I won an advanced reader's copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway. I was intrigued with this story upon reading the synopsis of it here on Goodre...moreI won an advanced reader's copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway. I was intrigued with this story upon reading the synopsis of it here on Goodreads. A Young Wife is the story of Minke who leaves her home to become the live-in caretaker of the terminally ill wife of the wealthy Sander De Vries. Upon the demise of his wife, Sander asks for Minke's hand in marriage and whisks her away to Argentina. As Minke settles into married life in a new country she begins to understand that her new husband isn't exactly the man she had assumed he was. However, these realizations are soon eclipsed by the joyous birth of her son Zef. Minke's world is turned upside down when her son is kidnapped and her husband and sister have to travel immediately to America where Minke and her newborn daughter later join them, only to discover that life in America is very different than it had been in Argentina.
The premise of this story was extremely interesting and promising, and while I enjoyed it, I found the dialogue and character development to be somewhat lacking. Many of the characters in this book were unlikable (Sander, Griet, Fenna, Meneer & Mevrouw Dietz) and made me cringe, especially Fenna who made the wicked step-sisters in "Cinderella" look like saints. Even Minke, who for most of the book was naive and impulsive, was a difficult character to connect with and root for. The dialogue between the characters in this book felt stilted to me and lacked personality. However, the ending of the story made up for these things in my opinion and Minke redeemed herself once and for all. (less)
I won this book from a Goodreads First-reads giveaway. This was the first book I've read from author Jean Thompson, and based on my feelings about thi...moreI won this book from a Goodreads First-reads giveaway. This was the first book I've read from author Jean Thompson, and based on my feelings about this book, it won't be my last. The Year We Left Home follows the members of one Iowa family from the 1970's through 2003. This sweeping family saga takes readers through the ups and downs of one family's life - the tragedies, setbacks, and successes - and their individual journeys as they pursue their own versions of happiness. My first impression of this book was that it was rather bleak. The characters were flawed and no one seemed happy with their lot in life. However, it is these characteristics that give this story a genuine quality. Real people have flaws and real life isn't always rainbows and lollipops. As I read this book I reflected back on my family history and recognized several of the same threads of experience have run their course in my own family - death, marriage, divorce, triumphs, estrangement. Each family comes with its own unique set of relationships, dynamics, dysfunction, and issues, which makes this story all the more authentic because it doesn't sugar-coat the experience or wrap it up into a neat little package at the end. Great story - glad I won this book!(less)
I won this book from a Goodreads Firstreads giveaway. The Paperbark Shoe by Goldie Goldbloom is the story of Gin Toad, an albino woman living in the r...moreI won this book from a Goodreads Firstreads giveaway. The Paperbark Shoe by Goldie Goldbloom is the story of Gin Toad, an albino woman living in the rugged Australian Outback with her husband and two children. Gin's story takes place during WWII, when 18,000 Italian prisoners of war were sent to Australia to labor on farms. It is upon the arrival of two Italian POW's to the Toad farm that the story begins, and the lives of Gin Toad and her family are irrevocably changed. When I received this book I was eager to delve into it after being hooked by the synopsis on the back cover. The unique perspective of Gin Toad kept my interest throughout the book, but the gritty and bleak tone of the story prevented me from really enjoying the story and connecting with any of the characters. This story was a bit too depressing for my tastes, and that, combined with my general antipathy toward all of the characters, made it just an okay read for me.
This story is about a 35 year old mom and wife named Sarah Price, whose husband has just published a novel titled 'Infidelity.' Little did she know, t...moreThis story is about a 35 year old mom and wife named Sarah Price, whose husband has just published a novel titled 'Infidelity.' Little did she know, the book was based on fact, and her husband's confession turns her world upside down. Coming to terms with her husband's affair forces Sarah to reexamine their relationship and take a closer look at the person she has become in the process of getting married and having children. This story really resounded with me because I am also a thirty-something mom and wife, and I know how easy it is to lose yourself in those roles. When you have so may other people (kids, husband) depending on you to take care of them, it's easy to lose sight of your own needs and desires. The story itself was a bit depressing due to the subject matter, but I identified with it and it made me think about my own life, and that made it a more personal read for me.(less)