Based on Margaret Mead and two other anthropologists in New Guinea in the 1930s. This came highly recommended and I expected more, but I didn't reallyBased on Margaret Mead and two other anthropologists in New Guinea in the 1930s. This came highly recommended and I expected more, but I didn't really like it. Not sure if it's because I had a hard time following who's voice was telling the story, or because I don't really know that much about anthropology, or if the male characters were just hard to relate to. I enjoyed Nell a lot (the character based on Margaret Mead). She was passionate and dedicated and driven and inspiring. Her husband was a jerk. Their friend was sad, but interesting. There's a love triangle. Parts of this were slow, parts of it confusing (to me), and overall just okay. More of a 2.5-3 star. I am interested in learning more about Margaret Mead though, but I'm glad that I'm done with this and it was only a 2 day read....more
Theater. The past meets the present. Characters are all connected. Secrets. Mysteries. Mystery of the past. Mystery of now. Reminded me of "and then tTheater. The past meets the present. Characters are all connected. Secrets. Mysteries. Mystery of the past. Mystery of now. Reminded me of "and then there were none" (agatha Christie mini series?)... isolated at an Italian villa to resurrect a play... very much enjoyed. Even if it is quoted as a romance....more
I loved this story. Elsa is a super smart almost 8 year old who's best friend is her grandmother. They are both different and quirky and have a wonderfI loved this story. Elsa is a super smart almost 8 year old who's best friend is her grandmother. They are both different and quirky and have a wonderful relationship. Granny has a whole invented fairy tale world that she tells stories about. Turns out that these fantastical stories start to overlap into the real world. After Granny dies, she sends Elsa on a "treasure hunt" giving out letters of apology to all the important people in her world. Because see, she was a bit of a spitfire and really pushed people's buttons. But at the same time she is also the glue that holds everyone together, which is what Elsa needs to find out more about. I had a bit of a challenge w/ the fantastical parts. Mostly, I just couldn't get my head around the werse creature that sounded like a dog - but what kind of dog do you feed only chocolate and ice cream? None the less, the fairy tale parts are essential to the binding of the whole story and suspending disbelief for a second is necessary. Absolutely heart warming, wonderful, unforgettable story. Really beyond obsessed with this writer and his offbeat tales of Swedish eccentrics. ...more
I have loved all of her books. I dove into this one and sorta felt like it was a simplier story, much less complex than some of her later books. It'sI have loved all of her books. I dove into this one and sorta felt like it was a simplier story, much less complex than some of her later books. It's a light easy read. A literary agent goes on a Christmas holiday week w/ her writer client and friend to a small Welsh village. Lyn is plagued by nightmares after her son died (5 years prior) and avoids children at all times. The fact that the neighbor and her newborn are unexpectedly home causes a small panic. Lyn starts having dreams about Merlin prophecies that tie into the young mother's fears about her son being Dragon Born. She thinks than Lyn has her sons protector. The casual atmosphere of the village and the haphazard relationships of the gathered friends with a little bit of romance and a little big of legend made for an enjoyable read. I can't help but think that if Kearsley wrote this same story now it would have a thousand more layers of complex story and be even better. But I still enjoyed this. More of a 3 1/2 star -- not perfect, cause I didn't love it, but solid cause I liked it an dread it through in less than 24 hours....more
One of the best books I've ever read. I immediately fell into the story of Henry a young botanist who throws himself at the best botanical garden in LoOne of the best books I've ever read. I immediately fell into the story of Henry a young botanist who throws himself at the best botanical garden in London and then goes exploring the world for rarities. Henry moves to American (to Philadelphia) and prospers. He becomes the leading guy in his field of plants and pharmaceuticals. His daughter Alma follows in his footsteps and likewise charts new territory as her father's research assistant and in her own study of language, plants, moss and the keeping the family legacy.
This book is epic. I was disappointed that Henry and Alma Whitaker and not real people, and this is a work of fiction. However, it is scientifically so well researched that is is amazing. The scope of botanical and scientific research across the world is impressive, as is the dedication of the characters.
