Novellas in November Wrap Up: Maureen, Small Things Like These, Signal Moon, and Foster [Book Reviews] #NovNov22 #NovellasInNovember

Novellas in November Wrap Up

Today I’m wrapping up my reading for Novellas in November hosted by Cathy @ 746 Books and Rebecca @ Bookish Beck Did you read Novellas in November?

Novellas in November (dates and hosts) a green park bench surrounded by trees and fall leaves on the ground....an open book lies on the bench

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

For my novella reading, I closely followed my TBR with one exception: A Psalm For the Wild built was a DNF for me. All four of my other reads were five star reads!

Maureen (ARC) by Rachel Joyce (spin-off of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry) 4.5 rounded to 5 Stars

I’m happy to have completed the Harold Fry trilogy with the reading of Maureen. Although The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry remains my favorite of the three, I enjoyed Maureen and appreciate having her perspective, and it almost entices me to pursue a reread of Harold! Readers will connect with Maureen in many ways as she strikes out on her own to explore her independence and problem-solving abilities, find her voice, make a new friend, and confront her grief. Maureen is a quiet and reflective story that reads like a memoir. I continue to be amazed at Rachel Joyce’s characterizations!

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan 5 Stars

Keegan is an extraordinary writer of short stories/novellas! Of the two Keegan novellas I read in November, Small Things Like These is my favorite. First, I enjoy a male protagonist for a change of pace. In addition, I love the themes of protecting innocent children and found family. However, most of all, I appreciate the possibility of the happy ending in this story. Although the ending is a bit open ended, it is satisfying as readers are left with a strong sense of hope that all will work out best for everyone.

Signal Moon by Kate Quinn 5 Stars

I’m an ardent Kate Quinn fan and, of course, I devoured her short story! She’s the queen of well-researched histfic and I love how she engages me in the story from the first page. Signal Moon is actually a histfic/time slip mashup. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but Quinn sold me on the story. I loved that this was a slight spin off of The Rose Code in that the main character (Lily) works at one of the signal intelligence hot spots in England (Y stations) collecting the information that is passed to Bletchley Park. Lily stumbles upon a radio frequency transmitting a distress call from an American radio operator in 2023. In a time slip I’m not entirely sure I understand (!), Lily saves the life of this man in the future (with a side of wistful romance). If you’ve heard of Kate Quinn and are curious about her work, Signal Moon will give you a taste of her writing! (I did find this novella available for free on Amazon Prime)

Foster by Claire Keegan (Novellas in November “buddy read”) 4.5 rounded to 5 Stars

This is the second Keegan novella I read in November. I loved it and appreciate her writing….I just loved Small Things Like These more. In Foster, we have a child narrator who is sent to live with foster parents (distant relatives) while her mother gives birth to another child. In this new temporary home, the child (never named) flourishes and  finds affection and warmth she has never known. She is conflicted because as much as she wants to return home, she soaks up the care, attention, and love she experiences in her foster home. Returning home means overcrowding, poverty, and neglect. How difficult it will be for her foster parents to return her! I wish this story had a more satisfying ending. It’s a bit too open-ended for me and I had to reread the ending multiple times to come to some sort of conclusion in my head about what would happen. Although this is a sad and heartbreaking read, it would make a fabulous book club selection because of the discussion possibilities!

TL;DR: Four fabulous novellas in November!
Highly recommended!

I hope you enjoyed my Novellas in November Wrap Up!

Other Novellas

I greatly enjoy an occasional novella and find that they provide a nice balance and palate cleanser between more dense reads. A few recent novellas I’ve read include A Vicarage Christmas, Christmas in Briarwood, Ethan Frome, A Single Rose, Open Water, The Story of My Life by Helen Keller, The House on Mango Street, Love & Saffron (stretching the definition at 206 pages), And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, The Deal of a Lifetime (short story length), The Redhead By the Side of the Road, The Convenience Store Woman, Our Souls at Night, and 84 Charing Cross Road.

Related: Novellas in November 2021 Wrap Up



QOTD for Novellas in November Wrap Up:

Did you participate in Novellas in November?
Have you read any of these novellas?
Do you have a novella rec for me?
Do you have a favorite novella?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.” ~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.” ~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.” ~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



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11 comments

  1. Wonderful reviews, Carol. I have read all but Maureen. I just downloaded The Love Song of Miss. Queenie Hennessy, so will read Maureen after I read it.

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