Book Reviews: August 2020 Reads

Last month hasn’t been quite as productive, with just two books on the shelves. Who knew where time went? Here’s hoping August has treated you well, and may September be even better.

Undone (by Karin Slaughter, 2009)

And now, when she looked in the mirror and saw a new line on her own face, a new wrinkle, all she could think was that she was growing old without him.

Former coroner Sara Linton has just moved to Atlanta to start afresh, but soon finds herself drawn back to the violence she was trying to escape. The case that brings the doctor together with the GBI is one of the most brutal yet, featuring graphic descriptions of sadistic torture.

Even so, Undone is not a mere display of gore. The story continues to explore the lasting damage of sexual abuse and societal expectations toward women, each its own kind of violence in varying degrees.

With her leading trio, Karin Slaughter also allows them to show their imperfections as grounded characters, including the newly re-introduced Linton. Even for someone who has never read the Grant County books, I found it easy to connect with her, wanting to see more of her interactions with Faith and Will.

In This Desert, There Were Seeds (Anthology, 2019)

It was as if a fog had descended, choking the air and all life. There was no obvious violence. Everything natural simply faded or died. So imagine that in such a town, a big, vibrant watermelon erupted into existence.

Featuring contributors from Western Australia and Singapore, the anthology In this Desert, There Were Seeds offers diverse voices that draw from varied cultures and backgrounds. The theme that holds the 20 stories together is tenuous, though they all seem to reflect upon similarly uncertain futures.

Surreal moments cross into grounded tales. Each story offer unique experiences and perspectives, some too abstract to make a strong impression. A few uplifting ones tease welcome light in the distance, while the standouts leave just enough ambiguity for one to ponder.

13 thoughts on “Book Reviews: August 2020 Reads”

    1. My first Philip Roth novel was The Humbling, which I didn’t enjoy as much as I thought I would. But that’s just one novel, of course. I’d happily give his works another go. Thanks for the recommendation!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely, so far I have all her books, but as with so many things haven’t gotten around to reading them all yet😅😅 But yeah, she has a terrific writing style, and she definitely is one of my favorie authors😊

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve only started on her Will Trent series recently, but the first novel Triptych was a good start for me. I’ve heard that Blindsided, which kicks off the Grant County series, is a great introduction too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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