I wanted to like this book more than I think I did. It is the first Capote I have read, and I really liked his writing and certainly will be reading m...moreI wanted to like this book more than I think I did. It is the first Capote I have read, and I really liked his writing and certainly will be reading more of him, but this book left me feeling a little.....meh.
The subject is both horrific and yet gripping. The story of the Clutter family was far worse that I ever knew and I warmed instantly to them which made reading about their culling all the more difficult. There were several points in this book when I could easily have given 4 (or even 5) stars but for some reason I got irritated reading about the two perpertrators and their story. Yes, I know it was crucial for the book but really I was bored of thier background. Yes, they had tough upbringings, yes they didn't have the best start in life but do you know what, I didn't care. The sensless killings were just that - sensless and I really began to have no interest in their early lives at all. They bored me from about half way in.
This is a really lovely little book. I had to remind myself several times that it was a true story.
Shu Wen leaves China to look for her husband of ju...moreThis is a really lovely little book. I had to remind myself several times that it was a true story.
Shu Wen leaves China to look for her husband of just 30 days whom she is told has been killed in Tibet. What follows is a 30 year search for her husband and the people she meets along the way. The story is extraordinary, and Shu Wen never gives up hope, in all those years, of finding her husband.
I devour all books about China and this was no different. Incredible story.(less)
Having realised that walking up my own house stairs had me almost passing out I decided to take up running (walking was a good start in my case) and w...moreHaving realised that walking up my own house stairs had me almost passing out I decided to take up running (walking was a good start in my case) and within 6 months I completed my first 10K. Passing that finnish line I was the proudest and most elated I have ever been in my life and it was then that I realised what this "buzz" people kept talking about was. I felt amazing!
Not long after this I picked up Paula Radcliffe's autobiography and was hooked. I started reading and became in awe of someone who was so dedicated to her sport and who was so disciplined that while I was out getting lashed at every available opportunity while at Universtity, at the same time in another town Paula was working doggedly towards getting her 1st class degree while still managing to train religiously in the sport she loved. To me - someone who was brand new to running and who finds it very difficult - Paula became an inspiration.
I do, however, agree with some other reviews that the writing wasn't the greatest but then she is an athlete not an author, and I did notice that there were several explanations as to why she thought she hadn't run her best (I hesitate to say excuses as I have found myself saying things like "I didn't have a great run today, my legs felt heavy" etc) and I admit that this sometimes bacame repetitive.
I would still recommend this book highly though, as whether you're new to running like me or a seasoned racer the fact is that Paula Radcliffe is still one of the greatest athletes that this country has ever produced and regardless of her written word talents, this should surely be celebrated. She is an inspiration to many and rightly so. I enjoyed this book very much and it certainly spurred me on so thank you Paula.(less)
I started reading this book fully expecting to be told the story of an unwanted child from a poor, probably rural, family and the hardships they all s...moreI started reading this book fully expecting to be told the story of an unwanted child from a poor, probably rural, family and the hardships they all suffered. I couldn't have been more wrong. Adeline Yen Mah is brought up in a very wealthy, well respected family in both Shanghai and Taijin, further north. She lived in big houses with servants and a Father who was an extremely clever business man. Sounds ideal, but that couldnt be further from the reality. Adeline was the last born of 5 children and her Mother died 2 weeks after she was born. Adeline has still never seen a photo of her Mother to this day. Not long after her Mothers death, her Father remarried a half Chinese, half French young woman who was to become her step mother and this is where her nightmare stars. The 5 step children are kept in a different part of the house and treated like second class citizens in their own home. Adeline, who was blamed for the death of their mother, is also bullied and beaten by her own siblings who constanly gang up on her. Her Father and Niang, the step mother, make Adeline's childhood a pure misery.
This story goes from Adeline's childhood in China to her time as a student in England and then her move to America. All the while she puts up with the awful treatment dished up by her family as sne is so desperate for love and acceptance.
A very sad true story and one that needs to be told. (less)