Monday, 13 September 2021

BOOK REVIEW: PATSY by NICOLE DENNIS-BENN


 Synopsis:

When Patsy gets her long-coveted visa to America, it comes after years of yearning to leave Pennyfield, the beautiful but impoverished Jamaican town where she was raised. More than anything, Patsy wishes to be reunited with her oldest friend, Cicely, whose letters arrive from New York steeped in the promise of a happier life and the possible rekindling of their young love. But Patsy’s plans don’t include her overzealous, evangelical mother―or even her five-year-old daughter, Tru.

Beating with the pulse of a long-withheld confession, Patsy gives voice to a woman who looks to America for the opportunity to choose herself first―not to give a better life to her family back home. Patsy leaves Tru behind in a defiant act of self-preservation, hoping for a new start where she can be, and love, whomever she wants. But when Patsy arrives in Brooklyn, America is not as Cicely’s treasured letters described; to survive as an undocumented immigrant, she is forced to work as a bathroom attendant and nanny. Meanwhile, Tru builds a faltering relationship with her father back in Jamaica, grappling with her own questions of identity and sexuality, and trying desperately to empathize with her mother’s decision.

Expertly evoking the jittery streets of New York and the languid rhythms of Jamaica, Patsy weaves between the lives of Patsy and Tru in vignettes spanning more than a decade as mother and daughter ultimately find a way back to one another.


My Thoughts:

This has to go down as one of my all time favourite books written by a Caribbean author. I heard many people saying that this book was good and they were right. This book spoke to the issue of migration. Many West Indians in the past and even now are still seeking the American dream and although the story spoke to the Jamaican experience as a Trinidadian I can relate to this.

Patsy was a young woman with a dream and hers was a life better than what she had in Jamaica living with her over religious mother "MAMA G" and her five year old daughter Tru. Living in the United States promised an escape and a chance of happiness with her childhood friend Cicely who migrated to the US years before and also who she loves dearly. Upon receiving a VISA, Patsy left everything behind including her daughter and set off to live her life. However, upon reaching America everything is not easy street, instead she meets a life of hardship and pain. 

Meanwhile in Jamaica, Tru had to live with her father Roy (who she had little relationship with), his wife Marva and her brothers. Tru's path was very interesting. In the West Indies we talk about children whose parents left them for the US as "barrel children". In Tru's case however, she wasn't even that because Patsy had no communication with her after leaving Jamaica. As Tru struggled with her sexuality and finding herself, we were told of Patsy's struggles to survive in a foreign land.

Patsy's experience was well written and I loved this book for that, because at many parts I could have related her experiences to people I know. This book also highlighted the myriad of social problems that existed and still to some extent exist in Jamaican society. I especially like how the issue of sexuality was written because you really got a deeper understanding of what occurs.

The case of characters were all important in their own way and each had a main significance in the book. very often when books have many characters like this one there is sometimes a disconnect but it worked well in this book.

In all this was a great work of West Indian fiction. I highly recommend it. Very enjoyable indeed,




Tuesday, 7 September 2021

BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: THE LIGHT THROUGH THE POURING RAIN BY JAMES RUVALCABA

 



Write Now Literary is pleased to be organizing a two-month book tour and $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway for The Light Through the Pouring Rain by James Ruvalcaba. 

The book tour will run August 2- Sept 30, 2021.  

 Genre: Nonfiction 
 ISBN-13: 979-8575160397 

Before he started writing romance stories, James worked with the special need’s population for 10 Years. He devoted his life giving back to the population. From school's to agencies and everything in between James has worked almost every job within the community. After that, during the pandemic James decided to start writing to pass the time, but to come through on his promise he made years earlier. He devoted his life to giving back, now he devotes his life to telling his stories.  


      

A remarkable love story that pulls on your heartstrings and leaves you inspired. A page turner that gives a first-hand look into the lives of a young couple madly in love and eager to start their lives together, only to have it all halted by a cancer diagnosis. With no clear road map on how to navigate their new normal, James and Anabel proceed into uncharted territory, hand-in-hand, with the love of their families and their faith in God to guide them.  

1. Why do you write the kind of books you do? I write romance, love & loss, and inspirational books.

2. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life? My happiest day was the day my book got published because it meant I came through on the promise I made to my Fiancé.

