Tales & Tiger Lily: August 2020

My sister recently joined bookstagram as @talesandtigerlily. Her name is Caroline, and Tiger Lily is her adorable sidekick (pictured above). Since she's discovered a love of reading, I've had the best time talking about books with her. Be sure to check out her introduction post to get to know her better. Once a month, you get a new installment of Tales & Tiger Lily. In each post, she reviews three of her favorite reads from the previous month and ends with a list of everything she read with ratings (and links to reviews, if applicable). Her top three from August:

“Maybe my mom was right about me when she said I wasn’t happy, but what she doesn’t understand is that since the age of fifteen, I’ve never even dared to want to be happy. I’m just trying to stay alive.” 

The Comeback by Ella Berman sounded like a book that was right up my alley. It tells the story of Grace Turner — a young actress who was completely under the influence of her extremely manipulative and abusive film director. Grace struggles so much with the burden of carrying her secrets, and she uses drugs and alcohol as a means to escape the pain. She doesn’t have much a family support system, and she makes a lot of choices that hurt her even more. How will she fight back and take charge of her life? And will she learn how to love and take care of herself amidst a world of people who just want to take advantage of her? 

In the U.S. alone, one in four girls will be victims of sexual abuse by the time they are 18 — and that is just what is reported. I think sometimes it’s easy to forget that every person has most likely gone through something terrible. Sadly, we often use things that hurt us even more to escape reality. And we may look at someone and judge them for their choices, yet we have no idea what immense pain they might carrying.

I LOVED this one. Ella Berman’s writing really clicked with me, and I couldn’t put it down. I look for books that make me feel — books that shine a light on the evil in the world. This one felt more character driven with an open ending, but that is my favorite kind of book. I really hope you buy a copy and enjoy it as much as I did. | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ

“Sometimes I wonder if my secrets are better swallowed than spoken. Perhaps my truths have done enough harm. Perhaps I should take my memories to the grave and let the dead judge my sins.”

The Year of the Witching is a story of a cursed child named Immanuelle Moore. She lives in the town of Bethel which is ruled by “holy men” who abuse their power. The town is surrounded by the Dark Woods where the condemned coven of witches live. Immanuelle is lured into the woods, and the events that unfold are truly creepy and suspenseful.

Blood. Blight. Darkness. Slaughter. These words are repeated throughout the book in a bone-chilling way. As she learns the truth about her mother who consorted with the witches and the horrendous acts of the leader of the Church, she knows that change must begin with her. I couldn’t stop turning the page to figure out Immanuelle’s next move.

I told you guys I needed a good witch story, and this one was perfect for my mood. The writing was so perfectly detailed, I could picture everything in my mind. I even dreamed about the witches in the woods with no pupils — just white eyes staring at you. So creepy and I LOVED it! Also, please excuse my tired look here. It’s August & I’m back to teaching third graders. I’m just trying not to hit snooze 15 times. | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ

“Many of them seem past caring what is true or not, only desperate for some reason, some order to the rearrangement of their lives, even if it is brought about by a lie.”

I don’t normally read a lot historical fiction, but the synopsis for this book sounded so good. The Mercies gave me similar vibes to Burial Rites, a novel I absolutely adored. It’s set in a 1600s Norwegian coastal village where a terrible storm has killed off all the island’s men. These women have to figure out how to survive not only this tragedy, but also deal with the new men who are sent to rid the community of alleged witchcraft.

The main character, Maren Bergensdatter, has lost her father and brother. In her loneliness and despair, she develops a relationship with Ursa, the wife of the man sent to kill witches. They bond and feel at peace in their silence with one another.

I really loved how this novel was inspired by real events of the Vardรธ storm and the 1620 witch trials. These women faced such cruelty at the hands of men — accusations, beatings, burnings at the stake. It was a sad, heart-wrenching story, but one I’m glad I read.

At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about The Mercies, but the second half was so wonderful I had to finish it in one sitting. I almost wish the book had been longer, or I could have tweaked the ending a bit just to get a little more from Ursa and Maren’s relationship. I still loved it though, and I highly recommend it. | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ

Recapping the Rest of Caroline's August Reads:
The Secret History by Donna Tartt | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ • Review
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ • Review
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin (Re-Read) | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
The Margot Affair by Sanaรซ Lemoine | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ
The Less Dead by Denise Mina | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ
Long Bright River by Liz Moore | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
Beach Read by Emily Henry | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
All My Mother's Lovers by Ilana Masad | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
The All-Night Sun by Diane Zinna | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ.5 Review
The Golden Cage by Camilla Lรคckberg | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
The Night Swim by Megan Goldin | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review

1 comment

  1. I'm really intrigued by The Year of the Witching! While it does sound like it could be very haunting for me (I don't always do well with creepy things), I do think the premise is fascinating.


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