Both her upbringing and her personal drive led Ariel Levy to think she could “have it all” only to have “it all” fall apart. This is a heart searing,Both her upbringing and her personal drive led Ariel Levy to think she could “have it all” only to have “it all” fall apart. This is a heart searing, primal story, of life turning on a dime that resonated with me as someone who has twice received an out of the blue cancer diagnosis, though Levy’s circumstances were very different from mine. Levy takes readers along for a rough but cathartic ride, telling her personal story with honesty, insight and quiet power. I had previously read Thanksgiving in Mongolia, the New Yorker article that’s expanded in this book, so I knew what was going to happen, but I still found The rules Do Not Apply compelling and read it straight through.
I read an advanced review copy of this book supplied to me by the publisher for no cost and with no obligation. Review opinions are mine ...more
I wasn’t particularly interested in 20th century poetry before I picked this up, but I was fascinated and even deeply moved by Marshall’s two earlierI wasn’t particularly interested in 20th century poetry before I picked this up, but I was fascinated and even deeply moved by Marshall’s two earlier biographies of 19th century women involved in New England’s Transcendentalist movement, so I hoped I would enjoy this one too. I did. I found Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast just as compelling as Marshall’s books on Margaret Fuller and the Peabody sisters, and as an added bonus it’s given me an unexpected newfound love of poetry.
The poem referenced in the subtitle, A Miracle for Breakfast, is reprinted in the early pages of this book. Its unusual (to me) sestina form works well with Bishop’s self reflective poetry, and the poem intrigued and charmed me. I flipped back to it many times as I was reading. Using a poetic touch herself, Marshall has titled each chapter on Bishop with one of the six words that end the lines of each stanza of the poem.
Elizabeth Bishop lost her parents early and loved women rather than men in a time that frowned on that, so she had her share of difficulties, but from a young age she was drawn to poetry. She became well connected in the literary world, knowing Mary McCarthy, Robert Lowell, Robert Fitzgerald and many other authors of her era, which broadens the scope and adds to the interest of this book. Bishop lived in a variety of environments, beginning her life in a small village in Canada then becoming established in the United States. But I especially enjoyed reading about her life in Brazil, in part because Bishop was more adventuresome than I expected.
Marshall was a student of Elizabeth Bishop in the 1970’s, and while this book is mostly a biography, at the end of each Bishop chapter there is a brief but just as engrossing memoir chapter recounting Marshall’s life as a somewhat troubled but earnest college student and budding poet. The well balanced blend of biography and memoir is somewhat reminiscent of My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead, another wonderful book.
I read an advanced review copy of this book supplied at no cost by the publisher. There was no review requirement and opinions are mine. ...more
I love the novels, but the short story/novellas not as much. For instance, I don't enjoy the ones that take us into the minds of the variou3.5 stars.
I love the novels, but the short story/novellas not as much. For instance, I don't enjoy the ones that take us into the minds of the various villains to learn more about their circumstances and motivations, even though it is sometimes interesting to see why they've turned out the way they have.
This story features Lanadel, a young woman who found her way to the Order of the Wicked because she wants revenge after her village was destroyed and her entire family killed. I enjoyed it more than most of the other stories, but the ending is wide open. And until I read another GoodReads review ( https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... ) (Thank you, Beckie!)I wasn't sure if the story's purpose was to explain backstories about characters from the novel that I didn't remember clearly (yes apparently), or if it's setting me up for something in the next book (probably also yes). I'm reading the novels as they come out, which means a year or so between each one, so I wish there was a Dorothy Must Die Wiki that had plot summaries and character lists....more
I became so attached to the characters of On Turpentine Lane, and the sometimes wild ride we were all on, that I felt a real sense of loss wh4.5 stars
I became so attached to the characters of On Turpentine Lane, and the sometimes wild ride we were all on, that I felt a real sense of loss when the book ended. It’s usually that way when I’m reading novels by Elinor Lipman, which combine playful wit with non-sappy but heart-warming story lines.
While her fiancé is off finding himself in a cross-country walk he’s hyping on social media, main character Faith Frankel works for her alma mater hand writing thank you notes to donors, but personally and professionally things quickly go askew and get interesting. Picture a modern comedy of manners with snappy repartee or a light-hearted but smart and engaging rom-com with a plot full of twists and turns and characters you root for and you’ll have the idea. A fun and non-guilty pleasure.
I read an advanced review copy of this book supplied to me by the publisher with no cost or obligation. Review opinions are mine....more