Weekly Wrap Up: Books and Life (The Berry Pickers, Funeral Songs for Dying Girls, and The Only Purple House in Town)

Weekly Wrap Up: Books and Life (The Berry Pickers, Funeral Songs for Dying Girls, and The Only Purple House in Town)

Friday is here, and it's the last week of summer break for us. My son will be starting school next Thursday, and I will admit I'm a bit nervous for next week. My son has an anxiety disorder and going back to school will be a hard transition for him. I'm hoping for the best, but expecting it not to go smoothly. There will be a lot of reassurance and coaching as we settle back into the school routine. If you have a child who struggles with anxiety and panic- I feel you. We have a plan set with his therapist and I'm hoping we get more answers this year.

This last week, I've been feeling all the fall vibes. I want sweater weather, seasonal books, and mugs of hot chocolate. I love the fall so much, I wish it lasted longer. There's something so magical about fall. I put fresh batteries in all my tea lights that are set on a timer, and the evenings are so cozy when they all light up. This summer has had such strange weather in Montreal, we've had so much rain, a tornado watch which I don't remember happening before, and so many wildfires in Canada. Climate change is real, and the weather has become so unpredictable. I'm going into the winter stocking up and preparing for possible power outages. I've been pressure canning and water bath canning each weekend to stock my shelves. I'm not a prepper in any way, but I do prepare for winter. 

As for reading, I finished The Berry Pickers (Amazon) by Amanda Peterson and it was amazing. I don't even have words for how much I enjoyed this story. I slowed down my reading so that I could savor each word and spend more time with these characters. This book is about a Mi'kmaq family from Nova Scotia who drives to Maine for their annual berry-picking job. Their four-year-old daughter goes missing and her disappearance is unsolved for 50 years. This book is a dual perspective, we hear from Joe her brother who is terminally ill and spent many years affected by her disappearance. We also hear from Norma who grew up in an affluent family in Boston with many unspoken secrets, questions redirected, and many dreams that felt like long-lost memories. This is my 2023 favorite book of the year. Even though I'm Mi'kmaw myself, that wasn't why I enjoyed this book, it was the story and the characters that drew me in and kept me enthralled. I wanted to know what happened to Ruthie and this broken family.

I'm currently reading another Indigenous author, Cherie Dimaline. She was the author of The Marrow Thieves, another book you should read if you haven't yet. The book I'm reading is called Funeral Songs for Dying Girls. (Amazon) I'm 63% percent in, and I'm really enjoying it so far. It is a young adult read. We have a teenager who lives near a cemetery, her father is the caretaker and her mother is buried on the grounds. Winifred is so vulnerable at sixteen, she's possibly losing the only home she's known and her best friend seems to be leaving her behind. When Winifred accidentally causes a rumor that the cemetery is haunted, she's surprised to find a real ghost named Phil. Sounds interesting, right? I also started The Only Purple House in Town (Amazon) by Ann Aguirre. I just started and don't have too much to say yet. I picked this up because I joined Darling Desi's patreon and this is the book club book for August. I love Darling Desi's YouTube channel and her autumn vlogs are my favorite. The only thing I know about this book is we have a main character named Iris who is the messy one in her family. The one always needing help, always broke and when she can't pay her rent she finds out she inherited some money and her great-aunt's house. This is a paranormal romance, with witchy vibes. 

I hope you have a great weekend and week. Happy reading and let me know if you've read any of these books or if you have them on your TBR list. 

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