It was okay. One of those rare cases where I think the movie (which I am seeing tomorrow) will be better than the book. IntNovember 2015 Joanna's pick
It was okay. One of those rare cases where I think the movie (which I am seeing tomorrow) will be better than the book. Interesting concept. Some funny dialogue. A bit excessive with the technical speak--got boring and I skimmed towards the end. Michael loved this book.
Just saw the movie--the book is better. It's funnier and has more to it. Movie has some funny parts but is generally serious. ...more
The story of Harold, a later middle-aged man who is (unhappily) married to Maureen. One day he receives a letter frBook Club September 2015 -- My Pick
The story of Harold, a later middle-aged man who is (unhappily) married to Maureen. One day he receives a letter from an old friend (Queenie) informing Harold that the friend is in hospice. Something awakens in Harold, and off he goes...trekking many miles on foot to see the dying friend. The walk is a journey which stirs up buried memories, difficult experiences and profound grief. I picked this book in honor of my father-in-law, who passed away in August and was a bit like Harold. I liked the book because of the way it was written (it's slow yes, but almost poetic), but also because of the idea that you are never too old for second chances. ...more
This is not a book about a self-centered 26-year old on a hike. This is a book about grief. If you have never experienced grief you may not be able to This is not a book about a self-centered 26-year old on a hike. This is a book about grief. If you have never experienced grief you may not be able to empathize with the narrator, and you may be irritated by her.
I read some of the reviews of this book and can understand why some people would see this woman as self-absorbed and reckless. She does destroy what appears to be a good marriage to a good man. She is reckless--doing drugs (including heroine) and having sex with far too many people she probably should have thought twice about. She IS ill prepared for this hike. But if you look at it through the lens of intense grief it totally makes sense. I see her relationship with her mother as the most important relationship she has in the world, and when she loses her mother prematurely, she loses herself and the feeling that she is tethered to the world. She does act irrationally and has an almost suicidal approach to life--not caring what the future holds, engaging in risk-taking behaviors. But any of us that has experienced the loss of someone important and close to us knows that feeling of grief. For a young adult with no father, no aunts/uncles, no family friends to step in...and only younger (messed up) siblings...of course she was not equipped to deal with this loss. She had no one to help her navigate it. And yes I did have trouble with the horse scene, but again...she was not in her right mind.
I loved the book. I loved reading about the trail and could imagine what it was like for her. I haven't seen the movie yet, but am hoping to. Most touching to me, when she reflects on how she lost her mom during a point in her life when she is still a self-centered young adult, and her mom never got to see her go through that stage. That she never got to apologize for dumb fights and how annoying she was. That she has to live with that...that insight was something. And the other thing was the music. How her mom loved Judy Collins "Both Sides Now"...and songs like that kept popping in her head. Music is so powerful and I think we all have songs from growing up that we associate with a parent. For some reason that just moved me.
Good book. Don't read the bad reviews. Give it a chance.
**spoiler alert** Parts of this were very moving and as a whole I love the idea of someone stopping to help a child and starting a 20+ year relationsh**spoiler alert** Parts of this were very moving and as a whole I love the idea of someone stopping to help a child and starting a 20+ year relationship with him. Maurice is totally lovable and you are rooting for him the entire book. I thought it was brave of Laura to share her story and hearing it made all of her actions/motivations believable. I didn't always like her and frankly I completely blamed her for the three years where they did not speak. Overall, an inspiring story though. ...more
This book was just too sad and almost disturbing for me to enjoy. I actually flipped to the end to see if she gets back together with her husband, whiThis book was just too sad and almost disturbing for me to enjoy. I actually flipped to the end to see if she gets back together with her husband, which is something I rarely do. I thought this would be funny and profound--make me appreciate all that I have. But it just made me sad for all of the characters and irritated with Alice. ...more