Weaving science with the mystical, evolution with divine, this is a fantastic beautiful, wonderful and awesome story! <3...more
A perfect wonderful read. Just the book I needed on a snowed in weekend. Ove is a curmudgeon. A grumpy old Swedish man who has his principles, life rulA perfect wonderful read. Just the book I needed on a snowed in weekend. Ove is a curmudgeon. A grumpy old Swedish man who has his principles, life rules and way of doing things with a bit of OCD. Enter new neighbors and a cast of characters that upset Ove's life balance. For the better. I couldn't put this down. I laughed and cried. I thought - this would make a great movie. Then found out it already is one. Thought it was English, realized it was Swedish. These details only made me more obsessed.
And to think I stumbled upon this because I saw the authors new book - Britt-Marie was here -- which lured me and in and taunted me with a curmudeonly lady who likes things "just so" and I wanted to read it that book so bad but didn't want to pay $26 for the hardback and the next thing I know this paperback landed in my lands and it's been the best book I've read in ages. Reminds me a bit of when I read "Big Stone Gap" -- the wacky cast of characters and how you just fall into their lives and in love with each and every one of the eccentricities. But then add in the Scandi- touch and the very dry very cutting humor. Oh I LOVED this. Anyone who doesn't wish that Ove was their neighbor or grandfather is missing out... even though many people who had Ove has a neighbor would probably have no idea what ta wonderful man they were missing out on knowing... because we don't take time to get to know people....more
This is about characters in and around and connected to the Coney Island sideshow Church of Marvels from the turn of the century. It's a neat mix of tThis is about characters in and around and connected to the Coney Island sideshow Church of Marvels from the turn of the century. It's a neat mix of the circus-"freak show" and the grit and poverty of NYC. After a deadly fire at the Church of Marvels, twin sisters are orphaned and purposeless. Belle (the sword swallower) disappears and Odile is left trying to solve the puzzle of where she went and what happened at the time of the fire. Meanwhile, Sylvan a night privy cleaner finds a baby on his nightly cleaning rounds. Even though it goes against his bosses instruction, he holds onto the baby and tries to figure out why she was abandoned. And then there is Alphie who wakes up in a lunatic asylum with no idea how she got there. In getting to know all these characters we find that their paths have crossed in more ways than any of them even realize. From opium dens, to cross-dressing boys, to poverty stricken orphans, and a lady who can help girls with a tonic for unwanted pregnancies or with the seclusion to birth a baby and find a good home for it. This story is about circus workers, about orphans and those who are born a little bit different. And it's about a baby. About the people who want the baby, the people who lose the baby, the people who search for the baby, and those who solve the mysteries that the baby unravels. Lots of twists and turns and I like how we get to know each character and then they start to intersect and the story becomes more layered. It could have gone much further -- In a way I feel like this only scratch the surface of the potential. But I enjoyed it all the same. Also - it was interesting to read a different perspective of the fire.... a scene (and time) that is also written about the in the Museum of Extraordinary Things.
This fire, not so unlike the Triangle fire -- there are these historical moments that fit into stories about a time and people.......more
I enjoyed this because it was unique and I learned about something I knew nothing about. I'd rate it more on the 3.5 scale - as in - I liked reading itI enjoyed this because it was unique and I learned about something I knew nothing about. I'd rate it more on the 3.5 scale - as in - I liked reading it - but I didn't love it. Mainly because at times I felt like I could feel the research and it felt repetitive and circular that she was going over the same stuff and it could have been condensed. Yet, I enjoyed reading about the Muse brothers - albino's from Virginia who were sideshow stars of the circus... The historical parts of the circus were interesting as well - the ways in which the various shows combined into one. The history of the side show. The untold story of this family that was kept very close to those who knew it and still has many questions. ...more
Ruth is a labor and delivery nurse, a very good one with a lot of experience. Her life is turned upside down when she is caring for a white supremacisRuth is a labor and delivery nurse, a very good one with a lot of experience. Her life is turned upside down when she is caring for a white supremacist's newborn. She is ordered not to touch the child. When the baby goes into cardiac arrest Ruth is at an impossible crossroads - try to save the baby, or follow the orders not to? Told from multiple perspectives, we get background stories and character development through the legal battle of a horrible lawsuit and delves into issues of race that are difficult and complicated. I found the white supremacist's perspective quite hard to read. But with all Picoult books, this is a multi-layered story with incredible depth, social and moral dilemmas, perspective and insight that is handled well. Hard as it was at times, I could not put this down....more