3. How has being published changed your life? It gave me the confidence to know that I was meant to write.

 
4. What are you reading right now? I am currently reading “Can’t hurt me” by David Goggins

 
5. What is your current work in progress? I am writing my next installment in my book series.
 
6. What would be your dream vacation? I don’t have a particular area, but somewhere by the water so I can hear the waves at night and enjoy the over atmosphere of peace being around. 
 
7. How do you choose your settings for each book? I only write non-fiction books, so I pick locations within the stories, but as far as the timelines go , I think of the moments that should be relieved.

8. If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why? I’d say Tyler perry. I’d love to pick his brain about why he continued to push forward to overcome the obstacles that were placed in his life. 

 

9. What three things about you would surprise readers?

I'm not very much into materialistic items

I have a phobia of holes

I enjoy listening to all types of music.. For example, I listened to Katy Perry's “ Teenage Dream” for most of my high school tenure. 
 
10. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading? I enjoy going to the Gym before and after writing and I enjoy being by the beach. 
 

   


 

Sunday, 5 September 2021

AUGUST WRAP UP AND READING PLANS FOR THE REST OF 2021!!


AUGUST WRAP UP AND READING PLANS FOR THE REST OF 2021!!

In August I read eight books!!! I thought I would have gotten through a lot more since I was on vacation from work. I guess I was too busy sleeping and watching Netflix. Anyway here are the books that I have read. and in case you want to read the reviews I have placed them below.

Some great books indeed!!!



LUSTER BY RAVEN LEILANI

THE BLACK MARKETER"S DAUGHTER BY SUMAN MALLICK

THE LONELY LONDONERS BY SAMUEL SELVON

WATCH FOR ME BY MARTIN BODENHAM

HOW THE ONE ARMED SISTER SWEEPS HER HOUSE BY CHERIE JONES

AFFIRMATIONS OF A MENTOR

EDUCATED BY TARA WESTOVER

THE GIRL WHO STOLE J.E.B. STUART BY PAUL FERRANTE 


For the month of September and for the balance of the year, I am planning to highlight ARCs from Netgalley and books sent to me by authors and publishers (I hope I can get through a lot of them). So look out for that especially if you sent me your book to review!!!

Looking forward to an exciting few months!!!

Cheers!!!

Sunday, 29 August 2021

BOOK REVIEW: LUSTER by RAVEN LEILANI





Synopsis:

No one wants what no one wants.
And how do we even know what we want? How do we know we’re ready to take it?

Edie is stumbling her way through her twentiessharing a subpar apartment in Bushwick, clocking in and out of her admin job, making a series of inappropriate sexual choices. She is also haltingly, fitfully giving heat and air to the art that simmers inside her. And then she meets Eric, a digital archivist with a family in New Jersey, including an autopsist wife who has agreed to an open marriagewith rules.

As if navigating the constantly shifting landscapes of contemporary sexual manners and racial politics weren’t hard enough, Edie finds herself unemployed and invited into Eric’s home—though not by Eric. She becomes a hesitant ally to his wife and a de facto role model to his adopted daughter. Edie may be the only Black woman young Akila knows.

Irresistibly unruly and strikingly beautiful, razor-sharp and slyly comic, sexually charged and utterly absorbing, Raven Leilani’s Luster is a portrait of a young woman trying to make sense of her life—her hunger, her anger—in a tumultuous era. It is also a haunting, aching description of how hard it is to believe in your own talent, and the unexpected influences that bring us into ourselves along the way.



My thoughts 

 Luster by Raven Leilani

⭐⭐⭐

I needed a few days to recover from this story. No doubt a very well written work of Millennial Fiction but I must say this may not be everyone's cup of tea.

The story follows Edie a young twenty something year old black woman living in New York who is trying to deal with the challenges of her past and present life.

Edie becomes involved with the much older and more experienced Eric, who is white and in an open marriage and the father of a black teenager who is adopted. Circumstances led to Edie spending time with this family in their home and their interaction is unbelievable.

I loved the writing style of this book because the reader really is in the mind of Edie which I would imagine was quite difficult to execute.

While I liked and understood the story I didn't love it as I thought I would have. Luster is one of those books that I will maybe have to revisit again.

Great book for a book club discussion...

