This was so masterfully done – the plot was pretty intricate the way everyone was intertwined and yet it didn’t feel forced or contrived. She writes so beautifully and believably. It seems so effortless, like watching a really skilled actor. Your know there was a tremendous amount of work involved but it feels totally natural and real. -Sydne
Sing, Unburied, Sing
is a dark and gorgeous song of love and heartbreak. It is haunting and tragic and disorienting in its timelessness. Deepwater Horizon anchors Ward’s tale to Mississippi today, otherwise almost indistinguishable from its notorious yesterday, a present and past (ironically) made more alive in the novel by ghosts, and where everyone suffers from the cancers of buried sins. Narrated in chapters alternating between Leonie, and her son Jojo, the story takes place over the course of just a few days. On Jojo’s 13th birthday, Leonie plans a road trip to pick up his and baby Kayla’s father Michael from prison while Mam is dying and Pop struggles to keep everyone safe. It’s The Odyssey
meets the Delta blues meets William Faulkner and Toni Morrison and some ineffable something that is Jesmyn Ward’s own magic. -Sara
The Whale Warriors is an adventure story set in the far reaches of the globe. For two months in 2005, journalist Peter Heller was aboard the Farley Mowat as it stalked its prey--a Japanese whaling fleet--through the storms and ice of Antarctica. The little ship is black, flies under a jolly roger, and carries members of the Sea Shepherd Society, a radical environmental group who are willing to die to stop illegal whale hunting. As Heller describes the slow, rusting, old Norwegian trawler Farley Mowat and the fast, new six ship whaling fleet of the Japanese, we also learn about the crisis of our oceans, which are on the verge of total ecosystem collapse. The exploitation of endangered whales is emblematic of an over-exploitation of the seas that is now entering its desperate denouement with our own survival in the balance.