I enjoyed Rhett Butler's People so much that I was disappointed when it ended. The author was commissioned by the estate of Margaret Mitchell to writeI enjoyed Rhett Butler's People so much that I was disappointed when it ended. The author was commissioned by the estate of Margaret Mitchell to write this "parallel sequel" to Gone With The Wind, and he has kept faithful to her style and to the story and details of Mitchell's original classic. This gives an account of Rhett's life prior to meeting Scarlett and describes the lives of his friends and family. In doing so, it gives a well-researched look into life in Charleston Atlanta just prior to and during the civil war.
Certainly, there are a million possibilities for his story, but I enjoyed this take. I really enjoyed Gone With the Wind, but Rhett was my favorite character and there were so many unanswered questions about him. They are answered in this fleshed out sequel/addition, which helps the reader to understand and appreciate his character all the more.
I think the author did a wonderful job of tying the stories together and maintaining the characters and setting. He had to satisfy two audiences - Margaret Mitchell fans and Civil War buffs. That he was able to offer such a satisfying read, while tying in small tidbits from the original story (e.g. how Scarlett came to be in possession of the yellow scarf she gave to Ashley is particularly clever), is impressive indeed. ...more
Well written debut novel that is emotionally honest, has some quirky humor, well drawn characters, but is at heart a sad tale about two dysfunctionalWell written debut novel that is emotionally honest, has some quirky humor, well drawn characters, but is at heart a sad tale about two dysfunctional women. ...more
If you *love* basketball you will love this recounting of Conroy's senior season as a member of the Citadel basketball team. A touching meditation onIf you *love* basketball you will love this recounting of Conroy's senior season as a member of the Citadel basketball team. A touching meditation on loss and pain, Conroy's diction in this work is masterful; If, as I, you are merely a Conroy fan, you will enjoy learning more of who and what shaped this writer. In writing about basketball, Conroy finds a vessel to chew, interpret, and shape so much of his past, and out of it life's meaning.
“There is no teacher more discriminating or transforming than loss.”
“I had declared in public my desire to be a writer ... I wanted to develop a curiosity that was oceanic and insatiable as well as a desire to learn and use every word in the English language that didn't sound pretentious or ditzy.”
“Good coaching is good teaching and nothing else.”
“An author must gorge himself on ten thousand images to select the magical one that can define a piece of the world in a way one has never considered before.”
“The words “I love you” could contain all the bloodthirsty despair of the abattoir, all the hopelessness of the most isolated, frozen gulag, all the lurid sadness of death row.” ...more
This was well researched and the time period was interesting, but the story itself fell flat for me. I never felt particularly invested in any of theThis was well researched and the time period was interesting, but the story itself fell flat for me. I never felt particularly invested in any of the three main shallow and superficial characters. In fact, I had a difficult time differentiating their voices. Worst of all is the writing. . . no depth of emotion, no descriptions, just flat sentences. And many actions didn't make sense when considering the characters; many parts felt rushed and cobbled together in order to move the story forward, instead of being true to the characters' previous actions. I enjoyed her other books but this one is a flop. I would not recommend this book to others. The audio version is especially bad. . . an overdramatic narrator whose voice was irritating and who kept mixing up the different characters' verbal inflections and tones.
If you did/do read book be sure to go to her blog: http://www.lisasee.com/insidechinadolls/ (sorry I can't get link to go to exact page, but url is correct...when you get to page click on the Quicklink in the black bottom, right side: "Step Inside the World of China Dolls") She has posted several 1934-1946 ChopSuey Circuit photos,interviews & dance videos. IT is EXCELLENT....more
Creative premise: an underground city, two children determined to save that city, and a journey of no return. I liked it better than The Giver. I likeCreative premise: an underground city, two children determined to save that city, and a journey of no return. I liked it better than The Giver. I liked it enough that I will read the sequel. Intriguing, fast paced, action packed. It's the rare novel that will engage children while maintaining its literary integrity and imparting something worthwhile. The City of Ember is a great introduction to a darker genre than many children will have read by 4th Grade, but not so frightening that it would discourage them from exploring more well-developed dystopian novels as they get older. In terms of books that get kids interested in reading without rotting their brains, I'd give this one a big thumbs up.
quotes: “The trouble with anger is, it gets hold of you. And then you aren't the master of yourself anymore. Anger is. And when anger is the boss, you get unintended consequences.”
“People find a way through just about anything.”
“The main thing to do is pay attention. Pay close attention to everything, notice what no one else notices. Then you'll know what no one else knows, and that's always useful.” ...more
This is a charming melodrama with an orphan, an old manor, spiritualists, maiden aunties ranging from sweetly ineffectual to cloyingly evil, a secret,This is a charming melodrama with an orphan, an old manor, spiritualists, maiden aunties ranging from sweetly ineffectual to cloyingly evil, a secret, and a hefty dose of Victorian bathing costumes and brisk sea air. This YA-middle school book manages to tackle some big questions about integrity, spirituality, and the need to belong. Audio version well done....more
Ian McEwan's writing is measured, magical, and insightful. He has the ability to touch some truly tender human places while strolling by with his narrIan McEwan's writing is measured, magical, and insightful. He has the ability to touch some truly tender human places while strolling by with his narrative, moving on to where the story will inevitably go. Judge Fiona Maye is a wonderful character, the driven female baby boomer who seems to engage in life from the distance of her work, always calculating the degree of her engagement, escaping her life by measuring and judging the dramas of others, until finally, drama erupts in her own living room in the form of a husband who longs for lost passion. And then there's the young character from her courtroom who wavers across the border between his world and hers, and entangles her in his own troubled reality. I was fascinated every step of the way, following the track of Fiona's thoughts and actions through her work and her personal life and the inevitable consequences that develop. McEwan evokes a rich narrative atmosphere with an economy of prose that is amazing. The novel felt expansive though it was very short and the characters were richly three dimensional. The climax of this book takes place during a piano concert, where as the music is building, the drama of the story is also building. This was truly one of the most beautiful literary devices I have ever witnessed. The audio version is superbly narrated by British actress, Lindsay Duncan....more