This Week in Books is a feature hosted by Lipsy at Lipsyy Lost and Found that allows bloggers to share:
- What they’ve recently finished reading
- What they are currently reading
- What they are planning to read next
A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.
The last book I finished reading was The Red Monarch by Bella Ellis.
The Brontë sisters’ first poetry collection has just been published, potentially marking an end to their careers as amateur detectors, when Anne receives a letter from her former pupil Lydia Robinson.
Lydia has eloped with a young actor, Harry Roxby, and following her disinheritance, the couple been living in poverty in London. Harry has become embroiled with a criminal gang and is in terrible danger after allegedly losing something very valuable that he was meant to deliver to their leader. The desperate and heavily pregnant Lydia has a week to return what her husband supposedly stole, or he will be killed. She knows there are few people who she can turn to in this time of need, but the sisters agree to help Lydia, beginning a race against time to save Harry’s life.
In doing so, our intrepid sisters come face to face with a terrifying adversary whom even the toughest of the slum-dwellers are afraid of… The Red Monarch.
My current read is The Hierarchies by Ros Anderson.
Your Husband is the reason for your existence. You are here to serve him. You must not harm your Husband. Nor may you harm any human.
Sylv.ie is a synthetic woman. A fully sentient robot, designed to cater to her Husband’s every whim. She lives alone on the top floor of his luxurious home, her existence barely tolerated by his human wife and concealed from their child. Between her Husband’s visits, deeply curious about the world beyond her room, Sylv.ie watches the family in the garden – hears them laugh, cry, and argue. Longing to experience more of life, she confides her hopes and fears only to her diary. But are such thoughts allowed? And if not, what might the punishment be?
As Sylv.ie learns more about the world and becomes more aware of her place within it, something shifts inside her. Is she malfunctioning, as her Husband thinks, or coming into her own? As their interactions become increasingly fraught, she fears he might send her back to the factory for reprogramming. If that happens, her hidden diary could be her only link to everything that came before. And the only clue that she is in grave danger.
Set in a recognizable near future and laced with dark, sly humour, Ros Anderson’s deeply observant debut novel is less about the fear of new technology than about humans’ age-old talent for exploitation. In a world where there are now two classes of women – ‘born’ and ‘created’ – the growing friction between them may have far-reaching consequences no one could have predicted.
My next read will be Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo.
Kim Jiyoung is a girl born to a mother whose in-laws wanted a boy. A female preyed upon by male teachers at school. A daughter whose father blames her when she is harassed late at night.
Kim Jiyoung is a model employee but gets overlooked for promotion. A wife who gives up her career and independence for a life of domesticity.
Kim Jiyoung has started acting strangely.
Kim Jiyoung is depressed.
Kim Jiyoung is mad.
Kim Jiyoung is her own woman.
Kim Jiyoung is every woman.
The life story of one young woman born at the end of the twentieth century raises questions about endemic misogyny and institutional oppression that are relevant to us all. Riveting, original and uncompromising, this is the most important book to have emerged from South Korea since Han Kang’s The Vegetarian.
And that’s my week in books! What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments! 😎