BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Starling Days by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan [in Booklist]

After a decade together, Oscar and Mina married, but on their wedding night, Mina downed all the pills she could find, yet somehow lived. Six months later, she’s walking across George Washington Bridge. She’s already sent one of her purple flip-flops into the dark below when a police car speaker demands she get into the waiting vehicle. Oscar rushes to claim her.

He hopes that getting out of New York will help Mina; his father – for whom he’s both only child and single employee – has a project request in London. For British-born Oscar, London will be part homecoming; for academic Mina, she’s ostensibly taking her work along, researching (ironically) mythic Greek women survivors. Despite Oscar’s devotion, Mina’s brain insists, “I want to die.” But he’s got other responsibilities, including his usually estranged father who is unexpectedly calling Oscar to his side. Life must go on?

As in her debut, Harmless Like You (2017), literary darling Rowan Hisayo Buchanan’s newest presents another self-absorbed cast made memorably affecting by real-life challenges – distracted relationships, filial expectations, tiresome careers, and especially mental illness – which consume and debilitate daily lives.

Review: “Fiction,” Booklist, April 1, 2020

Readers: Adult

Published: 2020


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