It has taken me years to get round to reading this book – YEARS I tell ya! This wasn’t my first attempt at reading Little Women, although it was the f...moreIt has taken me years to get round to reading this book – YEARS I tell ya! This wasn’t my first attempt at reading Little Women, although it was the first time that I have read the whole thing through to the end. Despite loving the films since I was a child (particularly the 1949 version with Elizabeth Taylor and June Allyson) every time I picked the book up, I could only stomach a few pages without wanting to throw up. So, with attempt number trillion and one this Christmas, how did I manage to get through it? Not sure but who cares – I LOVED it!
It is said that all readers (and viewers) will relate more to one March sister than the others. Not being in the least bit domesticated (Beth), vain (Meg) or spoilt (Amy) that would make me more like Jo, as aside from her love of books (check), Wikipedia describes her as ” clumsy, blunt, opinionated, and jolly, her behavior is often most unladylike” my husband would be sure to agree in a flash that yes, I am indeed Jo.)
So, what once made me cringe and slighty vomit, this time around had me swooning into my hankerchief and devouring every page as if I were there in Concord, Mass. in the snow with lanterns, singing songs by the fire and warming Marmees slippers for her before she gets home from do-gooding. Who’da thunk? Seriously though, I genuinely loved this book.
I read somewhere that Alcott was more well known for writing sensations novels (of which I really must check out) and that she was asked to write a book like this instead. When reading it, several times I did wonder if she had deliberately gone over the top with her narrative and morality but either way, this time around I found it endearing and comforting (which is probably what she was going for). The overriding message of the book for me was about learning lessons (there are a lot of these to be learnt, but they are never done in a preachy way) and overcoming obstacles but at the heart of the book is a family that loves each other and sticks together through thick and thin: maybe it was because I read it over Christmas at a time when I caught up with all my family, but I found it really heart-warming.
Jo was by far my favourite character: she’s fiesty, funny and brave. One of the my favourite parts, though, and the one that made me laugh the most starred Meg and her attempt at being a housewife once she had moved into her tiny home with new husband, John Brooks. One afternoon she decides to surprise him to her culinary delights by making jam before he comes home from work. What ensues is the sort of chaos that I can only describe as having hit my own kitchen on the odd occasion that I have decided to surprise my husband with a little domesticity. In Meg’s case, her husband arrived home to find jam and fruit and a crying wife all over the kitchen. In my case, my husband has usually arrived home to find an equal amount of mess but with a wife laughing hysterically and a rather odd concoction of some sorts served for tea. He’s a lucky man!
Verdict: A true joy to read and one I think I will revist again at some time. Think of it like a tonic or a soothing balm on your frazzled nerves. Lovely.
I am a latecomer to Jane Eyre and I am now wondering what the hell took me so long. This book is amazing from start to finish and I foun...moreWow! Just wow!
I am a latecomer to Jane Eyre and I am now wondering what the hell took me so long. This book is amazing from start to finish and I found myself thinking about it whenever I couldn't get to it to carry on reading.
Jane Eyre is a fantastic character and I had more than a few laugh-out-loud moments with her. My favourite being when the school governer tell her she is naughty and asks how she can stop being burned in the pits of hell to which she replies "I must keep in good health, and not die." Genius!
The story of Jane Eyre spans over a decade and we follow her from her first home as an orphan in her rich relatives home where they treat her as an outcast, through boarding school for orphan girls and on to work as a governess where she meets Mr Rochester.
The whole books is beautifully written and engaging and I never once found a dull moment.
This is one book that I will be going back to again and again, I'm sure, and it has gone straight into my top 5 of all time.(less)
I picked this book up as part of a 3 for 2 offer in a bookshop when I had already chosen my first two and was in a rush - I didn't even read the blurb...moreI picked this book up as part of a 3 for 2 offer in a bookshop when I had already chosen my first two and was in a rush - I didn't even read the blurb on the back, I just vaguely remembered someone telling me how good it was.
What an absolute treat then to find that this ended up being the best of the lot - infact I can honestly say that I haven't enjoyed a book so much in a long time (and I read alot). From the very first paragraph I knew I was going to enjoy Behind the Scenes at the Museum; this book made me laugh and cry. The characters were all so real that I was desperate to know more about them, and I just love the way that the book jumps from present day to another time in the past of this strange but wonderfully fascinating family.
The story starts with the conception of Ruby Lennox in a drunken fumble with her parents in their House Above the Shop in York. Ruby narrates even before her birth and sets the scene with her family - a very disfunctional one at that. The second chapter then goes back in time to Ruby's Great-Grandmother, Alice and her 5 children and from here on in we flit back and forth between Ruby's life and those of her ancestors. All the characters in this book are so 3 dimensional it made me greedy to find out more about them and I found myself thinking about them even when I wasn't reading at the time.
I'm so glad I picked this book up and I am now desperate to read Kate Atkinson's other books. I just LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book and can't recommend it highly enough.