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Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Sanctuary by V.V. James and Well-behaveed Indian Women by Saumya Dave


Sanctuary by V.V. James (She also writes as Vic James) was certainly engrossing.  In a modern world that conforms in most ways to our own, the exception is that witches are an accepted part of the population--with laws and internal rules that guide their use of magic.   

Description:  
Sanctuary is the perfect town . . . to hide a secret.

When young Daniel Whitman is killed at a high-school party, the community is ripped apart. The death of Sanctuary's star quarterback seems to be a tragic accident, but everyone knows his ex-girlfriend Harper Fenn is the daughter of a witch--and she was there when he died.

VV James weaves a spellbinding tale of a town cracking into pieces and the devastating power of a mother's love. Was Daniel's death an accident, revenge--or something even more sinister?

As accusations fly, paranoia grips the town, culminating in a witch-hunt...and the town becomes no sanctuary at all.

I couldn't put it down, but now I'm having trouble deciding what I think about it.  It was tense and alternating POVs gave different levels of suspense.  There are several topics that  are always current in the news.  I liked Maggie, the detective whose role is to investigate Daniel's death.  

I hated one character and as the plot moved on discovered another reason to hate her.  Maybe it was all too reminiscent of people who are so vindictive, even when they secretly know something despicable about the person they "love."  Which makes me question whether it is mother's love or love of a reputation, love of a self-idealization.  

Maybe my problem is that although I liked the book, now--with the connections to paranoia and hatred in the news each day--I simply don't want to face it.  It makes me sad and fearful and sometimes fiction makes it so much more personal.

Read in August; blog review scheduled for Sept. 8.

NetGalley/Sourcebooks
Mystery/Thriller.  Sept. 8, 2020.  Print length:  464 pages.


I thought I'd reviewed this one, but then realized I'd given a short mention on my other blog.  I liked it: it was well-written and the three generations of women, all of whom had their own strengths, were interesting and likable.                                                                                                                                                                                                             I copied and pasted this from my other blog:  Saumya Dave provides a look at Indian culture (from India) in America.  Well-Behaved Indian Women examines the cultural differences between those born in India and their children born in America.  The main plot premise focuses on arranged marriages.  I found it interesting as our American culture is so different.  My daughter went to high school at the Louisiana School of Math, Sciences, and the Arts, and many of her friends were from different cultures--Korean, Thai, Filipina (another Jen),and Indian students.   And yes, some of the Indian girls had arranged marriages.

 America is a melting pot, but tradition remains an influence on all of us regardless of our origins.    Some traditions and cultural influences are positive, and some are difficult to adapt to a new country.  I loved the characters and their efforts to do the best they could for themselves and for those they love--and as we all know, it isn't always easy.  From generation to generation, regardless of our points of ancestral origin,   ideas and beliefs have to be adjusted.  

Well-behaved Indian Women excelled at showing the choices necessary for both mothers and daughters as they struggle to make the best of their lives.  

Read in August.  

NetGalley/Berkeley Publ.
Women/Culture.  July 14, 2020.  Print length:  385 pages.





       

14 comments:

  1. Sanctuary sounds like a terrific read with that premise and setting. I'll have to look out for it.

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    1. Might make a good one for the R.I.P. challenge. :)

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  2. Ohhh Well behaved Indian women is definitely on my TBR AND I SO need to get to it. All the reviews have been so great for it!

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    1. I liked it for characters, writing, and themes. :)

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  3. Well-Behaved Indian Women sounds like a fascinating read. I hadn't seen it before. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. :)

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    1. I liked it. :) Hope you get a chance to see what you think.

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  4. "Well-Behaved Indian Women" sounds really good. Going on the list right now for a check of my local library.

    I still have several Indian friends back in the U.K. who had arranged marriages, some of which have now lasted between thirty and forty years. In fact, I know of only one that ended in divorce out of the six couples I still keep in touch with. That's a great percentage (if it holds true in large samples) because it sure beats what is happening with our own divorce rate.

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    1. It was interesting to see some of the ways a different culture can can influence and transform through generations. I liked the characters, too. :)

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  5. Both books sound good to me! I like how you found different copies of the cover, and me, being a cover-lover, would probably make a guess about the story from it. I would think the blue cover with the weathervane suits the blurb best. The one with the door is thrown off by having it a bright yellow, would make me think of women's fiction. And the one with the glass dome naturally made me think of Under the Dome and would send me in the wrong direction. Isn't it funny how much we rely on that first look, whether of a person or a book?

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    1. Each one kept me interested throughout. I think the bottom cover is the best for Sanctuary as is it looks like a microcosm of a "normal" town, I didn't think of Under the Dome! :) Which changes my perspective a bit. And yes, covers are remarkably influential--even those which completely lack originality, but give a clue to the content.

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  6. I love that third cover of Sanctuary!

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  7. Sanctuary sounds like something I would really like, but from what you said about how it made you feel, it may be one I add to my wish list with a note to read in better times.

    I really want to read Well-behaveed Indian Women. I am glad you enjoyed it!

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  8. Both of these sound very good and I'm lucky to have these as egalleys so looking forward to them.

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