Gerard Freeman grew up in Australia with an over-protective English mother and a caring but reserved Austalian father. His mother has an anxiety disorGerard Freeman grew up in Australia with an over-protective English mother and a caring but reserved Austalian father. His mother has an anxiety disorder and needs to constantly know his whereabouts. She is frantic if his is even thirty minutes late from school. Gerard is an only child. His parents live very separate lives. His father goes to work and works on his model trains in the evening. His mother keeps house and reads. She talks about how idyllic her life in England was as a child. His parents each have their own bedrooms but seem content with their lives.
Gerard is a curious kid and wonders why his mother keeps a locked drawer in her bedroom. While she is napping in the sunroom, he discovers the key to the locked drawer and finds a manuscript and a photo. His mother surprises him and is furious, giving him the beating of a lifetime. She refuses to ever talk to him of her childhood in England again. He does not see the photo or manuscript again for many years.
When Gerard is thirteen, he begins writing a "pen friend" in England. Over the years, Gerard moves from a school boy crush to being madly in love with Alice, his pen friend. Alice is disabled from a car accident and does not want to meet Gerard in person, fearing that he will not care for her if he sees her in person and realizes the extent of her disability. After graduating, he saves his money and decides to visit her anyway. He has been writing her through the pen friend agency all these years and comes home without finding her and bitterly disappointed.
Throughout the story, other stories are introduced. You begin wondering what is actually part of Gerard's mothers history and what is incidental. The stories becomes terribly entangled and then you think they are clearing and then become entangled again. The more you read, the more rivetting the story, and the more engrossed you become.
Without giving away the ending, I am not sure how I feel about the way the author leaves the reader hanging. The story climbs to an incredible crescendo...and leaves you there!
I did not want to read other reviews until I had read the book. Now I do. I want to see how other readers felt about being left hanging. What did you think of the ending???...more
I enjoyed this little ghost story. The Man in the Picture is a quick read. You can complete it in one or two sessions. I think it is best read on a stI enjoyed this little ghost story. The Man in the Picture is a quick read. You can complete it in one or two sessions. I think it is best read on a stormy winter night in front of the fireplace with a glass of merlot in your hand.
The first thing that came to mind when reading this story was "Twilight Zone". This is exactly the type of story that terrified me as a child while watching the famed TV show. As an adult, the story was not terrifying but the story definitely held my attention. The story centers around an oil painting. A Cambridge professor tells the story of the painting's history to his friend and former student. The painting has a dark history and tragedy follows its owner. Of course, the painting ends up in the hands of the friend.
I think the story would have been a bit more captivating if it wasn't so short. It was really too long for a short story but too short for a novel. I think the story ended rather abruptly.
All said, the story was fine for a quick read. I think an expanded version would be more satisfying. ...more
I really like this book. I mean I really, really like this book. I have never heard of Harry Dolan but I thought I would give it a try. I was hooked fI really like this book. I mean I really, really like this book. I have never heard of Harry Dolan but I thought I would give it a try. I was hooked from the beginning. I couldn't put it down.
Harry Dolan didn't throw everything out there from the start. You learned about David Loogan a bit at a time. It kept changing my perception. Every time I got comfortable, things changed. If I told you the story, you would say that it was so implausible that it couldn't be readable but Harry Dolan did a fantastic job of keeping you involved and wondering what would happen next.
So, the question is - Will we see more of David Loogan???
Faking It is a fun summer read. From Gwen, the bored matriarch, to Nadine, the career shopping granddaughter, the Goodnights all have their quirks. TiFaking It is a fun summer read. From Gwen, the bored matriarch, to Nadine, the career shopping granddaughter, the Goodnights all have their quirks. Tilda is the daughter that keeps everything pulled together at her own expense. Her exploits range from painting murals styled on the old masters to keep the family afloat to stealing faked art work that was accidentally sold to keep the family name out of the newspapers. Her adventures are hilarious and keep you turning the pages with delight. This enjoyable summer read is mired in the art world and keeps you laughing with all the antics of the Goodnight family. This story may be fluffy but is well written and keeps you enthralled with all the twists and turns of a light suspenseful mystery. Enjoy! (And let's hope for a sequel!)Jennifer Crusie...more
I had stayed away from Nicholas Sparks for a few years. I left like he had gotten into a romance/cry through the last few chapters kind of rut. I deciI had stayed away from Nicholas Sparks for a few years. I left like he had gotten into a romance/cry through the last few chapters kind of rut. I decided to give him another chance and I am glad I did. This book does have a tale of young love but it is intertwined with a parent/child love and a "coming of age" story. Yes, I did cry through the last few chapters but the story was so meaningful in a personal way that it didn't feel trite. If you haven't tried Nicholas Sparks in a while, try him again with The Last Song. I enjoyed it and maybe you will too. ...more
**spoiler alert** First, I would like to say that I think Elizabeth Brundage is an excellent writer. The story was riveting and I was thoroughly engro**spoiler alert** First, I would like to say that I think Elizabeth Brundage is an excellent writer. The story was riveting and I was thoroughly engrossed. I could hardly put it down.
Now my complaint - I had a problem with the beginning and ending of the story. At the beginning, I was very confused about which child was the adopted girl. I think so many characters were introduced so quickly that it took me a bit of time to figure them all out. Also, the story ended very quickly. I didn't think that Willa would have gone with Heath after what he had done to her. I also didn't think that Jack and Nate would have found her so quickly. After such a riveting tale, the ending seemed implausible. When a story ends so quickly, I tend to think the editor said, "shorten the book by fifteen pages".
All in all, Brundage's excellent writing overcomes the small shortfalls of the storyline. I definitely recommend this book. ...more
I loved this book! Vincent is a character that I didn't really like at the beginning of the story. He is a smooth operator with the women - but he reaI loved this book! Vincent is a character that I didn't really like at the beginning of the story. He is a smooth operator with the women - but he really seems to love them all in the moment. Vincent is divorced with two children. He left his wife for his great love Isabelle. Isabelle disappears soon after Vincent leaves his wife and he is bewildered. The story is woven around Vincent loosing his life and coming back. Then he is reunited with Isabelle and things just get more and more surreal.
This author is compared with Phillip K. Dick and Neil Gaiman. If you like science fiction on the cutting edge of believability, you will enjoy Carroll. I will definitely be looking up more of Jonathan Carroll's work. ...more
The Story Sisters was so dark that I considered putting it down. Alice Hoffman is such an excellent writer that I was transfixed as much as I was repuThe Story Sisters was so dark that I considered putting it down. Alice Hoffman is such an excellent writer that I was transfixed as much as I was repulsed.
The three Story sisters are so close that they invent their own world as youngsters. They have their own language and their mother feels quite left out. After a tragic event effects Elv and Claire as young girls, they grow inseparable and the third sister, Meg, feels more and more left out. Elv and Claire tell no one what happened and Elv's sense of reality blurs. Claire feels responsible but keeps Elv's secret. Elv looks for relief from her pain in sex and drugs and spirals out of control.
As you read the story, you realize that things are often not what they seem. The kid you see on the street corner, the kid that alienates himself from his family, the anti-social kid on the playground may have a reason for having changed so drastically from the kid he was a few years before. This is a difficult story to read but worth sticking with it until the end. ...more