Sample Saturday – a mother, sisters, and a husband

Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye. This week, all three books were discovered when I was researching the Top 47 from the Best Books of 2017 List of Lists.

Motherest by Kristen Iskandrian

Summary: Campus-lit through the lens of a mother-daughter relationship.

‘I want to tell you about how many boys I’ve laid under (2) and how both of them felt the same. I want you to come here and wash my sheets and tell me the truth about my clothes, about the people I’ve met. I want you to see me working in the dining hall… None of this will happen, I know. It wouldn’t happen even if you were another mother. But being the mother you are, it’s not just impractical. It’s impossible. You are not available. You don’t want to be summoned.’

I’m thinking: Yes – campus life and complicated relationships tick the boxes.

Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan

Summary: Two very different sisters leave Ireland and settle in America. A decision made together on their arrival in Boston has a lasting impact on their lives.

I’m thinking: Maybe. Good opening chapters but I have another Sullivan in the TBR stack that I should read first.

A Separation by Katie Kitamura

Summary: A couple agree it’s time to separate, and to keep the decision private. The guy goes missing in Greece and at the promoting of her mother-in-law, the woman goes to find him.

‘…we had not yet figured out how to tell the story of our separation. But I disliked the air of complicity, which felt incongruous and without purpose.’

I’m thinking: Yes (actually intrigued that some of my blogging buddies gave it five stars and others marked it DNF).


7 responses

  1. I loved Sullivan’s Maine but have read lukewarm reports of Saints for all Seasons the premise of which sounds a bit like Alice McDermott’s wonderful Charming Billy to me. I enjoyed A Separation for its unrealiable narrator but it wasn’t a five-star read for me.

    • Interesting because I didn’t like Maine much at all – the whole thing felt drawn-out and lack lustre. The first chapters of this one were actually quite gripping so I was thinking it might be different to Maine. That said, I have The Engagements sitting in my TBR stack, which I really should read first.

    • Nearly every review I’ve read goes on and on about the writing style – seems it’s either a love it or hate it thing. I liked it and as intrigued enough to want to keep reading.

  2. I wasn’t too keen on A Separation, but I don’t know your taste well enough yet to say whether you’ll like it or not. It was reminiscent of Rachel Cusk for me. I did finish it, but can’t say I really enjoyed it.

    I also didn’t think all that much of the Sullivan — it’s so similar to all the other Irish-American immigration stories I’ve read. I preferred The Engagements, and would like to read her other books.

    Motherest, though, that looks great!

  3. Ha, reading your summary of A Separation and I’m thinking it sounds familiar. Yep, I dnf’d it. Interested to see your take on it though! Sometimes I think I’m just not cut out for most literary fiction.

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