I’ve read a lot in April. I just haven’t finished a lot in April. I’ve been making my way through The Way of Kings and it’s taking a little longer than I expected. So, the books I did finish were mostly audiobooks, outside of one eBook that I reviewed. Let’s get to my April 2022 wrap up.
My Evil Mother
Life is hard enough for a teenage girl in 1950s suburbia without having a mother who may—or may not—be a witch. A single mother at that. Sure, she fits in with her starched dresses, string of pearls, and floral aprons. Then there are the hushed and mystical consultations with neighborhood women in distress. The unsavory, mysterious plants in the flower beds. The divined warning to steer clear of a boyfriend whose fate is certainly doomed. But as the daughter of this bewitching homemaker comes of age and her mother’s claims become more and more outlandish, she begins to question everything she once took for granted.
I enjoyed this, but I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. In the beginning, there were some fun witchy vibes that were reminiscent of Practical Magic. But by the end, she basically unraveled all of the witchyness that she had built. It drives me crazy when a book takes all this time to say this person is a witch then at the end it’s like oh nope, they’re probably normal.
The Scarlet Letter
At once retrospective and radically new, The Scarlet Letter portrays seventeenth-century Puritan New England, a time period irreversibly encoded in the American identity. Hawthorne built one of the most incisive and devastating human dramas ever written out of a community and its outcasts: Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale, one emblazoned with sin and the other distraught with hidden guilt; Pearl, a child born into ostracism; and Roger Chillingworth, driven to vengeance by hatred. Though these characters face a set of specifically troubling circumstances, their words and actions point to moral truths inherent in human affairs, independent of time and place.
The Scarlet Letter is a re-read for me, but I’m glad that I took the time to do it. While I enjoyed it when I read it in high school, I just comprehended it better now that I’m a bit older. There is a lot of nuances in Hawthorn’s words that it would be harder to relate to as a teenager.
Ashes in Venice
A heartless psychopath with size 16 shoes, nursing home hookers and an irreverent Las Vegas homicide detective with a gambling habit set the tone for this off-beat tale of revenge and retribution.
Blackjack addict Frank Savic is deeply in debt and facing family problems when he’s asked to delay his retirement to catch a vigilante killer who murders other murderers in a manner the veteran cop has never seen.
While dead bodies stack up in quick succession, the motorcycle-riding policeman also finds himself reluctantly involved with a desperate mother who will do anything to get justice for her dead son.
Savic, his investigation complicated by a suspected FBI coverup and a prison bribery scandal, is unaware that the murderer might be the solution to his own financial and domestic dilemma.
Add a vengeful killer who seeks justice for his own unbearable loss and you have a teasing psychological thriller that blurs the line between good and evil and where surgical bone saws and spiders are just tools of the trade.
Yes, there are spiders.
So that’s my April 2022 wrap up. What did you read this month?