Congratulations to Ann Hood on writing a captivating, fast moving book with beautiful language and insight. Ann Hood understands grief and the grieving...moreCongratulations to Ann Hood on writing a captivating, fast moving book with beautiful language and insight. Ann Hood understands grief and the grieving process all too well. Grief is a central theme in this book but Hood does not dwell on the tragedy of loss but more illustrates the process of moving through grief and living on. The descriptive elements of this book were lovely, from food to fashion and helped me remember things from my own childhood (Romper Room etc...). The twists and turns in this book are totally unpredictable and satisfying. This was a book I was eager to read and exceeded my expectations.(less)
I felt like I was stuck out to sea with this book , I found it boring. The author writes well, and developed some interesting characters but the inter...moreI felt like I was stuck out to sea with this book , I found it boring. The author writes well, and developed some interesting characters but the interaction between the survivors and boat experience was discouraging and mundane.(less)
If I was remotely capable of writing a novel I would want it to be exactly like the Orchardist. I am i...moreWow! This book was so beautiful and captivating.
If I was remotely capable of writing a novel I would want it to be exactly like the Orchardist. I am in awe of this book.
The prose is simple, clear, powerful and so lovely and visual. Here she describes the deliberate and calm of Talmadge the main character: "She often sat on the porch and waited for him to come out of the canyon mouth. He walked incredibly slowly across the lower field toward the cabin, so slowly that he seemed at times to be losing distance. It seemed like he was perpetually reaching the middle of the field, perpetually walking, coming forward, yet never arriving. His pale shirt glowing in the dusk". I understand that Talmadge is a homage to her steady and wonderful Grandfather which is so lovely. The story is suspenseful-a family saga, coming of age and social commentary all in one. The conflict and action is at the start of the book, no meandering here, Coplin is off to the races from chapter one. The characters are faulted, endearing and lovingly depicted. The setting is fabulously described and while reading I often felt like I was on a fantasy vacation in the garden of Eden. When writing, I think it must be difficult to achieve that delicate balance of providing the right amount of detail without boring the reader or creating to much of a diversion. Coplin gave wonderfully rich detail but not too much, just enough with precision and strategy. I kept waiting for the story to take a tawdry turn and follow the trite path but it never did. There are also some horrible and disturbing parts to the story that give the story arc a realistic balance. I never wanted this book to end and when it did, I felt like I was saying goodbye to some very dear souls. I loved this book.(less)
A brave and honest memoir about being the daughter of seriously mentally ill mother. In her acknowledgements, the author mentions how the book took sha...moreA brave and honest memoir about being the daughter of seriously mentally ill mother. In her acknowledgements, the author mentions how the book took shape after chapter 19 was published in excerpted form. I found this interesting because I felt like chapter 19 was the chapter that had the most precision, insight and intent. It did not connect with the pace or tone of the rest of the book and I so wish the author could have maintained that level of descriptive quality and honesty. I felt like the book languished in painstaking detail of the children's daily activities and games. I know that children express emotion with play but there is all too much of these meaningless details in this book. Like the book Glass Castle, the mother in the story is certainly an interesting balance of likable at times and evil other times. A true human being. I was frustrated that there was no intervention on behalf of the children. Nothing monumental ever really takes place. The characters were not as deep and complex as I wished. I never got an indication of how Laura's childhood shaped who she is today and why. Just like the children's determination to endure their situation I continued reading although I had no reason to turn the pages. However, I admire the sister's solidarity and strength and I am glad everyone survived unscathed. (less)
I am a fan of Laura Moriarty. The Center of Everything is one of my favorite books. She writes with great clarity and measure: "She would owe this und...moreI am a fan of Laura Moriarty. The Center of Everything is one of my favorite books. She writes with great clarity and measure: "She would owe this understanding to her time in New York, and even more to Louise. That's what spending time with the young can do-it's the big payoff for all the pain. The young can exasperate, of course, and frighten, and condescend, and insult, and cut you with their still rounded edges. But they can also drag you, as you protest and scold and try to pull away, right up to the window of the future, and even push you through."
I enjoyed learning about Louise Brooks and her rise to fame. The factual references to feminist and social issues of the time make this book a step above most historical fiction. (I never considered that corsets must have caused such physical limitations and did women really use Lysol as birth control?) Moriarty really depicts strong, relate-able characters. I thought about them after the book was finished. I felt like I KNEW them. I admired their tenacity. There was rarely a weak character in the story. They all knew how to get up once knocked down. I also loved that her story lines were not trite or predictable. For example, the adopted/foster parents were not horrific and hurtful but perhaps some of the best people in the story. I was also expecting Cora's search for her birth Mom to go through more hoops and glad that the conclusion was reached easily. The places and neighborhoods in Kansas and New York also were described vividly.
Like other Goodreads reviewers, I though the book went on too long and tried to accomplish too much. I would have been satisfied with the book ending without Part three.
Still, I would recommend this book to friends. Moriarty does not disappoint in this engaging and lovely book. Defiantly a good read.(less)
It's been a long time since I've read a book that I have enjoyed as much as The Light Between Oceans. Granted, I am a sucker for all literature based...moreIt's been a long time since I've read a book that I have enjoyed as much as The Light Between Oceans. Granted, I am a sucker for all literature based on islands or near the sea but this book is so much more. It's a story about strong people who like most other people have complicated back stories and how that past influences the choices they make in their lives. This book forces the reader to consider what they would have done in the emotionally wrought and complicated situation that the characters find themselves in. Stedman writes beautifully. She shows us an exotic, lush, wild and unfamiliar land and really places us there. Her characters were well developed and like able. The settings were clear and imaginable. The dialog was excellent. This book was a portrait of psyches, a land, a time in history, and a page turner that explores our virtue and humanity. I loved this book and look forward to the next one that Ms. Stedman writes.(less)