The Famished Road

Ben Okri


This book should have been right up my alley: magical realism, Booker Prize winner, African folklore; it has it all. Yet somehow it just didn’t do it for me. A young African boy, Azaro, is continually being kidnapped by spirits, but it doesn’t seem to hurt him, and he easily escapes. His parents try to scratch out a living. His mum earns a pittance as a street vendor, and his dad carries heavy sacks as a day laborer. His dad also is an unsuccessful prize fighter. The first time any of this is described is entertaining, but by the third or fourth time, it is merely repetitive. Nothing new is added. At the end of the book all the character are unchanged.

I read it in my quest to read all the Booker Prize winners, and I wish they had chosen Paddy Doyle’s The Van instead.




Matchmaking for Beginners

Maddie Dawson


Sometimes I find real gems in the lists of low-price books, and this is one of them. It’s a  light summer read about a young woman engaged to the wrong man, saved by his quirky, unconventional crazy aunt.

When the aunt dies, she leaves Marnie her Brooklyn apartment, with the hope that she will live there and find true love. Of course she does.

Heirs of Grace

Tim Pratt


When artist Bekah receives word that she has inherited some money and a large isolated house in N. Carolina, she thinks this would be the ideal opportunity to get away and concentrate on her art, free of worries about supporting herself. When she arrives in N. Carolina, she discovers things aren’t as easy as she hoped. Apparently there are a brood of other relatives that think they have a better claim to the inheritance and are willing to kill to get it.

With the help of a young attorney, Trey Howard, Bekah learns what she needs to know about how to protect herself from the others who want her property. Protecting her heart will be more challenging.

I like trans-racial romance stories (Bekah is black, Trey is white), and magic realism is my catnip. Put them together and you have a very enjoyable book.