Special Feature: Life and Other Love Songs by Anissa Gray

Are you looking for something that you can really sink your teeth into this summer? I know a lot of readers tend to steer toward lighter fluffy reads over the summer for vacation or for their beach bags. But there are some readers who really want something that has more substance and things to unpack and think about. That’s what this book offers readers, something to read, enjoy, and also think about. This book follows and African American family through the 1960s and 1990s as the trapeze through some difficult times in American history.

But this isn’t a history book. This book is about people and the choices that impact their lives. Larger themes in this book include addiction, failures, the desire to improve ones life, and generational shifts through history. I love that this book is going to really touch on some of those larger themes and not just following a family through history and talking about the historical events but rather really looking at how the historical element impacts and shapes the lives of the characters.

This author is a new to me author and while I haven’t been able to fit this one into my review schedule, but I am sure some readers will recognize Anissa Gray from her debut novel, The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls, which was widely acclaimed back in 2019. This book promises to be a strong and well written follow up to her debut standalone. Early reviews of this book have been favorable which makes me excited to check this one out. If you are looking for something to sink your teeth into this summer, then I think this book is worth checking out!


A father’s sudden disappearance exposes the private fears, dreams, longings, and joys of a Black American family in the late decades of the twentieth century, in this page-turning and intimate new novel from the author of The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls.

It’s a warm, bright October afternoon, and Ozro Armstead walks out into the brilliant sunshine on his thirty-seventh birthday. At home, his wife Deborah and daughter Trinity prepare a surprise celebration; down the street, his brother waves as Oz heads back to his office after having lunch together.

But he won’t make it to the party or even to his briefcase back at his desk. He’s about to disappear.

In the days, months, and years to follow, Deborah and Trinity look backward and forward as they piece together the life of the man they love, but whom they come to realize they might never have truly known.

In a gripping narrative that moves from the Great Migration to 1970s Detroit and 1990s New York, we follow the hopes, triumphs, losses, and secrets that build up and tear apart an American family. (summary from Goodreads)


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