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 had seen this in book shops for months and had picked it up and put it down again so many times that I finally decided to give it ago based on so ma...moreI had seen this in book shops for months and had picked it up and put it down again so many times that I finally decided to give it ago based on so many positive reviews I had seen. I'm so glad I did. For the 3 days it took me to read it I was immersed in the life of a young German girl during World War 2 and although the book prepares the reader almost from the beginning for what is going to happen I wasn't prepared for the ending to pack such an emotional punch.
The book itself is narrated by Death (not the Grim Reaper image that most of us have, but a figure who roams the world collecting the souls of the newly departed and gently taking them away with him.) Death tells the story of Liesel, a young girl who has been placed with foster parents in a poor part of Munich and we follow her story throughout the war. We are told from the start that most of the characters we meet will die but because we spend so long with them and become so involved in their lives, it doesn't make it any less shocking by the end of the book.
This book is brilliant in the way that it manages to avoid the gory detials of war but involves us in the day to day lives of some of those who lived through it. It is so important that we never forget what happened during that time and that there were so many wonderful, selfless people out there that were prepared to help others.
I highly recommend this book and I'm sure it is one that will stay with me for a long time. (less)
This is a beautifully written, well researched, off-beat love story about a young man called Jacob who (having been suddenly orphaned at the age of 22...moreThis is a beautifully written, well researched, off-beat love story about a young man called Jacob who (having been suddenly orphaned at the age of 22 while at university and in the age of the depression in America) finds himself, quite unexpectidley, working for a circus. Here we are treated to a feast of colourful (many rather unsavoury) characters (with dwarfes, bearded ladies and a whole host of animals). This is a love story not only between Jacob and Marlena (a married woman whom he loves from afar) but also between Jacob and his animals, imparticular an elephant named Rosie whom I also fell in love with.
The story flits between Jacob as an old man in a nursing home (where a circus comes to town which brings back all his memories) and Jacob in the 1930's during his circus years. This is a wonderfully written, engrosing, captivating novel and I felt lost when I had finished it; I truly had wothdrawal symptoms.
I highly recommend this book and I hope you enjoy as much as I did. (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.
I completely fell in love with this book in the one sitting it took me to read it (because I just couldn't put it down).
This is the story 2 young gir...moreI completely fell in love with this book in the one sitting it took me to read it (because I just couldn't put it down).
This is the story 2 young girls, Kitty and Esme, growing up in the 20's and 30's in first colonial India and then in Edinbugh when their parents move back home. They are sisters who share everything and love each other very much yet one is the dutiful, polite, home-maker type and the the other is the slightly rebellious younger sister who wants to stay on at shcool rather than marry a nice boy. After a series of events (which include trying on her Mothers clothes of all things!) and a shocking incident that happens to her, Esme (the younger sister) is sent to a lunatic assylum and dissowned by her own family and where she remains for the next 61 years.
Inbetween this story told by Esme and also Kitty (whom now has altzheimers) we also flit between the past and the present with Kitty's Grandaugter, Iris, who also narrates her story. The way O'Farrell has woven the 3 women's voices so intricately together to reveal only parts of the story at a time is just amazing and also serves to keep you turning those pages well into the night. The story is so beautiflly told and the twists and surprises mean that you can't possibly put it down even for a minute.
I don't really know what I expected of this book, but I certainly wasn't prepared to be so blown away by it. I have never read anything else by this author, but I certainly will be after this. I really do highly recommend this book and hope you enjoy as mucy as I did.(less)