The Books I'm Reading Now
For my book club I'm reading Lady Tan's Circle of Women, Lisa See's newest story of women in ancient China; I'm reading Maude Horton's Glorious Revenge, Lizzie Pook's upcoming (January 16) novel of Victorian England and Arctic mystery; and I'm listening to Dowry of Blood, S. T. Gibson's shadow-filled novel about Dracula and his first wife, Constanta.
What are you reading these days, bookworms?
01 Lady Tan's Circle of Women by Lisa See
No mud, no lotus.
Lady Tan's Circle of Women is my first book club read of 2024, and wow, does this one start off with a bang. Full-force details of foot-binding, and See doesn't stint on the page time spent on the topic. Whew!
Tan Yunxian's grandmother is one of only a few female doctors in 15th century China, and Yunxian is learning all she can from her beloved family matriarch.
When terrible tragedies strike, Yunxian's comfort comes in the unlikely form of her father's kind and caring concubine. Yunxian's eventual arranged marriage means she lives under the thumb of a controlling mother-in-law, and her ability to practice medicine is severely curtailed, as in the family's opinion, her main goal should be to birth sons.
I'm listening to this as an audiobook.
Lisa See is also the author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.
02 Maude Horton's Glorious Revenge by Lizzie Pook
Constance Horton has run from her life in Victorian London, disguising herself as a boy (I always love this setup) on the Makepeace, an exploration ship bound for the Northwest Passage of the Arctic. But her femininity is a dangerous potential liability, and the men on the ship, including the ship's stern doctor, likely won't take kindly to her deceit if she's found out.
Two years later, Constance hasn't returned, and her sister Maude is determined to find out what happened to Constance.
I received a prepublication edition of Maude Horton's Glorious Revenge, to be published January 16, courtesy of NetGalley and Simon & Schuster.
03 Dowry of Blood by S. T. Gibson
I wonder if you would have wanted me if you found me like that: vibrant and loved and alive.
Constanta is the sole survivor of a brutal medieval massacre in her village--but she's drawing her last breaths.
Then a mysterious stranger arrives--seemingly drawn by her wavering between life and death--and promises her eternal life as his bride.
Dowry of Blood is a spooky, sultry, shadowy story of Dracula's first wife, and from Constanta's point of view we witness her horror as the full impact of her husband's power and cruelty becomes clear.
I'm listening to Dowry of Blood as an audiobook.