). However, it was a story to make you think about your life and make sure that you learn to trust, let go of past disappointments, go for what will make you happy, and keep the ones you love close.
9. The Museum of Extraordinary Things, Alice Hoffman
This one was harder to enjoy. Coralie is one of the main attractions in her father’s freak show on Coney Island set in the early 1900s. She has webbed fingers and so her father makes her play the part of a mermaid. She had to endure spending time underwater to improve her lung capacity so she could sit in a tank of water. As the freak show popularity dwindles, Coralie’s father insists he needs to find something that will bring everyone’s attention back, and has a horrible plan to do this.
The story flips between 2 characters’ points of view, Coralie and Eddie Cohen, a young photographer who photographs death and destruction for the newspapers. After a tragic factory fire, he is pulled into the mysterious disappearance of one of the factory workers. As he searches, he and Coralie cross paths and eventually connect in this search.
It is difficult to read some of the passages, such as the description of the factory fire, and how Coralie’s father treats her and his employees (the “freaks”, a cast I liked) and what he makes them do (especially Coralie). He is a strict, harsh man.
In the end it was an OK book.
10. The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton
Another one that had a few harsh characters. Nella has just joined her new husband whom she doesn’t even know. His severe and serious sister acts as his housekeeper. He works a lot and so to keep Nella occupied he buys her a miniature cabinet, which is their house in miniature form. She finds a miniaturist’s ad and reaches out to get small items made for the house. In addition to the ones she requests, she also gets some odd ones (like actual miniature versions of the people in the household and her husband’s dogs). Then strange things begin to happen and she starts to wonder if the miniaturist is predicting or causing what’s happening. She’s afraid to tell anyone what she’s receiving. Some bits of the story were predictable but it was still a decent read. (It’s now July when I’m writing this one, so I can only really do a very light synopsis…)