He Forgot To Say Goodbye by Benjamin Sáenz
Publisher: Simon Shuster
Published: June 17 2008
Buy or Burrow: Buy
People don’t always have to do the right thing for the right reasons—so long as they do the right thing.
Synopsis: Two teens with different social standings have one thing in common : a father they know very little about. Circumstance brings them together and both boys try to understand why their fathers left without saying goodbye
I believe that we’re searching to understand ourselves in this life and the world around us. To have parents who are present and guiding while young makes that search a little bit easier… but what if you don’t get that? What if you’re missing a mom or dad, because he or she decided not to say goodbye when they left?
He forgot to say goodbye followed Ram and Jake as they try to understand why their fathers left.
Ram’s dad left him and his younger brother and his mom refused to talk about him. Over the years, he made a version of his father in his head, while trying to quietly make something of himself. His fragile heart was obvious from the first page and how he dealt with another person leaving him nearly breaks him. Jake also grew up without his father, a mom that makes you want to yell every time she spoke and a step father that you can’t help but dislike immediately.
The physical difference between the two boys is broad but dealing with an absent father you constantly long for can diminish your differences, especially when you realize that you only wanted them to love and think you’re enough to be remembered.
The novel felt like an unrestrained journal you’re permitted to read and learn from. The young, exposed and flexible tone from both boys made for an enjoyable read even during the tough pages. You don’t have to have an absent parent or be a teen to trust the voice of the characters. It makes you want to promise to be a better version of yourself, hug the ones that stay and love a little harder.
The Wide Circumference of Love by Marita Golden
Publisher: Arcade Publishing
Published: March 28 2017
Buy or Burrow: Buy
When you’re left without the memories of who you’re and only recall glimpses of the past as your present, how do you deal with it? How does it affect your family?
In The Wide Circumference of Love, Gregory Tate is a renowned architect who is losing his memory and his family are taking different routes to come to term with the diagnosis of early onset Alzheimers. His wife, Diane Tate, must learn to shoulder this alone. A first, as she and Gregory always relied on each other in all the trials they faced in their marriage. His daughter, Lauren, followed in his footstep to be an architect but navigating new surprises in her life as she slowly loses the father she was once close to becomes a challenge. His son, Sean, who had a distant relationship with the family worked to bridge the gap and create a new relationship with a man that has now forgotten that he was his father.
Once Gregory is placed in an assisted living-a difficult decision Diane had to make following some troubling events- the dynamic within the family changes again. Finding ways to love the man Gregory once was and would be as the disease progressed became the goal for the family.
This story was more than just about Alzheimer’s. I was in awe of how Gregory and Diane built the foundation of their love, how scared each were of the disease when it began to show and how much can happen when you put love first. The story has several narrators who shared different parts of the experience with the readers. I wanted more narration from Lauren, whose story was one that could be fleshed out into another book as her life was a storyline many people could relate to.
The Wide Circumference of Love served a good dose of honesty on how hard Alzheimer affects the family and reinforced the importance of a supportive family.
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinka Braithwaite
Published: Nov 20 2018
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Buy or burrow: burrow
My Sister, the Serial Killer explored the dynamic between two sisters, Korede and Ayoola. Korede is older and a nurse while Ayoola is a serial killer. Ayoola killed her latest boyfriend and Korede must help to clean up the mess and hide the evidence. Korede began to wonder about her sister’s latest kill, lack of remorse and how she was dealing with covering up Ayoola’s mess. All to soon, Ayoola drew the attention of someone close to Korede’s heart and she has a chance to save him before he dies.
While I didn’t seek out the plot prior to reading, I thought the title was catching and looked forward to a thrilling story – a total marketing genius. The previous title was “Thicker than Water”, something more approprate for the story, imo. I was seriously disappointed when I found that it contained very little mystery but liked the satirical route Oyinka took on the idea of duty and family. Through unfussy prose, we learned that Korede spent her whole life protecting her little sister from a tyrannical father and many bad decisions. Ayoola was overwhelmingly indulged by everyone, as seen from their mother, to anyone who met her. What I enjoyed the most was how accurate Oyinka displayed picking family over everything else, even if they’re toxic to you. A dutiful trait that runs very deep within the Nigerian culture.
While I didn’t get my dark mysterious novel, My Sister, the Serial Killer was an easy read, something to pick up on spur of the moment and enjoy for its refreshing take on loyalty.
p.s: how many kills does it take for a person to be labeled a “serial killer”? Leave your answer below !
A friend and I was discussing our high school summer reading list mandated for English class and how I never read the books until a few days before school started. It got me thinking of creating a short summer reading list of my own and encouraging others to join. This summer, I will read 3 books with different genres, cultures and each set in different times. I think this will be a fun challenge along with finishing up graduate school and having Sunday brunch.
When you read this book, you will make many assumptions. It’s about a jealous wife, obsessed with her replacement. It’s about a younger woman set to marry the man she loves. The first wife seems like a disaster; her replacement is the perfect woman. You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships. You will be wrong – Goodreads
A breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years—from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding—that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives—the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness—are inextricable from the history playing out around them –Goodreads
This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that the perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.- Goodreads
I will start with The Wife Between Us, make sure you follow my instagram for updates.
Do you have any books you’ll be reading this summer?
If you’d like to join for all three or any of them, please comment or email.
Ghana Must Go By: Taiye Selasi Publisher: Penguin Group Pub Date : 03/05/13 Buy or Borrow : Buy
A renowned surgeon and failed husband, Kweku Sai dies suddenly at dawn outside his home in suburban Accra. The news of his death sends a ripple around the world, bringing together the family he abandoned years before. Moving with great elegance through time and place, Ghana Must Go charts their circuitous journey to one another and, along the way, teaches us that the truths we speak can heal the wounds we hide.- Penguin Random House
Ever been left speechless after a book, shocked that you can say a million things you disliked but in the same breathe, a million for why you love it just as much? Ghana Must Go was that. I began this book a few years ago and left it unfinished on my bookshelf. Looking to read beyond my usual YA novels, I chose to give it one more shot. After the first few chapters, I remembered why I dropped it years ago; the story unraveled in an unusual way. The author’s style required patience and she was building a world that couldn’t be rushed. So this time, I became patient. I read and went back throughout the book to make sure I got the message she was trying to convey.
Honestly, Ghana Must Go lit a fire in me that I haven’t felt in a while. I felt so connected to these weird, weak yet strong characters and I was left feeling uncomfortable with that. I felt uncomfortable because I saw myself as well many other people I know in similar situations that Selasi wrote about. The brokenness and need for answers within each character was so real, you may even shed a tear. I learned from Selasi that, lack of communication is a deep rooted issue that can create a lifelong damage to people you care about. Many people, especially Africans, do not like to talk about their feelings, the things that hurt them and often shoulder pains that should not be carried alone. I don’t know if it’s more prevalent in Africans than other ethnicities, or we’re just more ashamed to show others our broken hearts.
If you are like me, and you didn’t finish Ghana Must Go, then give it another try. Be patient and let each character guide you through the turmoils, the revelations and the resolution.
If you’re up for the challenge, you’ll appreciate this well written work of art.