BOOK REVIEW: THE BLACK MARKETER'S DAUGHTER BY SUMAN MALLICK

 



Synopsis:

Zuleikha arrives in the US from Lahore, Pakistan, by marriage, having trained as a pianist without ever owning a real piano. Now she finally has one--a wedding present from her husband--but nevertheless finds it difficult to get used to her new role of a suburban middle-class housewife who has an abundance of time to play it. Haunted by the imaginary worlds of the confiscated contraband books and movies that her father trafficked in to pay for her education and her dowry, and unable to reconcile them with the expectations of the real world of her present, she ends up as the central figure in a scandal that catapults her into the public eye and plays out in equal measures in the local news and in backroom deliberations, all fueled by winds of anti-Muslim hysteria.

The Black-Marketer's Daughter was a finalist for the Disquiet Open Borders Book Prize, and praised by the jury as a "complicated and compelling story" of our times, with two key cornerstones of the novel being the unsympathetic voice with which Mallick, almost objectively, relays catastrophic and deeply emotional events, and the unsparing eye with which he illuminates the different angles and conflicting interests at work in a complex situation. The cumulative effects, while deliberately unsettling to readers, nevertheless keeps them glued to the pages out of sheer curiosity about what will happen next. 



My Thoughts 

The Black-Marketer's Daughter

Honestly when I requested this book from Netgalley, I was drawn to the name and did not really read what it was about. 

But am I happy that I picked this up. This story is short but so very gripping that you will not be able to put it down. 

The story follows Zuleikha a young woman of Pakistani origin and who is also Muslim trying to get used to married life which has been more challenging for her than she expected.

While Zu's husband Iskander is a relatively good person he is almost too perfect, that she becomes bored.. With this boredom, Zu falls into the arms of another man, and this leads to damage of epic proportions. What really resonated with me were the issues that were highlighted i.e, gender, religion, culture and even politics. 

I love when a work of fiction can get such powerful messages across to the masses because reading in itself is supposed to expand individual thoughts beyond what is considered the norm. This book did that for me, The only thing is that the ending was a bit abrupt. I felt that more could have been said as to Iskander's fate. But in all tnis was a well written book that I can recommend.



Tuesday, 24 August 2021

HAPPY ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY TO TRINI GIRL READS!!!!



Hi Readers,

In spite of the challenges of the pandemic, it created many opportunities. 

It afforded me the chance to learn many different things and renew my interest in literature. 

Trini Girl Reads was founded on my passion for reading and in this the first year of its existence, my life has changed immensely. I have had the opportunity to write book reviews for authors, my inbox continues to be full with requests. I have done promotional blog tours and have been sharing books that I have been enjoying. 

The most important lesson I have learned with blogging is that it takes a lot of effort and work to create content that people would be interested in. I like that this platform gives me the opportunity to tap into my creative side and also practice my writing skills that, for many years has been strictly limited to academia. In the coming year I would like to do different things with the blog in order to expand my readership.

Much thanks to everyone, who has visited this space. I hope that you all continue to enjoy me sharing my moody and diverse reading habits for many years to come. 


HAPPY READING!!!

Saturday, 21 August 2021

BOOK REVIEW: THE LONELY LONDONERS BY SAMUEL SELVON (A WEST INDIAN CLASSIC)


Synopsis 

 At Waterloo Station, hopeful new arrivals from the West Indies step off the boat train, ready to start afresh in 1950s London. There, homesick Moses Aloetta, who has already lived in the city for years, meets Henry 'Sir Galahad' Oliver and shows him the ropes. In this strange, cold and foggy city where the natives can be less than friendly at the sight of a black face, has Galahad met his Waterloo?


But the irrepressible newcomer cannot be cast down. He and all the other lonely new Londoners - from shiftless Cap to Tolroy, whose family has descended on him from Jamaica - must try to create a new life for themselves. As pessimistic 'old veteran' Moses watches their attempts, they gradually learn to survive and come to love the heady excitements of London.


My Thoughts 


"What is is that a city have, that any place in the world have, that you get so much to like it you wouldn't leave it for anywhere else? What it is that would keep men although by and large, in truth and in fact, they catching their royal to make a living, staying in a cramp-up room where you have to do everything-sleep, eat, dress, wash cook, live.....Why it is, that in the end, everyone cagey about saying outright that if a chance come they will go back to them green islands in the sun?" SAMUEL SELVON - THE LONELY LONDONERS

This is a masterpiece from one of the geniuses of Trinidadian and Caribbean Literature.

