Wiving: A Memoir of Loving then Leaving the Patriarchy by Caitlin Myer

Wiving

I love a book that gets me thinking and totally frown when it makes me feel things I wouldn’t want to acknowledge- like loss, emotional pain and most of all, anger…you know the kind that you sealed in your subconscious and swore you’ll never let it get the best of you, but here comes a trigger and bham! You’re all over the place?

Yes, that kind of anger.

About the book:

At thirty-six years old, Caitlin Myer is ready to start a family with her husband. She has left behind the restrictive confines of her Mormon upbringing and early sexual trauma and believes she is now living her happily ever after . . . when her body betrays her. In a single week, she suffers the twin losses of a hysterectomy and the death of her mother, and she is jolted into a terrible awakening that forces her to reckon with her past—and future.
 
This is the story of one woman’s lifelong combat with a culture—her “escape” from religion at age twenty, only to find herself similarly entrapped in the gender conventions of the secular culture at large, conventions that teach girls and women to shape themselves to please men, to become good wives and mothers. The biblical characters Yael and Judith, wives who became assassins, become her totems as she evolves from wifely submission to warrior independence.

My purpose is to make you happy, he types. In this way he has made himself a wife. To be a wife means to harness your desires, your ego, and concentrate your life’s purpose in your husband. I want something larger, I type.

The author shuttles between her childhood and her present time merging her memories of what she grew up believing and expecting womanhood to be. She draws from her Mormon background, her mother’s pains and struggles and it is almost as if she sees herself in the memory of her mother and she struggles with her loss, fears, disappointments in love and being a wife, and more so finding her essence in a sea of societal and moral expectations.

I love the title, the cover and the tone of this book.

Perhaps, what I struggled with the most while reading this book is how much I could relate to most of what she shared especially on the early indoctrination of girls on what it means to be a good mother, wife and more so on the load of expectations centered around pleasing and seeing to the needs of a man…and that right there, triggered so many questions I’ve had over the years.

It also reminded me of how my Mom was treated when our Dad passed away…and when it got to that point, I cast this book aside and pretended not to care.

And some of the phrases that I highlighted because they truly spoke to my experiences of growing female, seeing how women are treated and the like were:

Once you believe some humans should by nature, through gender or skin or difference, occupy a lower more limited place in the world, once you believe they owe you their love, their attention, their obeisance, it leaks into everything, and this has been the story since the first story was written.

The other one was:

I trained for wiving but I’m not made to be a wife.

I am certain that this book will attract and receive mixed reviews and inasmuch as that would come to be, it doesn’t change the fact that we are brought up on expectations, and our parents dreams, those of their parents and generations before us are fed to us. Some of us carry this torch well, others burn under the weight of it, and some choose to walk in their own path.

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The book’s retailing on various platforms around $24.99 for the hardcover and $16.99 for the ebook, you can select your retailer-> here

About the author: Visit her website: https://www.caitlinmyer.com/about

 

I was Ghosted so I found myself reading Sorry I Missed You by Suzy Krause

Have you ever been ghosted?

You meet someone and it’s all good, the phone calls, texts and meetings and then out of the blue the trail grows cold. A friend calls it “Kujitoa kwa mix,” and don’t get me started on those blue ticks on whatsapp and how after a while you call and they don’t answer then it hits you that they left you long before they stopped communicating with you.

So, I’ve been ghosted and I have ghosted people as well- and even gone ahead and ignored the various strangers who send you messages on Facebook Messenger with ‘hi’ or ‘hey’ or ‘hi babe.’ It hurts even more that now you cannot delete your messenger account/ if you uninstall the app- someone can still send you a message and wait for years before you respond! So, when I saw this book on Netgalley- I had to read it, for there is nothing as awesome as bonding over shared experiences!

About the book:

When Mackenzie, Sunna, and Maude move into a converted rental house, they are strangers with only one thing in common—important people in their lives have “ghosted” them. Mackenzie’s sister, Sunna’s best friend, and Maude’s fiancé—all gone with no explanation.

