Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Book Reviews: Three Books


"This is a good one, Mom."

1. The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Read this for a book club. I liked the book but was a little disappointed in the character development. I didn't feel particularly attached to any of the characters. That said, it's a book about slavery, something I need to try to understand more fully. Each time I read a book such as this, I learn more and am reminded of just how heinous (and complex) an institution slavery was. It is a reminder of how and why we still struggle with our attitudes and racism here in the U.S.

2. The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson

I loved this book! It's a book about so many things: relationships, family, history, trauma, and plants. I gained a new appreciation for our environment and our ties to plants and animals. Please read this book!


3. Swede Hollow by Ola Larsmo

This book is about Swedish immigrants who came to Minnesota in the late 1800s and settled in an area of St. Paul called Swede Hollow. It is a real area that contained poor housing and often experienced floods along with contaminated creek water that they relied on. After many years of Swede Hollow being an actual neighborhood, the city finally condemned it, and it no longer is a developed area. The area still exists, now empty of people, and I have been curious about its history; I was happy to find this book. It follows Swedish immigrants from their arrival in the U.S. in the late 1800s through their struggles, joys, and sorrows up to the modern day. It is fiction but some of the characters and the historical events were taken from Minnesota's real past.

Fun fact: tomorrow morning my book group will meet at Swede Hollow Cafe in St. Paul.. yes! It's near the real Swede Hollow!