A short, but good, month for reading. I’ve maintained my goal of reading every single night still. Some nights it’s really just for a few pages and other nights I feel myself getting sucked into the story. But it’s the perfect way to step away from the screen and tell my brain that it’s time to unwind.
WHAT I READ IN FEBRUARY 2021
FIREFLY LANE by Kristin Hannah
I decided to reread this since Netflix turned it into a mini-series. And I can’t think of any book I’ve reread besides required reading for school (we got assigned The Count of Monte Cristo multiple times between eighth grade and high school). I loved it when I first read it in 2013 so I assumed I would love revisiting it. Turns out that I remembered almost everything– as soon as I started the book again, it all came back to me. The book follows two best friends from their teenage years, through college, through careers, and through relationships. I think it’s a very “real” take on close female friendship. The interesting thing to me is that I know I had a different perspective while reading it this time than I did when I first read it since I’m in a totally different stage of life now.
Definitely worth reading, though full disclosure, I couldn’t even get past the first episode of the mini-series it felt so low budget to me.
SAINTS FOR ALL OCCASIONS by J. Courtney Sullivan
After loving J. Courtney Sullivan’s Friends and Strangers last month, I was excited that my library had the ebook available for Saints for All Occasions. Told through different family member’s eyes across multiple generations, it was a good novel. The story follows two sisters as they immigrate to the United States, leaving their home of Ireland behind forever, as young women. A family secret ultimately divides the two girls– one marries and raises a family of four children, while the other becomes a cloistered nun. I found myself more engaged throughout some parts of the book than others, but overall really liked it.
THE FOUR WINDS by Kristin Hannah
This is Kristin Hannah’s latest book. I. Loved. It. I think she has just such a gift for storytelling. I’ve heard mixed reviews, but I’d say that if you liked her book The Great Alone, you will also enjoy this one. The Four Winds takes place during the Dust Bowl Era (very Grapes of Wrath). The main character Elsa and her family find themselves stuck in hard times in their home of Texas as farmers. Elsa has to make the difficult decision of whether they should stick it out in Texas or to take a gamble and move out west to California to try to make a better life for her and her children.
I listened to the audiobook and found myself coming up with excuses to listen to it every chance I got. Folding all the laundry? Perfect. Take the long way home? Yep. Take the dogs for another walk around the block. Absolutely.
INFINITE COUNTRY by Patricia Engel
This book has been quite buzzy. I’ve seen it everywhere on lists. It definitely lived up to the hype! This is a story about a family divided between the United States and Colombia. This a short book and a pretty quick read, but carries a lot of depth. The mother Elena is trying to make it in the United States while caring for two of her children, while the father Mauro and the youngest daughter Talia are living in Colombia. Talia has recently escaped from a juvenile detention camp and is trying to get back to her father so she can reunite with her mother in the United States.
With each chapter, you get more background on how the family’s history and how they were ultimately separated through immigration policies. It read like a long short story and I just wish it had been a bit longer? I wanted more perspective from the siblings and then even more at the end!