Three Books I'm Reading Now, 4/7/21 Edition
The Books I'm Reading Now
I'm reading a story about brothers sleeping rough and struggling to get by at the turn of the century alongside larger-than-life characters ranging from activists to performers and murderers to idealists; a memoir about a young woman's yearning to cross the border from Mexico to the U.S. to reunite with her parent--and her disillusionment upon her arrival; and an upcoming mystery about a missing persons detective whose retreat to her hometown leads her into the middle of a missing person case there: the disappearance of a local young woman.
Which books are you reading and enjoying these days, bookworms?
01 The Cold Millions by Jess Walter
Rye and Gig Dolan are brothers in Spokane, Washington, trying to eke out a living at the turn of the century, sleeping rough with other tramps, eluding the cops who come around to crack heads, and trying to work within crooked labor systems.
There's a wide chasm between the rich and the struggling poor, and it seems to be growing. Gig is an idealist eager for labor reform, while Rye is simply desperate for work that pays.
Walter has created a full cast of characters ranging from madams to activists, feminists to magnates, well-read wanderers to brutal murderers, and every shade of crooked dealer, morally questionable citizen, and shiny-eyed optimist in between.
Walter is also the author of Beautiful Ruins.
02 The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande
The Distance Between Us is Grande's memoir about her childhood in 1980s Mexico, living in poverty with her siblings and a cold grandmother, and yearning to join her parents, who worked in the United States and sent money back to Reyna and her brother.
After eight long years, Reyna convinced her reluctant father to bring the children to Los Angeles, but the United States wasn't what she had imagined. Her father had a new girlfriend who wasn't interested in the children, and her father drank heavily and sent the family into turmoil.
Grande digs into her family's complicated history of trauma, disappointment, struggle, and, for some members, unshakable bonds.
03 When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain
Anna is a missing persons detective. When she experiences a personal tragedy of her own, she flees to the Northern California of her childhood. But when she arrives, she finds out that a young local woman has gone missing.
"Weaving together actual cases of missing persons, trauma theory, and a hint of the metaphysical, this propulsive and deeply affecting novel tells a story of fate, necessary redemption, and what it takes, when the worst happens, to reclaim our lives--and our faith in one another."
McLain is also the author of Circling the Sun and The Paris Wife. I received a prepublication edition of this book courtesy of Random House and NetGalley.