These two books are actually part of my 2020 Book Review project I started back in January. I am pretty behind in this, not even sure I’ll finish it this year at this rate, but we’ll see. I have actually been reading quite a lot this summer (managed to read about 54 books/audiobooks between June-mid August), though not much off that list to be honest. I am excited because I am actually going to be joining a reader’s advisory group at the library that will talk about books, movies, TV shows, and more starting the first Tuesday in October!
I had no idea that white slave owners had imported Chinese workers after the end of the Civil War to replace the free blacks in the South, though it kind of makes sense. Both groups were smart to leave though. Jo Kuan, a seventeen-year old Chinese girl, is part of this group still living in Atlanta with Old Gin, an elderly Chinese man who has been taking care of her since she was a baby. She is working at a hat shop, but gets fired from that job and is hired back as a lady’s maid for a prominent local family. She worked for them before as a companion for their daughter, and now she’s that daughter’s maid.
Jo has been harboring some secrets. She’s secretly the anonymous author of a local paper’s advice column, and has been talking about more and more hot-button issues for the time, like race and gender, and she and her grandfather have secretly been living under that paper owner’s house since she was little. Also Jo is trying to uncover the secrets of her own past, something that Old Gin has been keeping quiet about since her parents left her with him. Will she be able to find out who she really is and come into her own as a talented young lady? To find out, read this engaging historical fiction. Recommended for ages 14+, 4-1/2 stars.
I actually listened to this book on audio back in July, but am just now getting to the review. Sorry people, but my life, just like everyone else’s has been pretty crazy lately. This book was really weird, but definitely made you think about a lot. I rather enjoyed it, especially Mary Shelley and Ry Shelly’s perspectives. I can’t describe this one succinctly but Jenna’s Goodreadreads review from April 7, 2019 sums it up the best: ““This is the story of Mary Shelley writing Frankenstein. It is the story of Ry Shelley, a transgender doctor living in the present day. It is the story of Lord Byron, Ron Lord, Dr. Polidori, Polly D, Victor Frankenstein and Victor Stein, a scientist developing AI. Jeanette Winterson takes us on a journey back to the past and into the future, masterfully weaving the stories of all these individuals, intertwining their lives and their thoughts and their souls. It is profound and it is funny. It is philosophical. It asks us to reflect on many questions: What is intelligence and what is life? Are we our bodies or are we just souls inhabiting physical matter? If we upload a human brain into a machine, would it be human or would it be machine? What, if anything, sets humans apart from other living beings? If we succeed in creating true AI, how will it feel about being created to serve us or about living amongst us?”