**spoiler alert** Well, I should start off by saying that I was not brought up going to church regularly, and my knowledge of religion/The Bible exten**spoiler alert** Well, I should start off by saying that I was not brought up going to church regularly, and my knowledge of religion/The Bible extends from college courses I elected to take, one of which was my favorite course in college (biblical and classical lit). I find the Bible to be a great story but not something that I've ever had a firm belief in but I enjoyed the parts that I read.
I started this book mainly because I saw it on the NY Times Best Seller list and found it at CostCo for 1/2 of what it would cost at Borders. From the NY Times blurb, I just knew that it was about a man who spends a weekend with God 4 years after his youngest child is abducted and brutally murdered. I knew nothing about how the book came about.
I will agree with some of the reviews I've read on here and say that this book was not well-written at all. I found the entire thing (dialogue included) to be somewhat juvenile and difficult to read. The writing ultimately bothered me, but I tried to stick it out so I could enjoy the underlying message.
I cannot agree with those who said that this changed their life, at least not yet. I don't know if I believe that it truly happened, but I do believe that Mack needed this "vision" or "dream" or whatever it was to help him heal after losing his daughter. I think his entire family needed to hear his story in order to heal. I thought that the story was interesting, and I hope that as it becomes more popular it's edited to make this easier for the reader to enjoy.
I liked the message, and I wanted to believe that this is how people should live their life and all would be good in the world... I do find myself thinking about certain parts of the book, especially the parts about how we live so much of our time in the past and the future and forget to focus on the present. I also enjoyed the judgment part when Mack was in the cave. I enjoyed that God wasn't just an old white man, but could take on any form that s/he wished. Something happened, whether God spoke to Mack while he was unconscious after the car accident, but I just don't know. I think that there will definitely be parts of this book that I go back and read again and again because the overall message is a good one. ...more
**spoiler alert** This was my 3rd Chris Bohjalian book (I read Double Bind and Midwives a couple months ago), and my least favorite. I really can't pu**spoiler alert** This was my 3rd Chris Bohjalian book (I read Double Bind and Midwives a couple months ago), and my least favorite. I really can't put my finger on why it was, though. I think that overall, I liked to book. I like how it was told from 4 different points of view so you could have a look into each person's reaction to Dana's sex change. I liked the idea of the story because I do think that you can be born into the wrong body, and it was an interesting look into the personal lives of transsexuals and those around them. I liked the fact that it was honest when it came to the horrific things that the people in the town did to Allison just because they were ignorant. I thought the NPR thing was clever and informative. However...
It was weird to me that Allison just loved Dana so much after 6 weeks of dating that she ended up sticking around and enduring all of the abuse. It was like she was trying to prove to herself that she wasn't going to give up on someone she loved because they were no longer a man. You know, you watch Oprah and there are the couples who have been together for 15 years and then the husband decides that he has this big, dark, secret he can't contain anymore, and suddenly he's a woman, and they stay together and now the kids have two mommies instead of a mommy and a daddy. I get that. They have a solid history. However, I am torn here. I seriously hope that that never happens to me and I am not forced to decide what I would do if my significant other wanted to be a woman, so I can see why Bohjalian had Allison explore that path. I could actually feel how torn she was, and I could feel her pain. She stuck by this person she loved despite their gender, as though "love conquers all." But I couldn't decide if, after awhile, Allison loved Dana, or just felt like she couldn't ask her to leave?
However, the Will/Dana stuff was not okay with me. I don't have a problem with the fact that Will ended up with a transsexual. I think that this was partly Bohjalian's way of emphasizing Dana's femininity, and showing the reader that Will, who was so against Dana the Man who wanted to be a Woman, could be attracted to her now and feel as though she were a true female as Dana had felt her entire life.... it was just the whole love triangle that didn't sit well with me. Will was falling all over himself about Allison, lost his 2nd marriage because of it (or that's the impression I got), then ends up with his ex wife's ex-lover-man-turned-woman? That was a bit far fetched for me.
