Never judge a book by its cover, right? But that is just what I do, too often. I read Flesh, Bone and Water because I was out of books and the library was closed Sunday. Also it was free, an advanced readers' copy that I was given at the Northern Lights Library System Conference in September. Then it languished on the book pile on my night table.
What a pleasant surprise! Flesh, Bone and Water switches settings between London, England and Brazil and times between the narrator/protagonist's youth and his present as a forty-seven year-old physician. It tells a simple enough story of a young man whose mother dies, whose father is too stern, and a forbidden love. The contrast of cultures, of youth and middle age kept me turning the pages. The Brazil setting and different life style was fascinating because I know nothing of Brazil.
Flesh, Bone and Water is Luiza Sauma's first novel and she is a woman writing from a man's viewpoint. She was born in Rio de Janeiro and raised in London. A lesson for me- the old adage is true. You can't judge a book by its cover.
And for a complete change of pace, here is Krysten Ritter's Bonfire, a psychological thriller. Ten years ago, Abby Williams left Barrens, an Indiana small town. Now an environmental lawyer, she is assigned, with a team, to investigate Optimal Plastics, suspected of contaminating the community's water. Since she left, Optimal has become the "saviour" of Barrens, employing most of the town and contributing heavily to its economic and cultural life. The population has risen form 2,000 to over 5,000 and it's a much more prosperous place.
Before she even reaches Barrens, the bad memories and the intense feelings return. More than anything, she'd rather turn around and go back to the life she's carved out in Chicago.
Abby and her team are stonewalled when they try to investigate Optimal. The illness and disappearance of a childhood friend turned high school nemesis haunt her. She tries reconnecting with her father. There are old high school classmates ( she never had friends ) but who among them can she trust? Perhaps no one Soon even her investigative team doubts her stability and is afraid she might be having a breakdown. Bonfire rushes to a climax and a satisfying conclusion. I read it in a day.
Krysten Ritter is an actor, producer, and writer. Perhaps it is her experience as Netflix's Marvel's Jessica Jones and her other roles that have helped her to craft such a page turner.
I am an avid reader and like to share some of my "finds" with others.