**spoiler alert** I'd almost list this as a 2.5 even. The book cover was lovely. The descriptions of Kenya were pretty detailed, obviously the author**spoiler alert** I'd almost list this as a 2.5 even. The book cover was lovely. The descriptions of Kenya were pretty detailed, obviously the author has been to Kenya. However, the book lacked a strong story.
The relationships were boldly outrageous and more than a bit unbelievable. The author gives us one month to believe that a woman moves to Kenya, completely unaware of the culture and what she is getting into- a tad naive, and finds herself speaking the language and in love? And in that one month, she finds "love" and then turns around and cheats on him with his best friend who is like family? Then runs off? I just don't buy it. Maybe with some better lead up- some better writing- I might believe it, but one month in a new country with new culture, traditions, languages, way of life? No. Just no.
Also their passionate moments- also fell flat- not the actual action- but again, the leading up to parts. There was plenty of eroticism and lust, but the passion wasn't there yet. Nor the closeness. It just seemed thrown together.
The characters fell flat also. I didn't love any of them. I wasn't rooting for anyone. Just not developed enough. I didn't feel like I really knew any of them. Chege was probably the most interesting.
Maybe I'm being a bit harsh, but I put the book down feeling annoyed. Annoyed that the events had turned out like they did, that Ita just forgave Leda, that the relationship was built out of so small a time frame, that Leda would so easily betray Ita, that Chege would so easily betray Ita, and more. Kind of cheese-ball really. All it leaves you feeling is sorry- sorry for Ita.
And for all the focus on Kenya and describing it and putting the politics in this- it really had nothing to do with that election or politics in Kenya. It just seemed thrown in there.
There could have been better ways to end it, I think. And a longer time to get to know the characters. I think you can either really focus on the character development or focus on the politics of Kenya and Kenya itself- but this falls flat on both. Skip it. ...more
This book definitely deserved this year's award. An exploratory work about Haiti's historical background and it's future, the author does a great jobThis book definitely deserved this year's award. An exploratory work about Haiti's historical background and it's future, the author does a great job of intertwining and connecting Haiti's past and present by use of the voodoo traditions by African slaves in colonial times. The characters of Toussaint L'Overture and Shorty are both so vivid and unique (as well as Dredd). They really jump out at you. The author tells them all fully-including the revealing their best traits as well as the all their flaws.
Language was well-employed and well done. While I could see it being a potentially more challenging for a younger reader with the different languages, I think it would only be slightly distracting because the plot line keeps the reader engaged. Kind of fun for a reader with any French background-seeing some of the similarities inherited by the other languages.
I could also see why people would think of this as potentially too graphic for a younger reader, as it is very graphic, but I think this serves a purpose to illustrate the severity of a situation. I also liked that it had a turn for the positive, instead of just ending with no hope. Prepare to have a hard time putting it down. I got pretty wrapped up in the book pretty quickly. ...more
I didn't realize this was Peter Troy's debut novel. Can't wait for his next!
The characters in this novel were so well rounded and so well intertwinedI didn't realize this was Peter Troy's debut novel. Can't wait for his next!
The characters in this novel were so well rounded and so well intertwined by the end that it was hard to put this book down. The era was well painted by Troy by the richness of his characters. I liked every one of them and thought that Troy did a great job with their accents. I could see this becoming a movie or tv series- the hope in the face of adversity and hardship. I would recommend this to anyone....more
It started off slow...and it was hard to read. By hard to read, I mean, dull and annoying- maybe even grating. The wife's diary entries were ridicMeh.
It started off slow...and it was hard to read. By hard to read, I mean, dull and annoying- maybe even grating. The wife's diary entries were ridiculous and then the husband's were just terrible. The second part of the book makes up for the first part with the twist and the build up. I thought: maybe this book isn't so bad after all, and I couldn't put it down. By the end it was just terrible again. I had to roll my eyes. There was not enough to justify the ending. I wouldn't recommend this book. ...more
When I started this book, there was just too much going on. Just seemed like he was trying to wow his audience and seemed a bit too overdone. I put thWhen I started this book, there was just too much going on. Just seemed like he was trying to wow his audience and seemed a bit too overdone. I put the book down for a bit. But it was intriguing nonetheless and I'd heard so much about it, so I picked it back up, and I'm glad I did.
It was a great story, even if the author was hard to believe at times, or over-the-top. He was well-written and interesting, and definitely captured my attention the rest of the time. I thought going into this that I wouldn't learn much, but I learned a lot more than expected.
McDougall delves into the evolutionary sense of running with hypotheses and support for these. All this leading to the negatives of running shoes. All of which seemed really well thought out. People talk about running without shoes, but, they never get into it quite the way- with the same thoughtfulness and insight that McDougall does in this book.
All and all it's a filling book. There's much to be had from it. From time to time he goes a bit over the top, making drastic "realizations" and brash characterizations, but overall, it was an entertaining read that made me want to get out and run 30 miles.
