Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore Weekly News with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.
The first author with a review to share in D.G. Kaye for the memoir P.S. I Forgive You
About the book
“I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.”
Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts. In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.
After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near. Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.
A recent review for the book
As soon as I saw what this book was about, I had to read it, and I am so pleased I did.
Because of the difficult subject matter, and my own history, I had to take a deep breath before I plunged in. Not only has this writer’s honesty and bravery helped me to understand my parents a little better, it has also shown me precisely what my sister has become. I’d missed that, and this explains so very much.
It is a sad fact of life that, all too often, the victim becomes the perpertrator, unless we have the insight and strength to do something about it. I have long joked that I’m the reverse ‘black sheep’ of my family, and it seems to me that Debby is too. For all our successes, and the miracle of growing into well-adjusted adults in spite of it all, we will never be accepted by a parent who demands that we live their lies, manipulations, and abuses. The same with any sibling who demands the same.
Some lines that resonated with me in particular:
Also by D.G. Kaye
Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Debby: Goodreads – : Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer – Twitter: @pokercubster – Linkedin: D.G. Kaye – Facebook: D.G. Kaye – Instagram: D.G. Kaye – Pinterest: D.G. Kaye
The next author with a recent review is Mary Smith for Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni
About the book
Drunk Chickens and Burn Macaroni (subtitle) offers a remarkable insight into the lives of Afghan women both before and after Taliban’s rise to power. The reader is caught up in the day-to-day lives of women like Sharifa, Latifa and Marzia, sharing their problems, dramas, the tears and the laughter: whether enjoying a good gossip over tea and fresh nan, dealing with a husband’s desertion, battling to save the life of a one-year-old opium addict or learning how to deliver babies safely.
Mary Smith spent several years in Afghanistan working on a health project for women and children in both remote rural areas and in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. Given the opportunity to participate more fully than most other foreigners in the lives of the women, many of whom became close friends, she has been able to present this unique portrayal of Afghan women – a portrayal very different from the one most often presented by the media.
One of the recent reviews for the book
Mary Smith’s Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real stories of Afghan women surprised me. Going into it, I expected the memoir to be interesting, as its focus is on a part of the world I know very little about. What I did not expect was that it would be so compelling.
For three years in the 1990s, Smith and her partner Jon worked in Afghanistan for a nonprofit to provide healthcare and health education for women in Mazar-i-Sharif. Poverty, hygiene practices that led to disease, cultural myths, and reluctance to discuss gynecological problems with male doctors were all challenges Smith was faced with addressing.
She did it by establishing the Female Health Volunteer training project, whereby Afghan women would be trained to provide health education to the women in their villages, focusing on
antenatal care, safe childbirth and postpartum care, and the care of babies and young children who failed to thrive due to diarrhea.
The details of the volunteer training project and the story of each woman who participated in it were the highlight of the book for me and the reason I looked forward to picking it up again to read after a long day. The women were so proud of their ability to learn new concepts and practices, pass the required testing, and go back to their villages to use what they had learned to improve the health and wellbeing of others.
One of the most striking aspects of the book is how Smith describes the deprivation and unsanitary conditions in which she worked and lived. These conditions are described matter-of-factly and without the judgemental lens of squeamish first-world privilege. Along similar lines, Smith’s goal to help improve the health and living conditions of Afghan women and their children has none of the zeal of the missionary to proselytize and convert them to a Western way of life.
Threaded throughout the book is contextual information about the traditional role of women in Afghan society, marital relationships, changes in Afghan society toward modernization, and the political situation, which ultimately led to the takeover by the Taliban.
The last section of the book is devoted to what happened to the women I came to know and care about after the Taliban took over the country. Their stories of horrific tragedy and, ultimately, resilience are one more reason I highly recommend Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni.
Also by Mary Smith
The final author today is D.L. Finn for her poetry collection Just Her Poetry: Seasons of a Soul
About the collection
Take a journey with D.L. Finn as she blends her love of nature with her deepest emotions. Sit with her on the forest floor observing its tranquil beauty, or stroll along the ocean’s shore admiring the vastness of its horizon. Here in these peaceful moments you’ll be able to experience her thoughts and feelings in the light—and in the darkness. This is a thought-provoking collection of poetry that invites the reader into all the seasons of a soul.
One of the recent reviews for the collection
I’ve been curious for some time to read D.L Finn’s work. In fact, she has so many enticing novels, short stories, and poetry to choose from it was quite a job to decide on which to try first. I opted for Just Her Poetry, it is a sweeping poetry book with part one focusing on poems about nature, the seasons, and musings from the back of a Harley! Part Two is entitled Seasons of A Soul and expresses the author’s emotionally poignant poems about her experiences in darkness and light. There is a bonus section of Some Readers’ Favourites and bonus poetry too.
It’s a lovely book of poetry, so personal and moving. It’s almost as if you are sharing a day out with the author sharing her life, loves and sorrows via her words. In the author note at the end she mentions how nature inspires her writing. I am the same; I loved it. I particularly enjoyed the section of poems written on the back of her husband’s Harley motorbike! Journeying, seeing little details, observational poetry at its best. And some special mentions of poems that I particularly related to: Fingers of The Sea, Trees, Ocean, (as the sea is my spiritual home and I adore trees!)
My recommendation: A wonderful collection of poetry. Highly recommended.
A selection of other books by D.L. Finn
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.