I also had a hard time with the fact that Dana was an attractive man, but also described as a beautiful woman. I think it was Carly who described her as stunningly beautiful, but then there was the part where she said her feet were really big compared to the rest of her body. I guess that was the fiction part.. Dana had to be attractive as a man to attract Allison, yet attracive/beautiful as a woman to attract Will in the end.
And Carly Banks got on my nerves because she was 19 and all "adjusted" with the fact that her mom was dating a man/woman, then her dad started dating that same man/woman.
So, I do see Bohjalian's points and I understand why the book went the way that it did, but I did not love it. I did like it, and I am glad that I read it, but I had higher expectations....more
**spoiler alert** I read another review on here before I read the book, and the person said that the book was "boring" because this was just two peopl**spoiler alert** I read another review on here before I read the book, and the person said that the book was "boring" because this was just two people fighting over a "house."
Actually, it's much more than that, and I thought the house served as a symbol for each person involved. This story gave the reader an inside look into an immigrant family, showing that they are "just like us," fighting for a place in this sometimes disgusting country. The house for Mr. Behrani served as a symbol of "making it" in America. He was working two jobs but lying to his family about the type of work he was doing. He had come from a place where he had been considered a high rank, and I think he felt that he was failing his family and this house was his chance to make things better. For Kathy, I thought the house was the only stable thing in her life - her husband had left her, she fell back into drinking, etc. Although she kept saying it was her dad's house and he had left it to her and her brother, I think she was more worried about her brother seeing her as the failure he'd always seen her as.
The intensity, passion, and chemistry of Les and Kathy's relationship was there (for me) from the paragraph they met and carried through to the very last page. (I couldn't quite figure out over what time span this book took place but it wasn't a very long period of time. Was it like a week or a little more?)
I had no idea that the book was going to take the turn that it did. At first I was upset about it, but then I realized it was the only way it could end. No one got the house. No one had a happy ending. I was left with a few questions, but they probably couldn't have been answered anyway. ...more
Very sweet.. brings back memories of how you felt (well, if you are a girl) as a 13 year old.. not exactly the best time in any girl's life but this bVery sweet.. brings back memories of how you felt (well, if you are a girl) as a 13 year old.. not exactly the best time in any girl's life but this book really hit home with that for me.....more
**spoiler alert** I was very disappointed by this book. I really liked her other novels and found them to be quick, fun, beach-reads that still conjur**spoiler alert** I was very disappointed by this book. I really liked her other novels and found them to be quick, fun, beach-reads that still conjured up some feelings and life lessons. I felt nothing with this book except anger towards the main character and sort of annoyed at certain scenarios that were so incredibly far fetched that it made me say "Are you kidding me?" out loud. I wasn't rooting for anyone; I wasn't happy at the end of the book, or sad that it was over like I was with Something Blue. I found the story was lacking substance and that with a different spin, it could have been a much better, more believable story.
And what ex-boyfriend waltzes back in to his married ex-girlfriend's life 8 years later and thinks that he's good enough for her to leave her marriage even though they've had zero contact? I had a difficult time understanding or seeing the significance of Leo and Ellie's past relationship in order for it to have the obsession effect on her almost a decade later. I understand she was a mess when they broke up but shouldn't she have dealt with those feelings before she got married? Their interaction was minimal but when they were together, I didn't feel the intensity that she talked about so much. Which was why I felt the cheating part was so disgusting because there was nothing there. And I believe that she started cheating the moment she held hands with him on the plane - right up to the sneaky emails, texts, phone calls, and kiss scene at the end.
Even though in Something Borrowed, cheating is a main element to the story, she wrote it in such a way that you didn't hate Rachel or Dex for doing what she they were doing, instead you understood. You don't have to agree with something to understand it and that's what was lacking for me in this novel. I just felt like the story didn't go anywhere until the end and then everything happened in like a two hour span and that was that. She had all these life-changing moments squished into like three sentences. ...more