So when a mangled, near-indecipherable letter arrives in their shared mailbox—hinting at long-awaited answers—each tenant assumes it’s for her. The mismatched trio decides to stake out the coffee shop named in the letter—the only clue they have—and in the process, a bizarre kinship forms. But the more they learn about each other, the more questions (and suspicions) they begin to have. All the while, creepy sounds and strange happenings around the property suggest that the ghosts from their pasts might not be all that’s haunting them…Will any of the housemates find the closure they are looking for? Or are some doors meant to remain closed?

My take:  This book is funny, quirky, nostalgic and oh so true because if you’ve ever been ghosted/ had someone grow cold and distance without warning- then you would probably enjoy this read.

Maude brings to life the feeling of being ghosted most when she feels:

She knew she wasn’t the first person to be left like that; leaving was what people did best and most often. But the abruptness of this leaving, the unexplained nature of it, was torture and it came as close to killing her as anything ever had.

The personality of these three women clash; Maude doesn’t want to be disturbed and she is lonely, bitter, brash and pushes boundaries. Sunna has mastered the art of not caring, though she is brilliant, witty and upfront- she also is insecure- needing friends but not necessarily working towards making them. Mackenzie is as cute as a button- cares about how other people feel, and is a closed shell.

When Maude sets up a meeting with Richard to get closure and invites the girls to sit in the conversation, Sunna sets the record straight and I loved what she said so much that I noted it in my journal:

That is how explanations work. They explain. They do not assuage your guilty conscience.

I nearly jumped into the book and hugged her. I laughed at their meetings at the PaperCup cafe. It made my Friday evening.

You can get a copy on Amazon: Kindle $4.99 / Paperback $10.99

This definitely gets 4 stars: Download Orange Star Clip Art PNG Image with No Background ...Download Orange Star Clip Art PNG Image with No Background ...Download Orange Star Clip Art PNG Image with No Background ...Download Orange Star Clip Art PNG Image with No Background ...


About the author:

Suzy Krause

Suzy Krause is the author of Valencia and Valentine. She spends her days with her kids and writes when they sleep. She still occasionally finds time to blog just for fun at http://www.suzykrause.com. She lives in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Second Chances: What I learned reading An Exaltation of Larks by Suanne Laqueur

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About the book: 

Across three decades and two continents, Suanne Laqueur’s fifth novel explores the unpredictability of sexual attraction, how family ties are forged, torn and mended, and how love’s downfall can turn to exaltation.

You should be able to look your income in the face- Gloria Landes

I came across this book on Netgalley- and I was intrigued by the title before I read the blurb. An exaltation of larks…well, the only collective noun I know in my sleep is a pride of lions.

The story takes us back to Chile in September in the 1970s when Pinochet’s got his grip on power and the country and we are introduced to eleven-yer-old Alejandro Penda- who watches the city crumble and with it, first his Father, then his mother and unborn sibling. He arrives alone in America and is taken in by the Larks.

Javier del Soto on the other hand, flees from home when his family shun him for getting caught kissing his cousin Nesto. Apparently, you could be a lot of things as a Dominican but never show signs of being gay. He takes on as many odd jobs as he can, anything to eat and stay alive- and also forget the insults and beatings he received from his Uncle. He meets Gloria Landes and she mentors him into being one of the Manhattan’s top-paid male escorts and he meets Alejandro/Alex and Valerie in his twenties and their story is sealed from then.

The author’s writing brings to life their struggles, the wounds they carry into adulthood- their zest for life and she gives you a front row seat into their decision making processes as well.

I loved this book and Jav carries with him one thing his Father told him:

Second chances are given or made.- Rafael Gil del Soto

In weaving their paths and working through their childhood trauma, Alex and Jav, find that they are one- their pain, their fears, it’s like being home in the presence of one another and it broke my heart when Jav at some point said it;

“Same,” Jav said. “It’s not the larks that kill you. It’s the exaltation.”

