Elin Hilderbrand's, The Island, is told in the voices of four women.
Birdie -after thirty years of marriage has finally left her husband and is in the...more Elin Hilderbrand's, The Island, is told in the voices of four women.
Birdie -after thirty years of marriage has finally left her husband and is in the process of re-finding herself. She just met a new man who she has begun dating and, along with that, her new hobbies and the preparations for her eldest daughter's (Chess) wedding, she keeps herself busy. She has this great idea of taking Chess out of the city and to their ancestral summer home on Tuckernuck Island (a private island near Nantucket) where they can spend some time relaxing and not having to worry about jobs, weddings and their daily to-do's. There are no phones, no electricity (only a small generator), and that's the way they like it.
India (Birdie's sister) -has mourned the loss of her famous sculptor, husband for a decade now. After his suicide she had to raise her children on her own, deal with her husband's untimely death, his art, his fame, and through all that still landed a job in a prominent art department in a university that with her connections has thrived. She has no idea what to do when she begins to feel attracted to a young art student - the first stirrings of love since her husband's loss.
Chess (Birdie's eldest daughter) - After the wedding preparations have been going on for months - she cancels the impending nuptials, leaving Michael, her perfect fiancé, and the rest of their family's in shock. She refuses to tell anyone why. But things only get worse when disaster strikes and Michael dies - the guilt takes a massive toll on her. She quits her job, sublets her apartment and even shaves off her hair. She agrees to still go with her mother to Tuckernuck just to get away from it all.
Tate (Birdie's youngest daughter) - Is a computer guru. She spends most of her days working, traveling and what little time is left she spends working out and sleeping. She has always felt that she lives in her sister, Chess's, shadow. If she ever liked a boy, he most likely already loved Chess. Chess with the perfect job. Chess with the perfect fiancé. When her mother tells her about going out to Tuckernuck to be with Chess, she jumps at the opportunity. Not only does this mean helping Chess out of her depression, but in turn she'll get a much needed vacation - with beach and relaxation; and this also means that she'll see her childhood crush who is to be their caretaker for the summer.
The four women will spend a month together in search of healing, sisterhood, peace, and self-discovery. You can guess what that means, there will be laughter, joy, tears and plenty of sisterly and motherly fighting. All four are in different stages of love. The big mystery that drove the story was Chess's downfall. What happened that she would break up with Michael? This was what appealed the most to me in the story and what, at first, kept the pages turning for me. But little by little, these women, their relationships (love and familial) and their interactions with one another really grew on me. I not only wanted to learn more about Chess, but Birdie, India and Tate also had their own stories to tell. And I wanted to hear those stories - whether they be stories of divorce, complicated relationships, suicide and loss.
Not only were the characters appealing in this novel, but Ms. Hilderbrand's depictions of Tuckernuck were ideal. I absolutely loved reading about the island, its inhabitants, the rituals: "Life is Good", the whole setting just makes you happy. I want to go there so bad now! Her descriptions of food and wine were exquisite, mouth watering and on more than one occasion made me jump up and grab my own glass of wine to sip while reading it.
This is a lovely story about mothers, daughters, sisters and, of course, love -many different facets of it. I fell in love with this book and found myself fully immersed in these women's lives. This is one to lay back and enjoy while relaxing at the beach or by the pool. A perfect summer read!
My version of this book was an audiobook and the reader - Denice Hicks' voice was perfect for it. She was soothing and had the perfect intonation and accents when reading the different woman's chapters. She was very charming.(less)
When Hannah Legare was 11 years old, her beloved father leaves on a fishing trip early one morning and is never heard from again. Buzz Legare was ever...moreWhen Hannah Legare was 11 years old, her beloved father leaves on a fishing trip early one morning and is never heard from again. Buzz Legare was everything to Hannah and his disappearance/drowning is the one event that defines the rest of her life. Hannah's mother and brother, Palmer, were able to move on - but Hannah has always held on to the hope of one day finding him once again, especially since his body was never found.
Now, at 35, Hannah lives in San Francisco, as far away from Charleston Harbor and her family as she can get, the business that she and her husband, Jon, own is on the brink of bankruptcy and after some crazy stalker-like antics on her part, her husband not only advises that he's leaving her, but that he's also sending her to her mother's for some time to recuperate... physically and mentally. While back in her hometown she gets the crazy idea that now is the perfect time to further investigate her father's death and hopefully get some real answers this time around.
