thoroughly researched and painstakingly cited, which are critical to support the points she makes that are outside the mainstream understanding. despi...morethoroughly researched and painstakingly cited, which are critical to support the points she makes that are outside the mainstream understanding. despite its scientific nature, it's still an easy read, making it a perfect gift for newly expecting parents to help them navigate their way to safe and healthy outcomes for mother and baby.
(I reserve the fifth star for classic fiction worth reading over and over. so 4 stars is my maximum for a book like this and this one fully deserved a top rating!)(less)
I might have made it 4 stars if I knew more Spanglish, Dominicans, and/or more role playing references. Though I give him credit for still getting me...moreI might have made it 4 stars if I knew more Spanglish, Dominicans, and/or more role playing references. Though I give him credit for still getting me into the story and its world despite my lack of knowledge of those things.(less)
There were some good points to the book - some mildly interesting twists and unexpected perspectives (ie, refugees see everyday things VERY differentl...moreThere were some good points to the book - some mildly interesting twists and unexpected perspectives (ie, refugees see everyday things VERY differently than we do). But the twists were disappointing (I didn't even feel anxious at all during the seminal scene of the book, which was theoretically terrifying for the characters) given the buildup on the back of the book - a classic case of overselling and setting up your audience for disappointment. And the fatal flaw was that the characters never became all that real to me. They were described with a good amount of detail, but they were still somehow flat. I never even got a partial handle on Lawrence - weird cat. And the kid character was flat-out awful. Four-year-olds don't talk like that. AND the interactions with the child were so book-fake. It's hard to pull that over on me, though, having a 3.5-year-old in my house. Maybe I would have a hard time believing in any fictional preschoolers right now. The ending was reasonable, but the bad guys never were explained other than being "bad guys" or "oil guys". Would it have killed the author to actually do a little research and make this a mite more realistic? I mean, if I'm to accept that this kind of thing actually happens more than I know (and I am frankly inclined to accept that), then I would appreciate some solid outrage-inducing information to really put the finishing blows on my natural skepticism.(less)
I don't want it to end! :( There's still much life for these characters to lead and I want to be there for it! Although I guess it has to end somewher...moreI don't want it to end! :( There's still much life for these characters to lead and I want to be there for it! Although I guess it has to end somewhere...
The BEAUTIFUL NATURAL WORLD she gives - my kingdom to know so much and be so deeply involved in the real world around me. (This week, I met the wooly bear caterpillar and the granite spiny lizard at Mission Trails, both locals. I can't wait to meet more and learn about more. Thank goodness for parks and rangers - at least SOMEONE is maintaining this knowledge!)
Her writing is nice - she is especially beautiful describing plants and animals, and has a storyteller's voice for introducing them to humans. Her scenes are long and involved - no quick hits to make a point but no excess either. The pace matches the story. It takes TIME to know the world and is not something you learn in soundbites.
I want to live there. I want to be these characters and have their problems and flaws. My heart aches. Unreservedly 5 stars.(less)
Ishiguro is a genius at telling interesting stories about multi-dimensional characters. Which maybe sounds rather average (though, frankly, I wish tha...moreIshiguro is a genius at telling interesting stories about multi-dimensional characters. Which maybe sounds rather average (though, frankly, I wish that were true). However, he takes it up a notch by telling a micro-story about individual characters set against the backdrop of a world event (as in Remains of the Day) or practice (as here) that intimately affects the characters and their story, though they themselves may not even realize it. It's nearly impossible for me to explain, which should give a sense for how difficult it is to actually DO fictionally. Although, again, here is proof that fiction can give truth and illumination in ways that the most thorough of "non-fiction" explication can't.
Ishiguro is sensitive and perceptive to the slightest nuances of relationships and is able to portray complex interactions complete with the fullest understanding of their ramifications on the characters involved in short perfect vignettes contributing to a cohesive whole. A seemingly impossible task, and he does it in less than 300 pages. Unbelievable.
Oh, and did I mention it's a REALLY easy read? For all the depth of idea, it is absorbing and quick, well-paced, and entertaining. Fantastic!(less)
Another good story from Turner for those who like Sarah Prine. It's more appropriate that she's abandoned the diary format as it's more authentically...moreAnother good story from Turner for those who like Sarah Prine. It's more appropriate that she's abandoned the diary format as it's more authentically told in novel form, though the first person is still useful and appealing. Sarah continues as a grown-up version of herself and is tough and honest - a great heroine. I love that she failed school for the most part and that she finally came to a better understanding of the place of formal education - though still limited by the perspective of her time and place. I HATED the beginning, though, and some of the technicalities of what characters were doing (Germans? gun-running?) and what exactly was going on with the railroad (which patch of land? where?) were rather difficult to understand (maybe not even fully developed?). Fortunately, the familial relationship stuff remained strong, and the story was enjoyable again, as was the reminder of the beauty of a simpler life.
One more thing - what I would not give for a good map of the territory she talks about!!! If a fan ever draws one from the descriptions in the books, please send it to me!!!(less)