While this book was a historically intriguing read, I found the main character to be pretty unlikeable and lacking in substance. It seems the O...moreReview:
While this book was a historically intriguing read, I found the main character to be pretty unlikeable and lacking in substance. It seems the ONLY way you figure out what kind of a person she is is through the eyes of those around her, which vary greatly. The main reason I gave this 3/5 stars is because reading the summary, I thought it would be a sweet book about a SISTERLY relationship, not a lesbian relationship (of which there are a few). It made for pretty akward discussion with my mom and aunt, since this was my choice for our book club *_*(less)
Let me start by saying that I absolutely love Novala Takemoto as an author. I thought Kamikaze Girls was an amazing novel, and I had really high hopes...moreLet me start by saying that I absolutely love Novala Takemoto as an author. I thought Kamikaze Girls was an amazing novel, and I had really high hopes for this collection, which is his only other work to be published here in the US. Now, Missin' 1 was awesome. I thought he did an exceptional job of blurring the line between love and obsession, particularly in the disturbing story about the Shop at the End of the World. The titular story also blew me away, especially the ending, and I really felt physically disturbed after finishing it, which is always a plus in my book. However, I rated this collection 3/5 stars because Missin' 2 was horrible and unnecessary. It completely negated everything that made the first book great, and I really felt like I was wasting my time and energy just getting through it. Word of advice: read the first book but skip the second, you're not Missin' anything.(less)
The bodies of 3 women are found near their jeep on November 25, 1960. By birth, they are known as the Mirabal sisters, but b...more**spoiler alert** Summary:
The bodies of 3 women are found near their jeep on November 25, 1960. By birth, they are known as the Mirabal sisters, but by the local community, they are Las Mariposas, the butterflies, a powerful trio of women who have been working to bring down the dictatorship of Trujillo in the Dominican Republic.
Dede Mirabal- The practical of the sisters, she does not act with the resistance, but her family is still effected by the actions of the Mariposas. She chose not to go with her sisters on November 25, and as such, survives them, and lives to raise their children and tell their story.
Maria Teresa Mirabal- "Mate," the youngest of the Mirabal sisters. She follows in Minerva's footsteps, and tries to honor the name of Mariposa.
Minerva Mirabal- The "leader" of the underground movement, and the most outspoken of the Mirabal sisters.
Patria Mirabal- The most religious of the sisters, she acts silently in the uprising, but she is murdered with her sisters on that fateful day.
One of the better historical fiction books I've read, I actually read this book in english class sophomore year of high school. It's AMAZING, and story of the sisters is so incredibly inspiring. I was crying at the end of the book, as their death is so tragic, and I couldn't even imagine how Dede must feel surviving her sisters. Being a sister myself, I can't even begin to imagine.
The hardest part of the novel to read was Mate's journal entries about her and Minerva's stay in prison. To hear the injustices brought upon them is particularly tragic. In fact, a majority of the book will make you feel severe hatred towards injustices brought upon human beings. Trujillo was a horrible person, who did horrible things, and it is so difficult to see how all the families were effected by the bravery presented by those who opposed the wrong doings of the officials.
The history of the Dominican Republican is pretty much unknown to me, so I'm not sure how historically accurate this book is (there is a chapter at the end where Alvarez admits much of the novel is elaborated and fictionalized), but I feel that the spirit of the Mirabal sisters is as close to the real women as possible.(less)
The story for this was pretty straightforward: Katherine receives a package in the mail from her deceased friend Annie...more**spoiler alert** Story *** 4/5
The story for this was pretty straightforward: Katherine receives a package in the mail from her deceased friend Annie Freeman. In the box is her ashes inside a pair of her favorite shoes, and instructions to invite Annie's closets friends on an all expenses paid traveling funeral to Annie's favorite places when she was alive. At first I was pretty meh about the story, because it seemed like it was going to be just a rip off of Ya-Ya sisterhood. It was anything but that. The story is actually really sweet, and it plays out fluidly.
The book starts at Katherine's house, and subsequently introduces the reader to all of Annie's friends she has invited on the traveling funeral through a series of flashbacks. Then the traveling funeral kicks off in New Mexico, and goes all across the U.S., each place bringing new insight into Annie's life and the people she touched. Along the way, the women form a strong friendship, and learn that life is too short to take for granted, and you should take advantage of every moment.
Characters *** 3/5
Annie Freeman is the title character of the book, and even though the story is about her funeral, you learn a lot about her life and what kind of person she was through the people encountered along the traveling funeral. Annie, who was saved from committing suicide by Katherine, lived a life free of restrictions. She moved whenever she wanted, dated whoever she wanted, and pretty much lived life to the fullest until the bittersweet end when cancer claimed her life. Before she dies, she set up the traveling funeral, made sure food, board, and transportation were taken care of for her friends, and left instructions for them to follow at each location.
Annie's pallbearers of the story are: Katherine, a lawyer who saved Annie from committing suicide when they were very young; Jill, a lesbian professor who helped Annie get a job at her University; Laura, who was working at the hotline the night Annie was attacked by a stalker; Rebecca, a stubborn woman who's heart warms to Annie after she moves in next door to her; Balinda, an immigrant who has been caring for her ailing mother for years; Marie, a caretaker of the dying who helped Annie in her final moments.
The main problem I had with the characters is they talked too much alike. Even by the end of the book, I kept having to flip back to the beginning just to remember who was who. The dialogue they had was completely unrealistic and kinda threw me out of the book.
Writing *** 3/5
The writing was a little too flowery for me in this book. Radish does an ok job of descriptive writing, but she doesn't seem to have a grasp on how to write realistic dialogue. The fact that she spent the entire first chapter talking about Katherine's Bali bra (because would it be a chick book if she didn't talk about a bra?) tells you how the rest of the book is going to play out. The character of Annie was enjoyable, but the events that happen during the traveling funeral are all too convenient. I just about threw up at the end of the book when the funeral is stalled by the storm, and they are forced to stay at the airport, sharing stories about death with other stranded passengers, and then receiving a generous donation from said passengers because they were all inspired by Annie's life (gag). It was fine up until then, but maybe Radish should focus on more realistic situations rather than the too convenient plot points she draws up.
I bought this book 13 years ago and just now sat down to read it. Harpman writes a hauntingly realistic science fiction story set in a post apocalypti...moreI bought this book 13 years ago and just now sat down to read it. Harpman writes a hauntingly realistic science fiction story set in a post apocalyptic world where a group of 40 women are imprisoned for unknown reasons. They live out their lives behind bars guarded by masked men who will not speak to them or let them know why they are imprisoned. The story is told from the point of view of the youngest resident, a girl on the cusp of puberty who has no name and no recollection of a world before the bars. It is from her eyes that the reader is pulled into this isolated world full of fear, longing, questions, and what it means to be human in a world where no one knows you even exist.(less)
I liked the premise of the book, that's what initially drew me in. However, you can tell that this is Erin McKean's first novel, as the entirety of th...moreI liked the premise of the book, that's what initially drew me in. However, you can tell that this is Erin McKean's first novel, as the entirety of the book was not fleshed out to my satisfaction. Nice attempt, and a light and quick read, but I was expecting a little more.(less)
Great book! I really appreciated Roux's writing style, and I loved how each chapter took it's name and tone from different novels. Allison Hewett is a...moreGreat book! I really appreciated Roux's writing style, and I loved how each chapter took it's name and tone from different novels. Allison Hewett is a wonderfully relatable character who struggles to find her place in a world gone to hell.(less)