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.
The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson
Why I have it: Spotted on Sarah’s list of books set in various countries.
Summary: Two sisters are exiled from Brooklyn to Barbados after their mother can no longer care for them. Phaedra and Dionne live for the summer of 1989 with their grandmother Hyacinth, a midwife and practitioner of the local spiritual practice of obeah.
I’m thinking: Maybe.
The Woman Who Walked Into Doors by Roddy Doyle
Why I have it: Spotted on Madame Bibi’s ‘Reading Ireland’ post.
Summary: Paula Spencer is a working-class woman struggling to reclaim her dignity after marriage to an abusive husband and a worsening drinking problem.
I’m thinking: Yes.
Swimming With Seals by Victoria Whitworth
Why I have it: Spotted on Bookish Beck‘s Goodreads list (and I love swimming stories)
Summary: Victoria Whitworth began swimming in the cold waters of Orkney as a means of temporary escape from a failing marriage, a stifling religious environment and a series of health problems. The book is a love letter to the beach where she swims regularly, to the ever-changing cold waters where the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet, and to the seals, her constant companions.
I’m thinking: Yes.
As you know, I thought TWWWID was excellent. I read it several years ago but Paula’s voice was so distinctive, I didn’t need to remind myself of the story when I read the sequel just recently.
Swimming with Seals sounds amazing, it’s definitely going on my list.
Wait, what sequel?
Paula Spencer, he wrote it 10 years later. Paula’s children are all grown up and she’s finally given up drinking…
Whoa!!!! What’s it called? He has so many books..
Sorry, I wasn’t clear – it’s called Paula Spencer 🙂
Oh! Ha, thanks. Wow, I just looked up Roddy Doyle at my library and realized he’s published a TON since the “newest” book of his I read, which was The Deportees in 2008.
I really enjoyed Doyle’s book and even taught it in a literature course one semester.
Glad to be of assistance! I hardly recognized that one from my TBR (nearly 6000-strong!). I recently read most of Leap In by Alexandra Heminsley, a lovely swimming memoir I’d recommend. And of course there’s Turning by Jessica J. Lee if you don’t already know it.
Thanks for the shout-out and hope you end up trying Bird Hill!
If one more person’s opinion moves you from maybe to yes on Star Side of Bird Hill, then count me in. I’m actually the person who recommended it to Sarah! Jackson’s prose is wonderfully creative.
I’ve only read A Star Called Henry by Doyle, but I adored it so this one is going on my TBR.