**spoiler alert** Before I started my review I read some of the other reviews here on Goodreads and frankly I am surprised at how many people really h...more**spoiler alert** Before I started my review I read some of the other reviews here on Goodreads and frankly I am surprised at how many people really hated this book. Maybe because I listened to it on audio cd while working at my desk gave me a different perspective than sitting down and reading it but I liked it. I really liked it. I have come to expect very dark themes and characters that you really just don't like in an Alice Sebold book. And I didn't mind not liking the main character in this one either. At one point I struggled with myself over the opinion of whether I wanted Helen to kill herself or not. If she would have killed herself then she would have lived up to the coward we all knew she was at the very onset of this book. And if she didn't kill herself well then she just might receive some justice. I didn't believe for a second she would get away with it. I mean come on we have all seen enough CSI and Law & Order episodes to know, that was beyond a sloppy crime scene. The flashbacks into Helen's life provided such an intimate understanding of the relationship between her and her mother that shaped her whole life. And the fact that her father commited suicide proves that he along wasn't able to handle her mother either, especially with his own mental health in shambles.
Then you have the role of Mr. Forester who I think provides an excellent point of view of the outsider looking in. He saw how unstable Helen's mother was but he was her friend despite that. And he also was there to provide an outlet for Helen even as a young girl by allowing her to speak freely what was on her mind. Also you have to take in the time and setting this all took place in. Yes she killed her mother present day but her childhood didn't happen the day before. Her mother was from a different time, a different era, and Helen was growing up in two different worlds. The real world that was happening to everyone else and the pretend world that her mother created within the walls of her home which was all about her youthful days as a model.
I think that Helen played it the only way that Helen knew how to play it. Her mother had made a living being a model and something for people to ogle at and she just followed in her footsteps. And for her sleeping with her best friend's son well I don't really care about that. That small excert didn't add or take away anything from the story. If anything it was something she did on impluse to get her out of the house and could have provided a solid escape for her if she wanted to pursue her story about not being the one who killed her mother.
I just have to say that I thought this was another solid book from Alice Sebold. This is the third that I have read by her and I will continue to read whatever she decides to produces until she changes my mind.(less)
Listened to this book at work today. It is a small book but it was great. Funny and a not what I expect when I think John Grisham. It's all about peop...moreListened to this book at work today. It is a small book but it was great. Funny and a not what I expect when I think John Grisham. It's all about people get all involved in Christmas and really losing sight of what it is supposed to be about. Super funny and witty. And it was perfect to read this during the holiday season, great timing if I do say so myself.(less)
I just recently completed this book. I know that it is a book that most people read when they are younger but for some reason I never got around to it...moreI just recently completed this book. I know that it is a book that most people read when they are younger but for some reason I never got around to it. Also I guess I should admit that I didn't techinally read it because I listened to it through audiobook. But I think it still counts. I have been listening to books on cd lately because there is nothing on the radio and I get bored when sitting in traffic. Anyway I thought this book was so good. I can see why it is a classic novel. I found myself tearing up in several places and having to remind myself that I was driving. I really enjoyed this entire book.(less)
I really enjoyed this book. I like the way that Barbara Kingsolver takes characters and makes their lives all come together in some way. I also found...moreI really enjoyed this book. I like the way that Barbara Kingsolver takes characters and makes their lives all come together in some way. I also found this book very sexual and alluring. I was as if all the characters were going through an rebirth of their lives and discovering a whole other person inside of themselves. I think this book is a great summer read. (less)
Do not watch this movie, only read the book. It is really really great. It is one of those books that I probably could have read in the first night if...moreDo not watch this movie, only read the book. It is really really great. It is one of those books that I probably could have read in the first night if I didn't make myself stop. It is another one of those books that shows a crazy, and selfish family dynamic. I am finding more and more that I like books that have that type of theme. Although this book is fiction it still creates a vivid picture in your head that almost makes you believe that it is real.
I find the character of her mother to be the most dynamic and something that you do not get to see in the movie. That womand was so manipulative and dangerous to every single life she came in contact with. A truly tragic life for a little girl to have a mother like that. Heartless, cold, uncaring, ruthless and destructive are just a few words that I can think of to describe this woman. This is a book that can be read several times over and find some different level in which to understand the lives of all the characters. (less)