And I’m big on moments in books that move me to tears or to smile at the sheer truth in it and Gloria Landes had such moments in this book. Her relationship to and with Jav, is the one ray of sunshine that I see Jav carry on and replicate with Ari later on in the story.

“Every date you have will be an opportunity to learn something,” Gloria said. “Never stop learning. You already like to read, which is an advantage. Read everything. Newspapers, magazines, books. Be informed. Be up-to-date. Be both interesting and interested in others. Everyone has something fascinating about them, Jav. Your job is to find it. Then you can fuck it.”

The best part is that the story does not end there- Javier’s/Jav’s story continues in the next book in the Venery series, “A Charm of Finches,” and finally wraps up back in Chile in “A Scarcity of Condors.”

This has been a great read this week and it’s the highlight of my week especially after having worked a lot on a project that I hope to launch towards the end of this year:

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“His uncle had collected people the same way he collected books and art.”- Alex

About the author:

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Visit her website: http://suannelaqueurwrites.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Reading David Mogo, GodHunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

General Fiction(Adult)/ Sci-Fi & Fantasy/ Rebellion Publishing- Abaddon Books


David Mogo is a demigod. His mother is the god of war and chaos and his father, well, he was just a common man- a mortal which is why he hunts gods and godlings, because his essence can sense their presence. And also their presence in Lagos causes nothing but chaos for human beings and he is not pleased about it, not one bit.

About the book: The gods have fallen to earth in their thousands, and chaos reigns. Though broken and leaderless, the city endures. David Mogo, demigod and godhunter, has one task: capture two of the most powerful gods in the city and deliver them to the wizard gangster Lukmon Ajala. No problem, right? 

But David’s not perfect: he is conflicted about a host of things that go as far as his birth, being abandoned by his mother, always feeling like he doesn’t belong and now the fact that he’s got high gods after him, seeking to kill him.

It’s an interesting read and David is vivid in his description of what he’s feeling just as he is rash in fighting. For example he says at some point during a fight “Tonight though, it’s because my body aches like I was built by angry carpenters.”

Like in any book, there’s a likelihood that you’ll be taken in by a character or characters and in this book, my favorite character was Papa Udi also known as Payu. He speaks Pidgin and he doesn’t say much, but you realize that he’s the one David listens to and respects the most. He is also the one that David does not want to let down and that kind of pressure does a number on David’s focus in fighting the gods.

Payu shakes his head. “No, no, no. Na die two of una dey and I cannot follow you for such a thing. Good luck if you wan go die, but you cannot drag me along. David, no. I say no. No!”

Like in Chapter Twenty Two, Papa Udi chastises Kehinde when he says:

“You for no talk am like that,” and adds “Wise god my bumbum.”

What the author succeeds in is in thrusting you into a world of chaos, magic, anger and vengeance whilst serving it through Pidgin, and highlighting aspects that are indeed akin to Nigeria and the culture of some tribes therein. It’s also a hilarious read because between the back and forth of Payu and David you cannot help but appreciate their relationship, one as the nurturer and the other son or grandson.

Verdict: downloaddownloaddownloaddownloaddownload


I saw this book on the Netgalley dashboard and I had to read it, because if it’s by an African author, I’m interested-period! It’s been a fun read, there are bits and pieces I relate to and my only sad point is that I cannot quote all of Payu’s lines (yeah, there’s that disclaimer to Advance Readers).


About the author: Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a Nigerian writer of science fiction, dark and contemporary fantasy. His short fiction and essays have appeared in Lightspeed, Fireside, Podcastle, The Dark, Ozy, Omenana and other magazines and anthologies. His urban fantasy novel about gods in Lagos is forthcoming in 2019. Visit the author’s website or tweet at him at @IAmSuyiDavies.