This book was chosen for our book club this month. It was a pleasant read and a good story. It wasn't earth-shattering, of course, but I was interesteThis book was chosen for our book club this month. It was a pleasant read and a good story. It wasn't earth-shattering, of course, but I was interested enough to read the rest of the series. As a book club book goes, it didn't lend itself to a super intensive discussion, but we did have a few interesting points to talk about.
I was a little surprised at the way one of the character's stories plays out -- mostly because of the author's background and her audience, it just didn't seem appropriate. [Referring to the story of why the women go to war with their husbands here: I just wasn't sure I could see my children really getting the women stripping naked and having that conversation with their husbands regarding bearing bastard children. It was a little odd to my view.]
My other problem with the story was the part where Isi meets Geric. It just didn't fit with the character we had been shown up to that point. Her momentary lapse was meant to seem acceptable because she was longing for her horse and here he came with a horse, but it just seemed too out of character for the girl we'd been shown so far.
Overall, though, I liked Isi and the other characters of the story....more
I thought this was an interesting story and definitely compelled you to keep going. I appreciated the foreshadowing of the ending. Though I didn't reaI thought this was an interesting story and definitely compelled you to keep going. I appreciated the foreshadowing of the ending. Though I didn't realize how it would end exactly, I wasn't surprised by the ending -- it seemed to fit with what had come before.
Some issues I had: 1.) Language. A friend sort of proposed this book for a book club book, except that she knew some people would have trouble with the F-word, so we didn't choose it for the next book club, but a few of us volunteered to read it anyway. Some language doesn't bother me and the story sounded interesting, so I was one who volunteered. However, the F-word was used a *lot.* It was definitely a turn-off. And it was odd because it was really the only curse word used.
2.) Andy wasn't the favorite character I've ever read. Partially, I took issue with his assessment that *all* teenagers are like his son Jacob. Even if he was being ridiculously bull-headed, if he knows any other teenagers at all, he would know that there are lots of different kinds of them, and he might have been more willing to acknowledge the ways Jacob was off. I just couldn't buy his narrow-minded approach to the whole trial. Also, it never really seemed like he actually *knew* his son that well, so his obsessive latching on to protecting his son and his obsessive declarations of innocence were also a little hard to buy. Considering that he and his son didn't seem particularly close, it was hard to fathom that a person could insist that whole time that they had no doubts about their son's innocence.
All in all, it was an interesting story, though, and I like the ways that the author plays with the readers -- not in a gimmicky way -- but in a way that empowers the reader. For instance, I like that you never know for sure if Jacob is guilty or innocent. And I like that you don't quite know what the trial is that is being transcribed in bits and pieces at the beginnings of the chapter throughout. You think you do, but then it turns out you're wrong. And I think that's interesting and fun. ...more
This book is so delightful. It came through as a recommendation on Amazon, so I reserved it at my library. It's now on my four-year-old's wish list foThis book is so delightful. It came through as a recommendation on Amazon, so I reserved it at my library. It's now on my four-year-old's wish list for his birthday. It's just so silly and so well executed. My only complaint -- and it's a mild one (obviously) -- is the phrase "boo boo butt" primarily because it's so catchy to little ears that my four-year-old and two-year-old were throwing it back and forth for days after we had read this book. I could hear them saying it, laughing, in their bedroom at night. every night. for days. But, hey, a little juvenile humor is a small price to pay for raising little book lovers. I'll take it....more
I thought this was a thought-provoking story about a condition I knew nothing about. My mom didn't want to read it because obviously it's not a happyI thought this was a thought-provoking story about a condition I knew nothing about. My mom didn't want to read it because obviously it's not a happy story -- obviously it's not going to end with a really happy resolution. However, it helped me think about what that would be like and learn. It was interesting to reflect on which of the children I would most be like and which I would most like to be like. All in all, I would definitely recommend this.
Oddly, soon after reading this an acquaintance I've known for a long-time was diagnosed with early onset alzheimers. His experience (particularly intense paranoia) wasn't the same as Alice's, however, reading this book still gave me some context for what his family might be going through -- though their experience was actually probably worse than what Alice's family goes through in the book because of his fear of his wife (who is really a good woman).
This was really a good story. This was the latest book for a book club I'm in, and the person offering the three books to choose from *really* wantedThis was really a good story. This was the latest book for a book club I'm in, and the person offering the three books to choose from *really* wanted everyone to choose this book. As we were discussing what makes a good book, one of the women commented that she doesn't like "dramas" because someone has to make a stupid choice for a lot of drama to follow. In this case, people made choices that affected other people, but they weren't really stupid. They were fraught with emotion and believable reasons. The ending didn't tie up as perfectly as I think it could have, but I don't actually really believe it *should* have either. I'm not sure the way I hoped it would work out was as believable as this way. So I was sort of disappointed by the ending, but I also could probably buy into it better than my tidy bow and ribbon ending that I was really hoping for. Even the ending that came about didn't seem possible there for awhile. It was a book that kept me engaged for sure. I was impressed to see it was the author's first novel.
The one problem that I had with this book is that the child was four when all the events come to a head in the book. I have a four-year-old. Four-year-olds understand *a lot,* so it drove me a little crazy that neither mother tried to communicate with her really honestly about what had happened to her and they just kept saying how she didn't understand what was happening to her, but I thought they could have helped with that a ton. It made me wonder how familiar the author is with kids (which happens to me a lot when I read books with young children). Except that she made Lucy/Grace really intelligent and curious and capable in a lot of ways, so she mostly just made the other adults -- one of whom had interacted with her for four years -- clueless. So that bothered me. At least Septimus came through for her and tried to clarify what was happening a little by relating to to his life. That made such a huge difference! It was just odd that the mothers weren't doing it. In particular, I thought she was having such a wretched time, but in a way if people had been clearer with her, then she could have been helped to see that the problem in the book was that too many people loved her -- which in a way could be made to be seen as a blessing rather than this horrible trial....more
This oddly labeled "holiday stories" collection was still an interesting read, even if not particularly holiday-ee. I read it for a book club and it wThis oddly labeled "holiday stories" collection was still an interesting read, even if not particularly holiday-ee. I read it for a book club and it was great for that setting: the stories don't neatly resolve, there was sometimes more than one interpretation of what had happened in the story, there was sometimes more than one idea of what should have happened, and there was more than one way things might have been going to happen, and there were many different interpretations of what things meant. It made for a great discussion!...more