Red Rising & Golden Son
by Brown Pierce
A tale set in a bleak future society torn by class divisions follows the experiences of secret revolutionary Darrow, who after witnessing his wife’s execution by an oppressive government joins a revolutionary cell and attempts to infiltrate an elite military academy. The novel, set on a future planet Mars, follows lowborn miner Darrow as he infiltrates the ranks of the elite Golds.
It has been seven hundred years since mankind colonized other planets. The powerful ruling class of humans has installed a rigid, color-based social hierarchy where the physically superior Golds at the top rule with an iron fist. He and his wife Eon are captured after entering a forbidden area and are arrested. While she is publicly whipped for her crime, Eon sings a forbidden folk tune as a protest against their virtual enslavement.
Pierce Brown’s action-packed story explores themes such as oppression and the important responsibilities that come with power. Darrow’s radical character transformation, which is physical as well as emotional, also demonstrates the value of sacrifice and the limitless potential in all people.
by Rebekah Matthews
we get to see some of Valerie’s childhood and her previous relationships, which all show pieces of the intangible quality she keeps seeking out, what she seems to be missing in her life. She latches onto various people, alternately admitting her obsession to its object or attempting to disguise it. This felt like one of the most realistic novels I’ve ever read, which may reveal more about myself than I would like. It captures the aimless, insecure twenty-something experience.
I also just love Matthews’s writing style. It seems casual and effortless but is able to evoke scenes and emotions with subtle details. I found myself torn between wanting to just keep reading and having to put down the book frequently because I empathized too much with Valerie. I would recommend this to anyone who’s felt like they’ve needed someone too much, or anyone looking for a short submersion in someone else’s sense of self. This is one of my favorites reads of this year.
A Drama in Muslin
by George Moore
“A drama is in Muslin,” is a study of the life of a group of girlfriends. The men in the story are only silhouettes- a mere decorative background, in fact. I propose to write a similar work dealing with a group of young men, in which the women will be blotted out. Or rather constitute in their turn the decorative background. In this way I hope to produce to two books that will picture completely the youth of my own time. Written in the mid-1880s, the novel reflects the unease of the times when the activities of the Land League began increasingly to jeopardize the security of the landlords and expose the artificiality and moral inadequacies of their way of life, centred on the annual Dublin seasons and receptions at the Castle. Fresh from their convent school, Alice and Olive Barton, with the aid of their mother (one of Moore’s most brilliant portraits), are set in quest of their identities and in pursuit of a husband, for as Mrs Barton asserts ‘Marriage gives a girl liberty, gives her admiration, gives her success, a woman’s whole position depends upon it’. Alice, the more observant and intelligent of the two, quickly appreciates how completely their choices in life are conditioned by the social tensions of the age, which render words like ‘liberty’ and ‘success’ meaningless.
he region that is today the Republic of Macedonia was long the heart of the Ottoman Empire in Europe. It was home to a complex mix of peoples and faiths who had for hundreds of years lived together in relative peace. To be sure, these people were no strangers to coercive violence and various forms of depredations visited upon them by bandits and state agents. In the final decades of the nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth century, however, the region was periodically racked by bitter conflict that was qualitatively different from previous outbreaks of violence. InBlood Ties, Ipek K. Yosmaoglu explains the origins of this shift from sporadic to systemic and pervasive violence through a social history of the “Macedonian Question.”
Yosmaoglu’s account begins in the aftermath of the Congress of Berlin (1878), when a potent combination of zero-sum imperialism, nascent nationalism, and modernizing states set in motion the events that directly contributed to the outbreak of World War I and had consequences that reverberate to this day. Focusing on the experience of the inhabitants of Ottoman Macedonia during this period, she shows how communal solidarities broke down, time and space were rationalized, and the immutable form of the nation and national identity replaced polyglot, fluid associations that had formerly defined people’s sense of collective belonging. The region was remapped; populations were counted and relocated. An escalation in symbolic and physical violence followed, and it was through this process that nationalism became an ideology of mass mobilization among the common folk. Yosmaoglu argues that national differentiation was a consequence, and not the cause, of violent conflict in Ottoman Macedonia.
The edge of sadness
In this moving novel, Father Hugh Kennedy, a recovering alcoholic, returns to Boston to repair his damaged priesthood. There he is drawn into the unruly world of the Carmody’s, a sprawling, prosperous Irish family teeming with passion and riddled with secrets. The story of this entanglement is a beautifully rendered tale of grace renewal, of friendship and longing, of loneliness and spiritual aridity giving way to hope.
The first edition of this Pulitzer Prize winner was published by Little, Brown and Company in 1961. It was 460 pages long, and the original retail price was $5.00. The first edition can be identified by the following points: “FIRST EDITION” is stated on copyright page and no blind stamp on the back boards. Note: there are book club editions that also state “FIRST EDITION”. But the book club edition has a blind stamp on the back.
Categories: Book Reviews