Shellie’s quick take: Mainstream fiction with a separate storyline that is speculative in nature. This is...moreOriginal review posted at Layers of Thought.
Shellie’s quick take: Mainstream fiction with a separate storyline that is speculative in nature. This is a subtle page-turner that has a heartrending story juxtaposed with a narrative about a comic-book superhero called Comrade Cosmos.
Shellie’s description: When 18 year old Jeremy Soto’s single mother is murdered by a young male tourist during a solo vacation to Mexico, his grief is understandable, but as horrible as he feels he must pick up the pieces of his life. But it’s not just Jeremy who has to get past the violent death of his mother Melinda; there are others who are reeling from her loss - Melinda’s close circle of friends, mature characters who have life complications of their own. Then there is the murderer’s mother Anna who has the heartbreaking job of dealing with her son’s suicide as well. All of this culminates when Anna invites Jeremy and Melinda’s friends to her son’s funeral.
What gives this book an interesting twist is that the subjects addressed in the main story are contrasted with those of a popular comic-book series, which are covered in alternating chapters.
Shellie’s thoughts: This is an unusual book and it has a deep message. It examines the roles of chaos and order in the world, with the author questioning the effects of trauma and hardship on characters. In so doing she attempts to answer the question: what do we do with an impossible situation, one that we cannot fix or change? With that in mind Mending the Moon pulls in issues such as loss through death, divorce, and Alzheimer's, contrasted with friendship, responsibility, love, forgiveness, and moving through grief. This leaves a lot of room for emotional content in the book and the author uses the space very well.
It is highly recommended, with its well-developed characters and rare-to-see main female characters aged 60-years plus. I think it would be a good selection for a book group since there are many issues that can be discussed. It’s also a perfect read if you’re interested in superhero comics or character-driven emotional novels that pull you in and keep you reading. I read this book in a matter of days – a rarity for me. 4.25 stars.
**A note which may be a plus or a minus to some readers: there is a Christian element running through the novel. Several of the main characters are clergy and church services play a big role in many of the scenes. However, the subjects addressed in the book are universal and, as a person who is not religious, I would say that it is done well and didn’t put me off.(less)
A fable-like novel with a variety of relatable characters, addictions as a subject matt...moreOriginal review posted at Layers of Thought.
4.5 stars actually!
A fable-like novel with a variety of relatable characters, addictions as a subject matter, and a kind, intelligent, yet very overweight protagonist that one cannot help but adore. His opening line draws you completely in with: “The first thing you should know about me is that I am colossally fat.”
About: Two characters tell this story - Arthur Opp and Kell Keller - and as more characters immerge heartfelt entanglements develop.
We have Arthur Opp, who describes himself as immense. He continues on in resignation as he cannot leave his home in fear of the reactions to his appearance from others. He is depressed and damaged, but it’s clear from his voice that he has a contemplative and considerate nature.
The story begins as he writes a letter to the unrequited love of his life, Charlene, to tell her his predicament and to re-establish contact for a glimmer of hope for a change in his life. He soon finds that she has a teenage son, Kell Keller, who is in his last year of high school. Kell is to become the other of the narrators.
As these two characters tell their stories the reader glimpses, in small pieces delved out slowly, how their lives interconnect with each other in significant ways.
Thoughts: Written with a variety of interesting techniques via letters and by narration from the two main characters, the text flows well, sucking in the reader. Liz Moore expresses Arthur Opp’s character skillfully and surprisingly; it’s admirable that she could have so much insight into the psyche of such a man and create such a likeable and lovely character. I want to be friends with Arthur Opp.
I listened to it in audio, with some occasional reading of the text too. (The hardcover edition is a small and an easy-to-handle size and the audio version is exceptionally well done). It’s literary fiction since it is exceptionally thoughtful with loads of in-depth character development. Yet it has some of the narrative elements of genre fiction so there is some of the natural ups and downs – which caught me into the drama so I had to keep reading it.
It’s a wonderful book for group discussion, since it may dispel many negative notions about individuals with weight problems, health issues, and addictions - giving readers so much to talk about. And it’s a hopeful tale too, with a subtle moral. I just loved it. A definite cure for the dark story doldrums. Recommended for anyone who loves sweet endings that one will probably not guess. I give this lovely book a 4.5 stars. (less)
The adage: "getting old is not for sissies" should be the subtitle for this book. Although Weil does so kindly and realistically t...more2.5 starts actually.
The adage: "getting old is not for sissies" should be the subtitle for this book. Although Weil does so kindly and realistically the truth of the matter is there is nothing we can do to completely stop aging. But we can live a healthy life, a balanced life, a contemplative life.
This book is an overview of one of my favorite health, diet and well being books by this Physician/new age science guru who mixes Eastern and Western medical advice. He debunks a lot of myths, tells you what he thinks and gives the reader a real life plan that one can work with. Although strict it feels like if you do your best to follow this advice you will be that much healthier
I would recommend you skip this book and move onto the one linked below for a comprehensive guide to logical holistic health that will optimize your anti aging plan: