Our Summer 2020 Book Selections have been made! They are all excellent choices, and as always, reaching across genre and time. We didn’t plan a theme when making these selections, but these books do seem to be connected by the concept of how womens’ voices have been diminished or elevated at different points in time, for different issues, and in different ways. I’m really looking forward to these reads! Women Talking by Miriam Toews, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, and Open Book by Jessica Simpson.
The true crime at the center of Miriam Toews’s novel “Women Talking” is unspeakable. It sounds like something from the Middle Ages or a dystopia by Margaret Atwood. But, in fact, these horrors took place only a decade ago in the Manitoba Mennonite colony in Bolivia. For several years, more than 100 women and girls woke up in the morning bruised and sore, lying in their own blood. Strictly isolated in this patriarchal religious community, the women were told they must be imagining things or that evil spirits were punishing them for their sins. But finally the truth came out: At least eight men had been using a veterinary sedative intended for cows to knock out whole families and then rape the women and girls — some as young as 3 years old.More than 100 women were raped by their neighbors for years — but no one would believe them, The Washington Post
From the reviews I’ve read, Women Talking focuses on the women and the choices they had to make when their religious elders advised them to forgive.
Rebecca is a very strange book. It’s a melodrama, and by no means short on bangs and crashes. There are two sunken ships, a murder, a fire, a costume party and multiple complex betrayals, and yet it’s startling to realise how much of its drama never actually happens. The second Mrs de Winter might not excel at much, but she is among the great dreamers of English literature. Whole pages go by devoted to her imaginings and speculations. The effect is curiously unstable, not so much a story as a network of possibilities, in which the reader is rapidly entangled.Sex, jealousy and gender: Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca 80 years on, The Guardian
Originally published in 1938, Rebecca has stood the test of time and remains a classic to this day.
The description for Open Book is enticing enough…. “Five years ago, Jessica Simpson was approached to write a motivational guide to living your best life. She walked away from the offer, and nobody understood why. The truth is that she didn’t want to lie.”
Jessica Simpson, like almost every celebrity, has a very cultivated image. I am not surprised to learn there is more going on behind the scenes. I am surprised and delighted that we get the chance to know about it! Sure, my interest in Open Book is not all wholesome…of course I want to know her secrets! But also, I have a feeling that with her fame and level of reach, opening up about real issues will do a lot of good. Definitely looking forward to Open Book, for multiple reasons!