This was a lighter read than I expected, for some reason. I very much enjoyed it. It was refreshing to meet Anna's character; she is not a complainer,This was a lighter read than I expected, for some reason. I very much enjoyed it. It was refreshing to meet Anna's character; she is not a complainer, compulsive but honest and handles consequences. This is probably a book I will re-read at some point. It was so easy to keep turning the pages, in a good way, that I didn't even realize that I was halfway through until looking at the meter on my e-reader. The world of opera is brought to life and made me want to learn more about opera itself, which I was initially interested in after reading Bel Canto. The character development is quick but solid and the author does rely on some reader intuition to fill in the gaps in some scenes. It wasn't fabulously written but it was solid. A good book to read on a flight!...more
I gave this 4 stars instead of the 5 stars I gave Outlander. This book provides more about Claire and Jaime, but the beginning just about ripped my heI gave this 4 stars instead of the 5 stars I gave Outlander. This book provides more about Claire and Jaime, but the beginning just about ripped my heart out. The first few chapters alluded to "the end" of the characters heavily and made me wonder why I was so interested at times. I was so interested because of the love I developed from Outlander- it pushed me through. I have a feeling that some of the slower bits, such as the first part, are laying crucial groundwork for the next books in the series. Once the story returned to Jaime and Claire the pace picked up and I was once again losing sleep over reading. Their travels take them beyond Scotland and to two royal courts, with interactions in France, Scotland and England. The newly introduced characters were fascinating and the trials Claire & Jaime faced while working to stop Culloden seemed realistic. However, Gabaldron returned to a few themes a few too many times... there is another witch trials of sorts, which Claire is again dragged into, and rape is still a theme. This was redundant when reflecting on what I had just read but not too redundant when actually reading it- which means it was integrated seamlessly, at least. There are some interesting deaths and some interesting character twists....more
I hesitated to read this, as a time travel novel is not usually my thing. Historical fiction and Scotland, though, I could get behind. So I gave it aI hesitated to read this, as a time travel novel is not usually my thing. Historical fiction and Scotland, though, I could get behind. So I gave it a chance! The novel started out a little slow, but it really laid crucial groundwork for the characters and was very relevant. About a third of the way into the book, I was so hooked that I was losing sleep. I completely fell in love with Jamie, and the dynamic between Jamie and Claire is great and compelling. Claire's character is probably the only character who could make time travel in this manner convincing, and her level-headedness balances out the mystical elements. The mystical elements themselves are rooted in highland lore, which makes the storyline more palatable. The arch does not truly revolve around time travel, either. The plot thickens and intertwines with the politics of the time while revealing very personal sides of many characters. The end is a bit graphic; I could barely read a few scenes, but it was well worth it!...more
This book is just okay. I wanted to read more about personal experiences on the PCT and so I impulse bought Wild. The memoir does have a deeply personThis book is just okay. I wanted to read more about personal experiences on the PCT and so I impulse bought Wild. The memoir does have a deeply personal tone and I feel the author does share a significant part of her life. Some of the decisions she makes, however, really drove me crazy. It is a memoir, of course, and even in fiction you don't have to love everything the main character does, but some of it felt.. contrived? I can't quite find the right description for the undertone. I think Cheryl had a very valid and interesting human story to share, as most people actually do, but I felt she tried to make this memoir fit the Eat, Pray, Love mold a little too much. I don't regret reading it, but the controversy surrounding the facts and timeline did take away from my overall feel of the book in the end....more
This biography is phenomenal! It reads like a novel. This is one of the best biographies I have ever read. This woman's life was so full, so varied thThis biography is phenomenal! It reads like a novel. This is one of the best biographies I have ever read. This woman's life was so full, so varied that it really is hard to grasp. There is a reason she was the only member of her family that Napolean respected. It is well worth a read if you have any interest in the history of France....more
I originally didn't read this book because of the Hollywood hype- a terrible reason, I know, but I tend to shy away from books that are talked up by cI originally didn't read this book because of the Hollywood hype- a terrible reason, I know, but I tend to shy away from books that are talked up by celebrities. I just tend to assume they are awful (50 Shades, etc.) I am really close to believing that this book holds the key to life! The storyline is a little child-like but in an adult way, if that makes any sense- the adventure leads to so many personal revelations and philosophies that really strike home while being easily read. This is a book I will force my husband to read. It is important, there isn't much more to say than that....more
This book showed a different side of Versailles than other books in the genre typically do. It presented a peripheral view of the eve of the French ReThis book showed a different side of Versailles than other books in the genre typically do. It presented a peripheral view of the eve of the French Revolution and really demonstrated what happened in the palace at large as the royal family was about to leave. So many stories from this time period are only told from the upper class- I feel like I've read multiple times the details of what happened in the inner apartments, with the inner elite circle, but never have I read about what the masses in the palace would have seen and felt. It was a refreshing point of view....more
This is not a good representative of Philippa Gregory's usually talented story telling. The main character, Beatrice, is at first refreshingly differeThis is not a good representative of Philippa Gregory's usually talented story telling. The main character, Beatrice, is at first refreshingly different; you can see, for brief moments, SOMETHING of Scarlett O'Hara in her. Scarlett, however, has many many redeeming qualities and Beatrice has none. At first I thought this was a decent read; then I thought it was okay, and kept turning the pages; at this point I am on page 440 out of 648 and I don't know if I can even bother to continue. I am watching a character I do not enjoy or care about systematically destroy everyone around her, with no really driving motivation other than the dull repetitions of "the land" and "passion" and "Wideacre Wideacre Wideacre."
I find the book dully repetitive and the heroine ridiculously shallow and two dimensional. A good portion of the novel reads like a trashy, incestuous romance off a supermarket's bookshelf.
The story is not terribly original; there were parallels to Gone With The Wind, and the diversions from that story line were uninspiring and trashy. Beatrice switches loves of her life with disturbing rapidity and passion, and over and over there are redundant descriptions of how she loves the land. She also tends to love people she cannot have (enter your Ashley character, only it is her brother) and then her Ashley character (again, brother) marries a less pretty but super sweet, kindly woman (okay, so there is the Melanie). Then Beatrice marries a man based on her convenience to hide a situation she is in, and he starts to (at this point in the novel) have an unwavering devotion her sister-in-law (think Rhett & Melanie's relationship). This novel is not creative, not intriguing, and parts are more than just a little sickening.
PS I am not a prudish person, I must point out. I can get through a book about incest, I can understand when people think outside normal patterns, I understand perversity... I have read trashy novels and watched porn... this book still turned my stomach after half-way through, and I can only think of Beatrice with disgust....more
I loved Elizabeth Gilbert, and loved this book- but Eat, Pray, Love seekers should definitely read the descriptions. This book is more of a witty dissI loved Elizabeth Gilbert, and loved this book- but Eat, Pray, Love seekers should definitely read the descriptions. This book is more of a witty dissertation on marriage, as it exists across cultures and somewhat across generations. It is a little less journal-like, though the research that is heavily focused on is no less personal; in brief, Liz & Felipe are forced by US immigration to get married, so that Felipe can continue to come to the US. While Eat, Pray, Love deals with the psychological & transforming powers of divorce, Committed is about two skeptical people with two marriages behind them seeking to understand why marriages fail, what marriages truly mean, and what expectations are healthy and not to have in regards to your partner. A few parts of this book made me laugh out loud, but mostly it made me reflect on my marriage and the cultural values placed on it. A few times there have been trains of thoughts in my head about my husband and relationship where little facts and tidbits from this book popped into the conscious flow. It is an important read, especially for anyone getting married or anyone who is married and still pays attention to their marriage!...more