Stacey's Book Reviews

Women of the Silk: A Novel By Gail Tsukiyama Cover Image
Reviewed by: Stacey
Posted: September 19, 2023

I loved this book, although it broke my heart several times. In 1920s rural China, young Pei's family has fallen on hard times, so they send her to a silk workhouse to help financially.  While thrust unknowingly into this life-altering situation, it turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to Pei.  Soon, she loves the work, and the bonds that she forms with the girls who live and work there are unbreakable.  This is a story of hope, strength, and friendship in the face of truly difficult circumstances. Tsukiyama is a wonderful storyteller. - Stacey

The Many Daughters of Afong Moy: A Novel By Jamie Ford Cover Image
Reviewed by: Stacey
Posted: August 16, 2023

Each chapter in this wonderful novel by Jamie Ford is written about one female member of the Moy family. The theme of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance (inherited trauma) begins in 1834 with Afong Moy, the first Chinese woman to come to America. Each woman in line has their own traumas, and by the time we get to Dorothy (2045), the central character, she is struggling with mental illness for which she tries a radical treatment.  Each character is well-developed and has her own interesting storyline. - Stacey

This Time Tomorrow: A Novel By Emma Straub Cover Image
Reviewed by: Stacey
Posted: July 11, 2023

I immediately liked this book, which has a strongly drawn main character, Alice.  In current day, Alice’s father is dying. She discovers she has the ability to time-travel to the past, where she sees him at earlier stages of his life, and gets to re-enjoy those times with him.  She repeatedly goes back to the day of her 16th birthday and changes certain things - some go well, others don’t.  Alice’s warm relationship with her father, however, endures the test of time. - Stacey

Bookish People By Susan Coll Cover Image
Reviewed by: Stacey
Posted: June 14, 2023

If you have ever worked in a bookstore, or known anyone who worked in a bookstore, this book is for you!  Even if you haven’t, you will enjoy this portrait of indie bookstore life that is both realistic and fantastical, with more than a few laugh-out-loud moments. A cast of characters keeps this light but smart story rolling along.- Stacey

This Book Is My Best Friend By Robin Robinson, Robin Robinson (Illustrator) Cover Image
Reviewed by: Stacey
Posted: May 16, 2023

Sunny and Aarush both reach for the one copy of a book that they each claim is their best friend.  One of them likes the mouse in the book, the other one loves the robot. They keep trying to find different books for the other kid to like.  Eventually, they realize that best friends can read together, and that they can have a friendship of their very own. - Stacey

The Tobacco Wives: A Novel By Adele Myers Cover Image
Reviewed by: Stacey
Posted: May 13, 2023

Maddie loves to sew and helps her aunt work on dresses for the “tobacco wives” in post-WWII North Carolina.  Due to her mother’s mental health issues, Maddie ends up staying with her aunt, and taking on way more responsibility than she bargained for, including becoming involved in health issues people are experiencing from the tobacco.  A fascinating period in time where women were actually encouraged to smoke to relax them!  Maddie is very strong and takes what life hands her and makes lemonade. Thoroughly enjoyable! - Stacey

Tiger & Cat By Allira Tee Cover Image
Reviewed by: Stacey
Posted: April 11, 2023

The sweetest story of a tiger and a cat who are good friends.  Tiger has to go to Tiger Camp for months to earn his stripes and become a "real" (wild) tiger. Cat misses Tiger so much that she mistakes a girl in a tiger costume for him (Spoiler: Cat and the girl become friends).  Tiger was not happy at camp, and dearly missed Cat.  They don't play or dance, or explore at Tiger Camp.  Tiger realizes that he already has all the stripes he needs, and Cat could not agree more.  Cute pictures too! - Stacey

Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock-and-Roll's Legendary Neighborhood By Michael Walker Cover Image
Reviewed by: Stacey
Posted: April 11, 2023

For those who were alive in the 60s and 70s, and for those who weren’t but are interested, this is a fun and fascinating trip back in time to when Laurel Canyon, CA was "the" happening place for folk and rock and roll music. Walker shares many facts and stories that I didn’t know, about performers who I love. Vivid descriptions of what the lifestyle was like really bring you back there. - Stacey

Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story (Seasons in the wild) By Sean Taylor, Alex Morss, Cinyee Chiu, Emily Pither (Editor) Cover Image
Reviewed by: Stacey
Posted: March 24, 2023

I loved this story of a very knowledgeable grandmother explaining hibernation to her grandchild by taking them to various places near her house, and showing how everything is different than in the summer, as well as pointing out a lot of nature facts. An engaging story with adorable illustrations, and a more detailed explanation of what hibernation looks like for various animals is in the back. - Stacey

Honor By Thrity Umrigar Cover Image
Reviewed by: Stacey
Posted: March 15, 2023

I am such a fan of Thrity Umrigar, and this new novel did not disappoint! Centered around the horror of Afghani honor killings, the story is so compelling, and explores issues of misogyny, caste, religion, and patriarchy.  Woven throughout is a love story, a story of friendship and loyalty, and the question of how much dedication to one’s job should override personal issues.  Character development is great, and I highly recommend this book. - Stacey

The Four Winds: A Novel By Kristin Hannah Cover Image
Reviewed by: Stacey
Posted: February 16, 2023

The Depression, the Dust Bowl, hunger, hopelessness, foreclosures –all are the backdrop for The Four Winds.  Through it all, we get to know and come to love Elsa, an incredibly strong woman, who has dealt with all that the world has laid at her feet, her own illness, and rejection by her family.  She goes on to form a new family, and to take on new overwhelming challenges. Hannah paints a vivid picture of this world, and transports you there.

Pout Party By Sarah McColl, Sarah McColl (Illustrator) Cover Image
Reviewed by: Stacey
Posted: February 9, 2023

Sometimes, you just gotta pout!  That's how Rue feels, and no one is going to change her mind, or cheer her up until she gets it out of her system. Told in rhyme, this is a sweet story about a feeling we can all relate to. - Stacey