Three From the Shortlist #3


Kim reviews French Exit

The Badly Behaved:It’s quite a voyeurestic read. Frances is a brilliant creation: a badly behaved woman who is an expert at droll putdowns, an eccentric sociopath who takes no responsibility for her poor decision making and feels hard done by without reason.

The Page-Turning Pace:Loosely based around a series of set pieces, the book has a playful energy to it. And while nothing much really happens, it has a page turning quality because the reader wants to find out what outrageous thing Frances will do — or say — next and whether the trio will ever recover their financial standing.

The Conclusion: Visit Kim’s blog, Reading Matters, for the full review!


Marcie reviews Washington Black

The artist’s eye:The way Wash sees, light moves across a colour spectrum which is truly brilliant; it transforms his view – and, hence, readers’ sightlines – of waves and jellyfish, tears on a cheek and the wind across a snowscape. “For I observed now a wide, transparent green orb, pulsing, and beside it a yellow one, and then another and another, dozens of glistening suns flaring all about in the dark waters. […] It had been a burst of incandescence, fleeting, radiant, every punch of light like a note of music.”

The Power dynamics:It is a privileged man who can dispense advice like this: “Well, the main thing is to try not to die. I shall give you some advice on how to best bring that about.” Goff recognizes Wash’s gift and Wash recognizes how unlikely that is: most privileged men cannot see past Wash’s skin colour and visage.

The Conclusion: Visit Marcie’s blog, Buried in Print, for the full review!


Naomi reviews Motherhood

The Style:Hearing someone’s thoughts for pages at a time can start to feel claustrophobic – a whole book that dwells almost entirely on the narrator’s issues, insecurities, questions, anxieties. None of which lend themselves to easy answers. It can feel overwhelming (not to mention self-indulgent). At one point I was questioning my own decision to have kids!

On the other hand, I think a lot of people have these same questions and anxieties, and the thinking in this book is probably something many can relate to.

The Value:The subject matter or the structure of the novel may be up for debate, depending on your tastes and interests, but I think there is value in the author’s examination of society’s view of childless women (or women in general). The pressure on women to have children is still alive and well. We should not still be in this place – where a woman’s greatest value is her reproductive potential.

It seemed to me like all my worrying about not being a mother came down to this history – this implication that a woman is not an end in herself. She is a means to a man, who will grow up to be an end in himself, and do something in the world. While a woman is a passageway through which a man might come.

The Conclusion: Visit my blog, Consumed by Ink, for the full review!


We will be announcing our shadow winner on November 18th, along with links to our reviews of the shortlisted books. The real winner will be announced the evening of November 19th. Stay tuned!


Any hopes or predictions? 


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2 Responses to “Three From the Shortlist #3”

  1. Cathy746books Says:

    Getting close! I’m keeping fingers crossed for French Exit because I like his work.

    Liked by 2 people

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