Monday, March 25, 2019

The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosney

The Rain Watcher by Tatiana De Rosnay
Published by St. Martin's Press
Released: October 2018
Genre: Fiction 
   240 Pages

A word of Advice:  

If you haven't fallen in love with Paris from reading other books, don't read this book, yet! Read something else, like The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans, or my favorite, The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George.  I recommend you do this only because I want you to love The Rain Watcher. 

If you have no Parisian reading experience The Rain Watcher might just make you feel as if it is one dreary city from it's setting. I promise it is not!!! Prop up your reading taste buds. I promise you won't regret it. 

And now for a short review:

The Seine River is bursting at its seams and so it seems is the Malagarde Family who meets in Paris for their Patriarch Paul's 70's birthday. Each family member has their own niche in the world and each family member holds secrets that they are afraid will disrupt the family if anyone in the family finds out. The Rain Watcher tells the story of a father and son relationship that hasn't age well over time. It tells the story of a mother who has shut down her emotions after her son tells his truths, and it tells the story of a sister who seems all put together but may not be as put together as she seems.

This book is fraught with emotion. It is a hard book to get into, however, don't give up! Plug on, because once you do, you will enjoy every second of your journey.

Author Tatiana de Rosnay, the author of Sarah's Key (one realistic WWII emotionally draining book. If you haven't read it or watched the movie, you really should! Make sure you have some Kleenex) gives another stunning book to the reading world that pulls your heartstrings, makes you reevaluate your relationships and hopefully makes you a better friend, daughter/son, sister/brother, mother/father, and or, wife/husband/partner. 

I gave this book this rating for honest familial relationships, real conflict, and picturesque writing. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Perfume Burned His Eyes by Michael Imperioli

The Perfume Burned His Eyes
Michael Imperioli
Akashic Books
256 Pages

What does the music of Lou Reed of the Velvet Underground, The 1970s, Suicide, Sex, drugs,  & alcohol, a  Young Boy from Queens coming of age in Manhatten, and mass hysteria have in common??? They are the elements of a Historical Fiction debut novel by Sopranos actor, Michael Imperioli.

The gist of the story is this: Matthew’s father split on his mother when he was a baby. Matthew’s mother inherited the family fortune and moves Matthew to a world so foreign from his Queens upbringing even though they only move across the East River to Manhatten.  Matthew meets Veronica his spirit animal who teaches him to think differently than he might have to live in his lonely shell. Then, Matthew delivers food to an apartment a few floors above his own which houses, none other than the musician Lou Reed.

My Review:

Author Michael Imperioli's debut novel is stunningly vivid. His characters, especially Matthew, are well fleshed out, they are easy to get to know, easy to understand why they have the personalities they have and easy to be compassionate towards. I wanted to adopt Matthew's friend Veronica and take her away from her traumatic life and show her what a good family looks like. How she can be loved for being herself. That she doesn't have to sell herself just to exist. The Climatic twist between Matthew and Veronica is heartbreaking. I cried in realistic horror. As the unlikely father figure musician Lou Reed teaches Matthew confidence, self-respect, and appreciation for the life that Matthew has with this mother.

The Vibe of Manhatten flows in the background like a hidden character. The noises, the smells, and people add to the setting of The Perfume Burned His Eyes.

This book has some elements of teen prostitution, alcohol and drug abuse as part of a coming of age novel.

I gave this book 4 stars for keeping me emotionally involved, the historical fiction story about Lou Reed and amazing writing for a new author

I thank Akashic Books via Edelweiss+ for the opportunity to read The Perfume Burned His Eyes for my honest opinion.

Just for fun -- 
here is an interview of author Michael Imperioli on The Build and his new show Alex Inc. 

When Charley Met Emma

Publisher: Beaming Books 
32 Pages
up to age 7 (although I really enjoyed it as an adult)
release date: March 12, 2019

Congrats to author, Amy Webb on the release yesterday of your book When Charley met Emma. Such a compassionate, thoughtful, must read book. Beautifully illustrated by Merrilee Liddiard. Suggested for ages 3-7.

I thought I would do a vlog review today. Let me know if you like it.