Men and Dogs is told not only through Hannah's eyes, but also through Palmer's, Hannah's older brother. Through them you learn of their father's death/disappearance and how it affected not only each of them, but their family and even the community. Through them you also meet a slew of characters - who were all quirky and special in their own way. Hannah's mother, Daisy, who although she's married to the wealthiest man in town, still shops at thrift stores. DeWitt - the stepfather, who was one of these loud and boisterous characters. Every time he walked onto a page I couldn't help but smile at his nicknames for Hannah. There was Virginia, Hannah's old school teacher and the mother to her first boyfriend (the one she literally ran away from). Through Palmer you also learn of his sexuality (he's gay) and how that is affected by small-town life. Tom, his partner wants to adopt a baby and Palmer is too comfortable with his life to have the want for children and the complications they bring.
I enjoy character driven novels and this story is exactly that. The differences between Hannah and Palmer and how they were both affected by their father's death is the main focus. Hannah is loud and in-your-face not to mention she is stalking everyone for answers while Palmer is stoic and holds everything inside himself. And although she is the only one who speaks of their father and his death/disappearance on a constant basis - she is not the only one who has not been able to forget and/or get over the event.
I enjoyed hearing Gabra Zackman's voice since my version was an audiobook - I found her voice soothing and I think she did a great job with intonation and accents to differentiate the many characters. This is the perfect read to grab on your way out to the beach or pool. It is a fast-paced story with plenty of quirky characters and a witty sense of humor.
This audiobook was provided for review by Hachette Book Group.(less)
Seth Grahame-Smith does a fantastic job of combining fact and fiction while telling the "TRUE" story of Abraham Lincoln.
Through Abe's journal entries...moreSeth Grahame-Smith does a fantastic job of combining fact and fiction while telling the "TRUE" story of Abraham Lincoln.
Through Abe's journal entries we are able to follow his life as he discovers and fights vampires and how these events shaped his life and history as we know it. The story begins with Abe's childhood through his assassination at the Ford Theatre. I know readers will be shocked to learn just how much influence vampires had over the development of the United States, and even over Abe himself.
I truly enjoyed how Mr. Grahame-Smith gave us a new version to historical events... making it almost believable that, yes, vampires were somehow behind them. The Civil War, The Union... none of these things will mean the same thing once you are done reading this book.
Although I was a bit speculative about this book at first, I really think it was done very cleverly and in the end I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. My only complaint would be that the book ended rather abruptly. I'm not sure if maybe there is the hope of a sequel... I can also envision it becoming a movie. Oh yes, I can see it's appeal. Also, I do want to mention that it was gory - blood, guts and decapitations all over the place - but it was expected. This book is certainly NOT for the light of heart or those who become faint at the mention of blood.
This was an audiobook (my first) and I enjoyed it. Considering the nature of the story, I found Scott Holst's voice soothing. I think he also did a great job in changing his voice to emphasize tones and accents in the different characters. They also played this great bluegrass music at the beginning and end of each CD. I'll definitely be checking out more audiobooks in the future.
This audiobook was provided for review by Hachette Book Group.(less)
This may just be one of my favoritest kids book series - aside from Harry Potter, A Series of Unfortunate Events and a few others. It definitely holds...moreThis may just be one of my favoritest kids book series - aside from Harry Potter, A Series of Unfortunate Events and a few others. It definitely holds its place right up there with the great ones.
In The Diamond of Darkhold - we are brought back to present day to where Lina and Doon have escaped Ember and have been living in Sparks for months now. Emberites are not used to extreme weather conditions - and this first harsh winter above ground is really leaving its mark. Especially when it comes to their health and food rations. When a roamer makes her way to their town they come across a book that they immediately realize references Ember. But the book is all torn up and only has a handful of pages in it. Lina and Doon make it their mission to decipher the book and uncover the mysterious device it mentions within its pages... even if it means making their way back down to the abandoned (and now completely dark) City of Ember.
Lina and Doon are back on an adventure. The story is fast-paced and full of the quirky characters we have all come to love through the earlier books in the series. We also meet a number of new characters - some you love and some you love to hate.
This series has had its ups and downs for me. I loved The City of Ember and The People of Sparks was okay. Then there was The Prophet of Yonwood which I liked the least. But this book captured the part of Ember that made it such a fantastic book for me. It had all of the adventurous elements that I loved from the start as well as brought us back on track with the original story line. I especially liked the ending. I truly enjoyed how everything wrapped up - how every character and every book made sense... had a purpose. The final outcome, to me, was perfect.
The Diamond of Darkhold is the fourth and final book in the Ember series. I recommend they be read in order for it to make sense. These books are geared for younger kids (3rd grade and up) - and you can tell by the simple writing and the not fully fleshed-out characters, but if you're like me, that won't stop you from picking this one up. Nonetheless, this series is pretty addictive. I mean who doesn't want to read about kids saving the world, right? (less)