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‘All the Birds, Singing’ ‘Tease’ and ‘Ruby’

What to read this week

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Word’s pick: “All the Birds, Singing” by Evie Wyld

Evie Wyld’s novel is impossibly balanced — gorgeous and graceful, dark and taut, it tells the story of Jake, a young woman who has chosen a solitary life on a cold English island. Gradually, in twined narratives of past and present, Wyld explores the questions Jake’s situation raises — why is she there, alone, with a dog and a herd of sheep? What’s picking off her sheep, one by one? What brought her there, and what did she leave behind? I read “All the Birds, Singing” in two sittings; it’s the kind of book that just won’t let you go.

— Molly Templeton, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbrooklyn.com].

The BookMark Shoppe’s pick: “Tease” by Amanda Maciel

“Tease” is an emotionally charged young adult novel from debut author Amanda Maciel. Tease gives voice to a different perspective in this age of bullying, the dirty viewpoint of the tormenter. “Bully” Sara Wharton has been charged with counts of harassment and stalking after fellow student Emma Putnam commits suicide. Alternating chapters tell the story from the beginning of the school year as the alleged events occurred, to present day as Sara deals with the aftermath of suicide. The power behind this story is how Maciel captures the character of Sara not as a green eyed monster, but of a kind person with a good heart caught up in strong, unfamiliar emotions. What an amazing read. This is a must-read for teens, parents and school administrators.

— Bina Valenzano, co-owner, The BookMark Shoppe [8415 Third Ave. between 84th and 85th streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 833–5115, www.bookmarkshoppe.com].

Greenlight Bookstore’s pick: “Ruby” by Cynthia Bond

Brutal and beautiful, this lyrical and powerful literary debut is something to be reckoned with. With extreme ugliness — racism, sexual abuse, child abuse of the worst kind — also comes extreme redemption, healing, and ultimately, beauty. It’s a hard novel to read — rough and cruel, showing the reader the worst side of humanity and of the deep South — but worth it for the power in Bond’s writing, and worth it for Ruby’s redemption and ultimate healing. Reading this book felt like one of the ways Ruby was being saved from her demons — the readers bear witness to her journey to and from madness.

— Rebecca Fitting, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenlightbookstore.com].

Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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