Short Book Review: An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer

SBR: I landed on An Infamous Army while searching for more books based in Belgium. Since it is described as a Historical Romance set in the days leading up to and during the battle of Waterloo, it seemed like the perfect light read to get a hang of the history of the time. In reality, though, there is little romance in the book. It does have a lot of history, well-researched and very detailed. The account of military strategies, war actions, battle formations, and real people and events are so detailed that I couldn’t make any head or tail of any of it! Although I could make very little use of it, those details are the real beauty of the book.
To read or not to read: Not for romance. And history is not for the light-hearted dabblers in the subject either. If you are deep into military strategies, tactics, and history, however, you should lap it up.

Short Book Review: On Black Sisters’ Street by Chika Unigwe

SBR: I found On Black Sisters’ Street while looking for books based in Belgium. The book is based more in Africa though. We see Belgium as the book’s African women do. These women are trying to negotiate their lives as illegal immigrants involved in sex work. What is interesting is that the book isn’t trying to arouse your pity for them. They are very often helpless and penniless. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have agency. They do, and they exercise it even in choosing the sex work. The writing itself is not particularly memorable, however. The chronological back and forth seems random, and the mystery being built up through the book turns out to be the most predictable thing ever.
To read or not to read: If you want to explore the subjects of human trafficking or prostitution then go ahead and read. Otherwise, the answer is not a resounding yes. It can be skipped.