Don't you just hate when you have so little respect for a book that it stirs up all kinds of vile, hostile, feelings in you and you develop a passionDon't you just hate when you have so little respect for a book that it stirs up all kinds of vile, hostile, feelings in you and you develop a passion for trashing the book? And then you have to feel guilty because there's probably some poor starving author who worked her fingers (and brain cells) to the bone, cranking out this drivel, and foisting it on the unsuspecting public? And then, even so, the book somehow gets a 4 star rating, which makes you feel like you are truly living in the twilight zone or Abraham Lincoln was really right, that: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time," and this is just one of those "times."
Well, at least you can't say I didn't warn you: I warn you not to look again at "Look Again," but to carefully back away from this book as quickly as possible!
Warning: If you can spoil something rotten, there are spoilers ahead. Lots of spoilers, because this book trotted out so many surprises and twists that it should have come with a CD containing a laugh track.
It's a knock off of the "Face on the Milk Carton" lifetime movie, except that movie was infinitely more plausible! This book has a plot which has the basic premise that Ellen adopts an infant who has been abandoned in the hospital by his fake birth mother. When her son, Will, is 3, she sees a flyer of a missing child that looks disturbingly like her son. Fake Birth Mother was part of the plot to kidnap the baby from Real Birth Mother, for a million dollar ransom. But then Fake Birth Mother with Evil Beach Guy decide to keep the baby, because they are so nurturant, of course. Karen is an investigative reporter, single parent, who conveniently has a magical babysitter who can put all things in her life on hold, almost magically, to be available anytime Ellen needs to work 10-12 hour days, or disappear out of state to investigate this issue--or do research for her job as a journalist.
But wait, there's more! Ellen's boss is sexy and has an accent, so when Ellen lies to him when she's not bothering to do her job, he just keeps covering for her. Not so her nasty, competitive coworker, who somehow manages to tip off the Real Birth Mother to head to Ellen's house to recover the child. Ellen finds out that the attorney for the adoption has not really committed suicide, but been murdered, and her child is in danger. She races back home, with a digression for a sex scene with her Sexy Accented boss thrown in, (because this scene is apparently required because there. must. be. sex, and this was the only way to work it in.)
But alas! Oh, woeful day! Evil Beach Man and Real Birth Mother get to Ellen's house, and it turns out that Real Birth Mother knows Evil Beach Man, because he's really the father of the little boy! They were in on the plot together. Evil Beach Man conveniently kills Real Birth Mother (so that plot problem is conveniently dispatched). Evil Beach Man gets offed, and Ellen rips up the floor boards so there's not blood left lying around to make the house unpleasant for little Will's next birthday party.
And this attitude is why I tried to stay very, very quiet during my last book club, because everyone else really liked the book (loved it, even!) ...more
The Beautiful Ms. Bonnie (my 15 year old yellow lab) would like to bring another book to your attention. She just finished reading an historical novelThe Beautiful Ms. Bonnie (my 15 year old yellow lab) would like to bring another book to your attention. She just finished reading an historical novel, "Harriet & Isabella," by Patricia O'Brien, and wants to tell you a few things about this book. She says, "It's a good read, but if there's something else compelling going on in your life, it might be a bit difficult to get into initially. The book is about Harriet Beacher Stowe, the author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin", and her sister, Isabella Beecher Hooker, a late 1800s suffragist. They have opposing views about their brother, Henry.
See if any of this sounds familiar: Henry is a very powerful minister, with strong religious admonitions to his congregation about leading a righteous life. However, he's being accused of having an affair with a married woman. The trial about this is part scandal, part media circus, and part righteous, judgmental, indignation. In the process, women's lives are ruined, and one woman (Victoria) is thrown in prison for trying to speak up. She's quite unpopular because she's got the audacity to want women to have the right to vote; naturally, she's considered insane. It all turns out quite well for old Henry; in fact, he's really good at landing on his feet, and people practically swoon in admiration of him."
"Dang," says Bonnie. "I could swear I've heard this story before! It just sounds so familiar. . . so. . . deja vu!" (Don't tell Bonnie, but she has a horrible french accent.) ...more
My 15 year old dog, the Beautiful Ms. Bonnie, likes to review books for me from time to time. She feels very passionate about this book!
She says, "IfMy 15 year old dog, the Beautiful Ms. Bonnie, likes to review books for me from time to time. She feels very passionate about this book!
She says, "If you're only going to read one book this year, read this one. And then read it twice! It's even worth skipping a frolic in the compost pile and a rabbit chase, it's so good! This book is the first by the author, Kathryn Stockett, and I hope she writes another book soon!
'The Help' traces the lives of 3 women in Mississippi during the summer of 1962. The 22 year old Skeeter has just gotten her degree and wants to write. She is a naive young-un, and stumbles on the idea of writing what it's like to be 'the help' in the South during these years. The other two women who are followed in the book are Aibileen and Minnie, two of the maids who ultimately agree to be interviewed by Skeeter. This author really KNOWS how to write; I mean, really, really KNOWS how to make you fall in love with her characters, to see the world through their eyes, to make you root for the good-guys and wish foul happenings to the bad. . . ."
Bonnie also points out that if you had the horrendous misfortune to have read her previously reviewed book, "Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral," you're likely still suffering, and this book could well be the perfect antidote for that poison! ...more
In July, 1942, approximately 10,000 Jews were rounded up in the Vel d'hiv roundup in Paris and sent to camps, and eventually on to Auschwitz. The FrenIn July, 1942, approximately 10,000 Jews were rounded up in the Vel d'hiv roundup in Paris and sent to camps, and eventually on to Auschwitz. The French police willingly cooperated with the Nazi's and participated in this. Their non-Jewish neighbors, some opposing this action, some openly supporting it out of their own racism, did nothing to stop this action. This book is a fictionalized account of Julia,an American-born journalist married to a French man, who writes about this event, 40 years later, and discovers that the family of her husband had indirectly benefited from this horrific action. As she uncovers the details of this event, and probes at the silence surrounding it, both with her husband's family, and among the French people in general, she comes to question her own marriage and her feelings about her husband. I had never heard of the Vel d'hiv before this and found this aspect of the book to be fascinating. What I did not enjoy, however, was the story line of the journalist's life. The author is a French woman, and I do not think that she had a clear sense of how American women would have responded to such a husband, or the husband's attitudes, and found this relationship to be jarringly "off."...more
There were sections of this book which dragged, but the more I read, the more the book grew on me, although just because the main character was sweetThere were sections of this book which dragged, but the more I read, the more the book grew on me, although just because the main character was sweet and innocuous, and I couldn't help but hope she'd resolve her predicament in a good way for her. Early in the book, it's clear what will have to happen to Kate, the young woman on a maternity leave, tending to her 83 year old grandmother, Rose, on a farm in Missouri, with her husband and new baby. Kate and her family go the old family farm for the first time in 6 years, since Kate's mother's death, with the intention of safely tucking Grandma away in a nursing home. But this is clearly not Grandma's intention, and she strategically leaves journals around for Kate to pick up and read. Kate comes to realize that as long as she "learns to want less," everyone (else) will be happy. Once she sheds her misplaced priorities of wanting to return to her job. . . and financial and emotional problems. . . all will be well, or so seems to be the underlying promise of the book. And *spoiler alert* Kate does of course eventually come to terms with "Tending Roses" rather than return to her previous life.
There are so many other, much better, more exciting, books, with characters that have considerably more depth, and complexity. After reading this book, I realized that this was the first of a series of 5. Although the book did grow on me a bit, I find the idea of their being 4 more like it to be rather horrifying, and the way in which it might then grow on me would be more like mold....more