During my school days studying literature Samuel Selvon was one of the first local authors I was introduced to. For Lit I read A Brighter Sun and Ways of Sunlight which were assigned readings at the time. It took me years to find this particular title and I am so glad that it surpassed my expectations. 

The Lonely Londoners spoke to the experiences of West Indians who, migrated to London in the post World War 2 era. They are commonly referred to as the Windrush generation. The story spoke to the struggles with employment, race relations and the loneliness felt by the young men who went to this strange land looking for a better life. 

The story is told by Moses, a Trinidadian who having lived in London for ten years, shares his experiences with young Henry aka Sir Galahad a newbie to London who was told that Moses was the best person to show him the ropes. We are introduced to other characters Cap, Five, Tolroy and others and through the experiences of these men we learn what life was like for migrants at that time.

I must mention the clever use of Trinidadian "parlance" in the writing was excellent. There were many instances where I would laugh but the sense of loneliness, uncertainty, hardship and sadness came through the pages.


I loved this book. 

Thursday, 19 August 2021

BLOG TOUR: WATCH FOR ME by Martin Bodenham

 



Blurb for WATCH FOR ME

Tom Harper, a Vancouver Island realtor, has the client from hell, Ali Page, a beautiful and intelligent young lawyer returning from the mainland to take up a job with an island law firm. Trouble is there’s always something wrong with the properties Tom shows her, always a reason not to commit. Finally, after they find a condo she likes, he receives a text thanking him for his help. Ali signs off: I’m sad we won’t get to spend more time together. Often cold and withdrawn throughout their weeks of searching, Ali’s words seem strangely out of character.

The texts keep coming, increasingly incoherent and disturbing. What does Ali mean by: we have a special connection, and why on earth would she say: I’ll be here for you when you leave your wife? Happily married, Tom cannot understand why a woman not much older than his teenage daughter is suddenly obsessed with him. When he rejects Ali’s unsolicited advances, Tom soon discovers the sinister depths to which a delusional mind will sink to obtain what it wants. Isolated and seemingly abandoned by the police and legal system, this is the story of one man’s struggle to rescue his marriage, his family, and his sanity in the face of overwhelming psychological and physical torment.



Fans are raving about this new psychological thriller!!!



My thoughts

This book literally put meaning to the phrase "HOOKED FROM PAGE ONE". 

It had everything suspense, drama and the thriller effect that will make you cringe. This book is the reason that psychological thrillers are one of my favourite genres to read because it had me turning pages because I was dying to know what happened at the end. And what an ending that was!!!!

Tom Harper a realtor had no idea that when he agreed to help his friend's daughter chose a new home that she will be the client from hell. Ali Page a beautiful young lawyer is not the innocent flower that she presents herself to be. She has a twisted mind and becomes so intent on getting what she wants that she is prepared to do anything it takes. In this case she wants Tom!!!!!

The writing in this book was great especially in terms of character development. Ali scared me and I really felt deeply for Tom. Mr. Bodenham really did a great job writing these two characters. I love the message in the book as well in terms of how men are treated by law enforcement as opposed to women with reporting cases of abuse and harrassment. The book did a great job in showing this.

I kept thinking about if I would have believed my husband in a case like this!!!! Maybe not. I may have been like Marie who like many wives are conflicted when it comes to their husband and infidelity. 

I loved also the descriptions of the setting 'Owen Bay' and other parts of Canada. It was a really nice touch. As readers different things stand out and for me this was one of the things that did.

In all, this is a MUST READ for psychological thriller fans.

MUCH THANKS TO ANNE FROM RANDOM THINGS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO JOIN THIS TOUR.



About the Author

Martin Bodenham is the author of the crime thrillers: Crime And Justice, The Geneva Connection, Once a Killer and Shakedown. Watch For Me is his latest novel, published 16 August 2021 by Down & Out Books, a US-based publisher of crime fiction, founded in 2011.

After a thirty-year career in private equity and corporate finance in London, Martin moved to the west coast of Canada, where he writes full-time. He held corporate finance partner positions at both KPMG and Ernst & Young as well as senior roles at several private equity firms before founding his own private equity company in 2001. Much of the tension in his thrillers is based on the greed and fear he witnessed first-hand while working in international finance.


Martin’s website: https://www.martinbodenham.com/

Martin’s Twitter page: https://twitter.com/martinbodenham

Martin’s LinkedIn page: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/martin-bodenham-8228307

Martin’s publisher’s page: https://downandoutbooks.com/

 

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