The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd. I am a sucker for historical fiction. These books have the story to draw you in and provide emotional resonance, and they also have a basis in real history. They give us an insight into a different place and time. In this case, the setting is the first half of the 19th century in Charleston, South Carolina. The time of slavery. The story is beautifully told, and I was drawn into the characters immediately. Although I love a happy ending, it felt a little unrealistic to me, but that's one of my few complaints about the book. I like that the author distinguished fact from fiction at the end, which I always find fascinating. Highly recommend.
Rage Against the Dying, by Becky Masterman. This is an okay book. It's a decent one to borrow from the library or a friend. It kept me engaged, and I enjoyed myself along the way, but it did feel a little too much like an Ashley Judd thriller that's shown too much on TV. The main character is a 59-year-old female, which is sort of refreshing, but she doesn't really feel like a typical 59-year-old. And by the time I got to the end, I realized I didn't really care who did it. I wanted to see how everything wrapped up in the same way that I want to see Ashley Judd saved at the end of the movie.
The Painter, by Peter Heller. I loved The Dog Stars, so I had high hopes for this one. It is good, and I do love Heller's writing style. I could get drawn in by the language alone. It's a pretty dark and heavy book, though, and it's not a frame of mind I'd want to stay in for too long. It's so well-written, and the main character is a fascinating one who is extremely thought-provoking. There's a lot of talk of art (which I enjoy) and fishing (which I can appreciate but only to a certain extent). I recommend it, but read The Dog Stars first.