Mid-April Mini Reviews

Steal the North by Heather Brittain Bergstrom (from publisher for review)
Single Line Synopsis: In order to help her mother’s sister carry her baby to term, Emmy must travel to her mother’s hometown and comply with the healing rituals of her aunt’s strict religious beliefs. 
Thoughts: The novel starts with a great, slow pace that gradually reveals small bits of information about each of its characters and weaves in unique themes. Unfortunately, as the plot reaches its climax in the last 75 pages or so, the beautiful writing that filled the beginning of the book turns overdramatic and loses its soft touch.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed (TBR Pile Challenge)
Single Line Synopsis: After the death of her mother, Cheryl sets out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail with no experience but tons of supplies.
Thoughts: Have I mentioned that I loved Tiny Beautiful Things? Like, love loved? So much so that I’ve been afraid to read this because I didn’t want my opinion on Strayed to change. Crisis averted. Still, I think I’m one of few who would have preferred more meditations on her emotions throughout her journey in place of narration of the hiking itself…but then I’d be reading Tiny Beautiful Things and I do that once every few months anyway. 

Chop Chop by Simon Wroe (from publisher for review)
Single Line Synopsis: “Monocle”, a name earned for his background in English literature, struggles to find his way as he learns the ropes of working in the kitchen of a well-known restaurant. 
Thoughts:Simon Wroe writes in a funny, cheeky stream of consciousness that helps keep the pages turning. However, at least once or twice in each chapter, I found myself thinking about how much more I would be enjoying the novel if I had experience working in a kitchen. If you’ve been there, I would definitely check this out. 

Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 by Francine Prose (from publisher for review)
Single Line Synopsis: Exploring the intersection of the lives of a cross-dressing lesbian athlete, a photographer, a socialite and a writer following World War I and, eventually, the years leading into the horrors of the Second World War.
Thoughts: What a strange reading experience. I went from being unsure about the structure of the alternating perspectives, to excitement as they all started to come together, and frustratingly bored through the rest of the novel. The premise is amazing but, unfortunately, it’s forgotten as a majority of the book is spent developing characters who still feel like they are at arm’s length by the end.