Sample Saturday – an artist, a portrait, and a misplaced girl

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.

Harmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

Why I have it: Spotted in Susan’s #6degrees chain.

Summary: The story of Yuki Oyama, a Japanese girl fighting to make it as an artist, and her struggle with her decision to leave her two-year-old son, Jay. As an adult, Jay sets out to find his mother and the reason for her abandonment.

I’m thinking: Maybe – interesting idea.

A Girl, Returned by Donatella Di Pietrantonio

Why I have it: Listed in Lizzy’s favourites for 2019.

Summary: Without warning or explanation, an unnamed 13-year-old girl is sent away from the family she has always thought of as hers to live with her birth family: a large, chaotic assortment of individuals whom she has never met and who seem anything but welcoming.

I’m thinking: Yes – engrossed by page two.

The Portrait of Molly Dean by Katherine Kovacic

Why I have it: Via A Darn Good Read.

Summary:  When art dealer Alex Clayton stumbles across a lost portrait of Molly Dean, an artist’s muse brutally slain in Melbourne in 1930, an unsolved murder comes to light after almost seventy years.

I’m thinking: Maybe – not mad on the writing style but enjoyed the Australian art-lit angle.

10 responses

  1. I like the idea of A Girl Returned. Some of my own family have birth families they weren’t brought up with, but have made contact with at various times in their life. But what I have always wondered is how you know ‘Why I have it’. Do you record every sample in a diary along with a link to the recommender?

    • There’s a niche in the counselling world devoted to helping people manage reconnecting with biological families. It’s extremely complex and unfortunately most have this fairytale idea of a ‘reunion’ Nd that everything falls into place, or feels ‘complete’ after that. All too often it’s the opposite – feelings of disconnection and lack of sense of self can be magnified.
      As to ‘why I have it’ – sometimes I have no idea (which I say!); some I simply remember whose review enticed me; and some I make a note of (particularly if they’ve only mentioned a book in a #6degrees chain). In summary, a rather ad-hoc system!

      • Years ago when I thought I might contact my daughter who was adopted out I attended some sessions at the organisation which used to be called Jigsaw, and they were quite clear about the mixed emotional responses of newly contacted parents and children.

      • Hearing that Bill, I think how brave and selfless your decision not to proceed was. Like no other situation, adoption is filled with ‘what ifs’ (for the biological parents, adopted parents and the child). I have family experience of this (cousin found biological parents) and it was a terrible outcome that altered the family forever.

  2. I hope you keep the Molly Dean. I read it because of the unusual art angle and also that it involved an unsolved Melbourne crime. Kovacic does a creditable job of ‘solving’ the murder.

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