Wow! This is the first book where I have disliked a main character so strongly, yet still couldn't stop reading! It was the oddest and sometimes mostWow! This is the first book where I have disliked a main character so strongly, yet still couldn't stop reading! It was the oddest and sometimes most frustrating feeling. The character of Dorothy was so devious and manipulative, I wanted nothing more than to put the book away and forget the whole thing throughout most of the book. I wasn't enjoying it, yet I just couldn't leave it alone. I had to discover the truth, right along with Laurel! When the last page is turned, all the angst and frustration turns into abject awe at Ms. Martin's incredible gift! It's impossible to even explain the reasons without spoiling the plot so suffice it to say, every single moment of annoyance is worth it ten fold once that back cover is closed!!...more
Considered a classic and one of the top 100 of all time, I can totally understand why, even if I don't completely agree. This is a rather quiet3.5/5.0
Considered a classic and one of the top 100 of all time, I can totally understand why, even if I don't completely agree. This is a rather quiet yet moving story taken from the real life experience of a young woman during WWII who was captured and spent two years as a POW in Asia participating in the woman's version of the long walk, her life after and the love she finds amidst the horror. It's very interesting, if not riveting. It slows considerably after her war experience, however, still leaving the reader satisfied - just not awed....more
This story is an absolutely eye-opening account of the life of William Tyndale, the man who first translated the BiblCloser to 4.5, just not over 4.5.
This story is an absolutely eye-opening account of the life of William Tyndale, the man who first translated the Bible into English. Wow! is the only applicable word available. His courage, his drive to do the right thing, his trials and ultimately his death, all because he so badly desired the average person have the opportunity to read the words of Christ. Mr. Wilcox draws from his LDS background for many comparisons and his sources are sometimes secondhand but nothing can dim the power manifest in the life of this historical hero....more
While undoubtably LDS in nature, this is an absolutely amazing account of the life of William Tyndale, the 16th century reformer who's life work it waWhile undoubtably LDS in nature, this is an absolutely amazing account of the life of William Tyndale, the 16th century reformer who's life work it was to translate the Bible into English. Insisting scripture should be available to even the common man, Tyndale is responsible for most of the beautiful wording in the King James Bible, as well as it's accurate translations. As history attests, Tyndale paid for his work with his life - as those in authority in England, along with the Roman Catholic church, vehemently disagreed....more
This book is an amazing teaching tool. Not because it conveys any great lessons in life or exhibits profound understanding and insight but because itThis book is an amazing teaching tool. Not because it conveys any great lessons in life or exhibits profound understanding and insight but because it so clearly delineates the beauty and differences in 19th century writing and 21st century writing.
The story is definitely very gothic and one of the best mysteries available. It is in the length of the story - most especially the length of the writing that will probably cause many readers to balk. The descriptions, the conversations, the ideas... virtually everything is pondered at length. Reading this in today's society, where TV, the internet, pictures, videos etc. etc. grant us instant understanding and gratification, can be a tedious and boring job. In order to truly appreciate Collins writing, one must put themselves in the shoes of a reader amid 19th century standards. Most people knew little of life outside their small communities. Few traveled or had experience with people and places beyond the immediate. Thus the need for long explanations and descriptions. It was the only door open for a reader to experience life beyond.
A perfect example would be the description of Count Fosco, a very large Italian man. His description was so intricate and detailed as to take pages (not paragraphs - pages.) To us, that description might seem never-ending. To one who had probably never seen, let alone known an Italian man - good or bad - it described one so perfectly that the reader (without our modern day photography) could picture him with ease.
Therefore, any accurate review of this book must allow for those differences. Readers who enjoy the beauty of the written word just for itself will absolutely revel in this story. Those who are more story driven will need to put on their patience caps to get through it. The story itself is immaculately well-done, it is dark without being terrifying, riveting without being graphic. It is just couched within a style long forgotten and truly appreciated. ...more
As is stated in this books forward, this story isn't about one thing. There isn't one topic, one climax, one point. It meanders quietly, yet poignantlAs is stated in this books forward, this story isn't about one thing. There isn't one topic, one climax, one point. It meanders quietly, yet poignantly through the growing up years of a young girl living in the poverty stricken tenements of 1912 Brooklyn, NY. To describe the plot is impossible if one wants to do it justice. There's just too much that would have to be left out and that that would be a shame. Suffice it to say it keeps one's attention to the elimination of everything else.
Upon research, I found it is actually an autobiography of the author (which makes it even more moving and unforgettable) who, upon request turned it into a story. I also learned while it became a huge best-seller when originally published in 1942, it was also hugely controversial. People didn't want to see poverty and injustice, reality in their stories. Looking in that mirror could be just too uncomfortable. Honesty is fine - up to a point - but truth is sometimes awfully hard to stomach. Taking from the book:
" Honesty is casting bright light on your own experience; truth is casting it on the experiences of all"
And, that's what Ms. Smith did so well. In her story we see bits of ourselves, for good or bad. We relate to the too-skinny girl who doesn't fit in. We remember the cruel children, the harsh teachers, the humiliating situations that coat the human experience. We also remember the joys that make childhood magical, the dreams that make growing up an adventure, no matter one's social class. Francie's life is filled with life - humanities. It's a story of living among the desperately poor through the eyes of one who knows nothing else. But, lest one think it is depressing and dark, it's also a story of love, of family, of the infallible will to do better in a country where better is always promised but sometimes disappoints. It's innocence shines through even while its hideousness is obvious. It is a quiet, heart-wrenching, soul-felt, yet ultimately hopeful story. It accepts weakness but inspires greatness. It admits ugliness while searching for beauty. It acknowledges great despair while encouraging great hope. All with a clear, simple voice of an 11 year old girl. ...more
This is the perfect book to read before bedtime. It is not an edge of your seat, can't put the book down, must turn the page to see what happen4.5/5.0
This is the perfect book to read before bedtime. It is not an edge of your seat, can't put the book down, must turn the page to see what happens next type but the calm, touching, peaceful but poignant, close the book with a sigh kind. One to turn the lights off with a smile and a thought to slumber by.
Major Pettigrew is a 67 year old English widower who is trying to navigate the growing changes in the world, the dearth of discipline, the turning tide of etiquette, the lack of loyalties. He has an absolutely delightful, droll dry wit, sometimes sarcastic but always dead on and hilarious as he observes and intermingles with the world at large. He is truly the star of this story. He becomes as dear to the reader as a beloved, yet eccentric uncle would.
Mrs. Ali is a kind, generous Pakistani widow who owns and runs the small convenience store down the street from Major Pettigrew. As she struggles to maintain her individuality as a worthwhile woman while adhering to the pressures of her fundamentalist Muslim family, she finds a friend and soul mate in the kind, quiet man of Mr. Pettigrew.
Their journey through the strict confines of both societies, the prejudices of a "enlightened" generation as well as, their own insecurities and natures, to find happiness is written to perfection. Truly a gem of a story! ...more