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Bloggers Recommend ~ September Recommendations

In an attempt to keep at least somewhat current, I’m going to talk a little about my September 2014 picks for the Bloggers Recommend newsletter while that newsletter is hot off the presses (instead of four or eight months later).

More often that I expect, things that I read either converge with something unrelated in my life in in subsequent books that I read. Whether this can be attributed to the collective unconscious, trends in general, or just heightened awareness brought about by things that I read, I don’t know. For whatever reason, this was very true of the two books I recommended for September:

Cover of The Lightkeepers WifeThe Lightkeeper’s Wife by Sarah Anne Johnson

September 9 from Sourcebooks Landmark

Blurb from Bloggers Recommend:

During her husband’s absence in 1843, Hannah acts instinctively and, knowing well that he would disapprove, ventures into a storm to save a drowning sailor. While the title may superficially describe Hannah, Johnson’s novel isn’t simply standard fare for women’s historical fiction. Adventurous, well-paced, and thought provoking, The Lightkeeper’s Wife delves into the construction of gender roles and identity in a patriarchal society dependent on the sea.

Cover of Neverhome

Neverhome by Laird Hunt

September 9 from Little, Brown

Blurb from Bloggers Recommend:

Not all Civil War soldiers were men. Ash Thompson, who enlists in place of her husband, was one such soldier. The experience changes her and her husband in ways they couldn’t have predicted. Reminiscent of True Grit, Neverhome smartly captures the isolation and courage of a determined soldier with a secret.

Both of these novels follow women as they venture down paths traditionally traveled by men. Prior to the circumstances beginning each novel, these women were restricted to the expectations of their gender. Walking beside these women was fascinating. They had the fortitude to persevere despite the disapproval of outside forces, but taking steps outside of the box to which they had been circumscribed wasn’t all that they might have hoped. Often they found that what looked like freedom before comes with limitations of its own. After reading these two books, I’m even more eager to read Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott. It’s also a September release featured in Bloggers Recommend.

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