I love a good story spanning multiple generations of women whose lives build off of each other in a way that ultimately ends with healing and hope. Recently, I read two very different intergenerational stories that I really enjoyed. One was set in Australian and centered around a crime that had ripple effects and a strong focus on what it means to be ‘home.’ The other was set in Florida and followed three generations of feisty, strong women, navigating dating life and learning about themselves along the way. If you’re in the mood for stories with strong female protagonists, family drama, trauma and healing, check out one (or both) of these.
Homecoming was a journey! Coming in at a whopping 547 pages, I knew it would take me some time to get through, so I nestled in and let the pages take me away. From the first chapter, the reader is thrown into the story. It’s Christmas Eve 1959 in Southern Australia. A young family is found dead, the crime assumed to be a murder suicide by the mother. Years later, a young woman finds herself struggling with life. She was recently laid off, she hasn’t found any writing inspiration and she is struggling to make ends meet. She receives a call that summons her back to Sydney, where her grandmother is deathly ill. The house they called home holds secrets that come unraveled and hark back to the events of Christmas Eve 1959 and the truth of what happened.
Homecoming is the perfect blend of historical fiction and domestic suspense. I needed to know what happened that fateful Christmas Eve and elements of the story unfolded along the way. I felt like I had whiplash because all of a sudden, a kernel of truth appears and completely undid what I had been thinking the entire time. I love when an author can do that and Kate Morton nails it.
This book plays on the span of generations and how the women before us make us who we are, even if we aren’t part of their lived experiences and that is exactly why I love intergenerational novels!
4.5 - 5 stars
“Home, she'd realized, wasn't a place or a time or a person, though it could be any and all of those things: home was a feeling, s sense of being complete. The opposite of "home" wasn't "away," it was "lonely." When someone said, "I want to go home," what they really meant was that they didn't want to feel lonely anymore.”
“This was the magic of books, the curious alchemy that allowed a human mind to turn black ink on white pages into a whole other world.”
The Vibrant Years
The Vibrant Years is the first book I have read from Mindy Kaling’s imprint, Mindy’s Book Studio. I felt like the title hit it on the head. Each character and their stories are as vibrant as the cover. We have feisty 65-year-old Bindu who inherits a large sum of money and spends it on a high-end retirement condo, Bindu’s straight and narrow daughter-in-law, Aly, who has remained close with her mother-in-law despite her ex leaving her to pursue his dreams, and Aly’s daughter, Cullie, who is hoping to save her career with a new dating app. I loved these unconventional women and how bold and brave they end up being with their lives. The Vibrant Years is very much a ‘rah rah’ book for women and has a great message of self-discovery and the love of family. For Mindy’s first choice, I thought it was fabulous. Keep them coming!
“If only she’d known then that the cycle of belief, which caused the world to work the way it did, could be broken only by disproving one lie at a time. Women were here today, where they had power, where they had a voice, because molecule by molecule, moment by moment, choice by choice, someone had called out the lies peddled as truth. It had been a boulder the size of the earth, and changing the direction of its spin couldn’t happen at one go.”
“Oh, to have the confidence of a mediocre man.”