I've finally finished this book I am reading for a book group and am wondering how to summarize it. The best I can come up with is that it wasted my tI've finally finished this book I am reading for a book group and am wondering how to summarize it. The best I can come up with is that it wasted my time. It's not a bad book. I don't mean that, but the only thing I learned from is was a bit of knowledge about Australia.
The plot is simple, Ellen, the hypnotist met Patrick on an online dating site. They seem to hit it off, but he tells her he is being stalked by an old girlfriend. It is still going on. After his wife died leaving him with a 1 year old, he started a relationship with her that lasted for 3 years. After the break up, she started stalking him. It turns out that his ex-girlfriend is a client of the hypnotist. Neither Patrick nor Ellen know this.
Then there are about 10 chapters where Ellen compares Patrick with every ex-boyfriend she ever had and agonizes about the relationship Patrick had with his stalker and his first wife. It was beyond boring to me. I know people who read this love story and loved it, but it wasn't for me.
I did like the information and descriptions of Australia and the customs there. I think the author did a great job of making me feel like I could see the things she described. I think the problem is that I don't much care for romances....more
This was a beautiful book. It takes place in Seattle and is the story of Japanese Americans during WWII and Chinese Americans. It explores the foreignThis was a beautiful book. It takes place in Seattle and is the story of Japanese Americans during WWII and Chinese Americans. It explores the foreign culture and the relationships between generations. Most of all it is a touching love story. I know there are some editorial mistakes, but I don't think they detract from the book....more
I've read this book several times and I feel like I am ready to read it after reading The Guernsey and Potato Peel Pie Society . So it goes on my "ToI've read this book several times and I feel like I am ready to read it after reading The Guernsey and Potato Peel Pie Society . So it goes on my "To Read" list again ...more
This book is not for everyone, but I loved it. I already knew that the action didn't really pick up until the middle of the book, and I did find it aThis book is not for everyone, but I loved it. I already knew that the action didn't really pick up until the middle of the book, and I did find it a little slow going at first, but is was well worth my patience. When you take an elegant apartment for the very wealthy in the middle of Paris, pair it with a 12 year old genius who is hiding her light under a bushel and plans to commit suicide on her 13th birthday, and then throw in what seems to be a cantankerous old concierge who appears to only watch television all day, but who is secretly an autodidact who loves art, philosophy, and Oriental culture you have something that ought not to work, but does splendidly.
Most of the wealthy inhabitants of the building lead boring and predictable lives, and 12 year old Paloma refuses to join their ranks. She is a competent scholar, but knows that even in school her brilliant mind will not be appreciated. She is planning to wait only until her 13th birthday to see if, just possibly, there is more to look forward to than the lives she sees around her.
Renée, the concierge was raised in abject poverty and ignorance and she was cursed with a brilliant and cultured mind that had no possibility for expression. She had to hide her mind in what little schooling she had and eventually found her way into a job where her brilliance again had to be hidden from everyone in the building. What does a peasant do with a brilliant mind? Renee chose to hide hers by leaving the television on while she was hiding her bedroom reading Proust.
Nothing seemed to change until Japanese man named Ozu arrived in the building. He was able to sense the secrets in Renee and Paloma and carefully create an environment where their true natures could be expressed. As I look back at the book, I think Mr. Ozu could be called a “people whisperer.” He was able to create an environment where each of these two lonely people could be herself. But this is not an ordinary “feel good” book. It is much too close to reality for that. I don’t think anyone who finishes this book will ever be the same. ...more
At first, I wasn't sure I was going to like this book. It is a story about a professor of linguistics who has taken early retirement because of his inAt first, I wasn't sure I was going to like this book. It is a story about a professor of linguistics who has taken early retirement because of his increasing deafness. I wanted to read it because my father is hard of hearing and I thought it would help me to identify with his world. In that respect, the book was excellent. I understood some of the difficulties a partially deaf person faces...leaving home in a hurry and forgetting the hearing aids, agreeing with people in a confused setting because of either misunderstanding or simply because it is easier than having everything repeated again and again.
The book was also interesting as it deals with a person whose identity is changing with the loss of a career, an elderly parent, and the everyday enjoyments no longer feasible due to increasing age and loss of agility. The main character is struggling to transition out of the active workforce and into the life of the elderly....more
This book was as good as it was unsatisfying. What can I expect considering that Dickens died in the middle of the book. He stopped writing, had a strThis book was as good as it was unsatisfying. What can I expect considering that Dickens died in the middle of the book. He stopped writing, had a stroke at dinner and never regained consciousness. At first I wondered what the point would be to reading a mystery that wasn't finished, but it was much more interesting than I thought. It appears that Dickens was half-way through the book when he died, so the scene was set, the characters developed and the major clues laid down. There is fairly wide agreement on who did the murder, if there actually was a murder. On the other hand, some people feel like Edwin did not die, but survived the attack and disappeared. They feel that he would reappear at some point and confront the supposed murderer.
There is also a pretty fair agreement as to why Edwin Drood was murdered, if he was murdered. There are still plenty of mysteries left though. Was Dickens salting the book with red herrings and he intended a complete plot twist? Does he have one or two characters in disguise so that the book actually has two less characters than would appear? There are at least two possible romances set up...how do the turn out? What happens to Neville?
Fortunately, I was doing this with a book group and we could bounce ideas off each other. It has made it even more interesting. ...more