I've gotten to the 10 mile mark and could have gone further having hit that "point" where you get over the exhaustion, hit the best form, and can go on for much longer, but I've never had the chance to go further thanks to my schedule. This book points out that you can start out running at 30 and you'll be running better and faster than you did when you were 18- if you have the correct form. McDougall touches on this "correct form" and delves deeper into the importance of learning it; the importance of ditching running shoes for good. It gives me hope for the future as far as getting out and trying again for the longer distances....more
McLain did such a wonderful job portraying the voice of Hadley Hemingway and illustrating an era.
I was caught off guard at how much I ended up likingMcLain did such a wonderful job portraying the voice of Hadley Hemingway and illustrating an era.
I was caught off guard at how much I ended up liking this. Some others have called Hadley a whiner- but I'd argue that she was almost the opposite. She sat down way too often, not even raising a resistance to Ernest and his ways. McLain portrayed her in a very relatable way- doing everything she could to hold on to Ernest out of fear of being without him. It doesn't mean that I could completely sympathize, but McLain had me hooked. I picked up this book and read to the end no matter what tragedy was to come (we all know it isn't a happy ending if he has 3 wives after her!).
What a horrible way to be ousted out of your own marraige- and so unwillingly. I think McLain's thought process on how Hadley must have been as a personality seemed so realistic-she must have spent a lot of time researching and empathizing. I felt sorry for Hadley, sad often, but I also got so angry that she wouldn't just walk away. Who would ever let another woman just encroach on her territory like that? She seemed so meek so often and yet strong at other times.
Not only was the character some one I got swept up with, but the settings and travel was beautifully touched on throughout the novel- very romanticized. Thinking of sadness in these beautiful places was such a juxtaposition- well laid out. I don't think it would have caught my attention as well if they hadn't had all these amazing places, people, and settings mentioned throughout. What an interesting era.
It was a train wreck ending, but it was an intriguing read- well thought out- well written and very engrossing. I would recommend it!...more
Really I could have gone with a half star here. I really couldn't bring myself to finish this book. I had a 21 day rental on my iPad, but when the damReally I could have gone with a half star here. I really couldn't bring myself to finish this book. I had a 21 day rental on my iPad, but when the damn thing ran out, I was relieved. Time to move on!
It was not sexy, engaging, erotic. I would say it was boring, repetitive and annoying. It was horrible and horribly written. Dull and unimaginative.
It really was quite a lot like Twilight, minus the fantastical. I would NOT recommend it.
A lot of my opinions are really summed up in the first readers reviews on this page. See Katrina Lumsden's- it's hilarious.
**spoiler alert** Talk about a Debbie Downer kind of book. I am surprised it got so many good ratings!
For starters, the whole book was a bit dry. Yes**spoiler alert** Talk about a Debbie Downer kind of book. I am surprised it got so many good ratings!
For starters, the whole book was a bit dry. Yes, the book was written to portray the puritan way of speaking, but wow, did that slow me down often. I just couldn't get myself to read quickly. The book started off pretty well. The premise of the story grabbed my attention from the bookshelf, and then the first quarter of the book was actually interesting to read. There was actual interaction between Caleb and Bethia. Then we get to when Caleb leaves for the woods and that is that. From there out, I was just struggling to continue. Bethia gets a dull role, and Caleb no longer is a central part of the story- the story his name titles with. Who is Caleb? What is he really like?
Also, the tension between Caleb and Bethia just stops after they end up in Cambridge. Just stops. Very improbable that the relationship would have had the ability to exist in the first place, but now even more improbable that a girl would just let that drop. Thinking back to my teenage years? A boy that close to me and my heart, I don't think I would have let that go very easily. Of course she's puritan, but we know her feelings exist and we don't see that struggle at all. All just seemed a bit lazy, like Brooks put the tension in and then thought, "meh, I don't see this going anywhere, but I don't really feel like going back and re-writing this." And this friendship was so central to the book that when it just fizzled, all that was interesting just left with it. Brooks barely touches on their relationship during Cambridge. Bethia sees Caleb but there's not much substance to it. He no longer seems to matter as much to the story. The story completely becomes about her life and finding a way to learn. To me, it almost seems like Brooks shouldn't have even bothered trying to parallel Caleb's story at all, since it was so untouched starting with Cambridge. I think she could have written something entirely fictional not based on any historical figure.
Also, no one but Bethia and early Caleb get any roundness to their character. None of the other characters were very deep after that point. Everything was pretty shallow. Things just got dull.
Then, the way the story ended just finalized my feelings. The story just stops after Bethia is let go from her duties at Cambridge and heads straight for her at death's doorstep. I hated this. Why even bother? It made the book so disjointed. What was the purpose? Why wouldn't you just end it somewhere ambiguous- this would have been better.
Altogether this book was not well put together. Brooks just seemed to be all over the place without knowing her real purpose for writing the story. I was not at all engaged after the first quarter of the book. I haven't read any of her other books, but this surely doesn't make me want to read any of her other books either....more
**spoiler alert** I think I, like many others, must have missed something, because the story just didn't come together in the end. Did I miss somethin**spoiler alert** I think I, like many others, must have missed something, because the story just didn't come together in the end. Did I miss something? Or is it just an incomplete book? I don't really know.
As much as I enjoyed her storytelling, as well as her writing, I really got lost toward the end. I want to give the story 4 stars because it was intriguing and mysterious, but so much so that it just left it completely murky at the end? Beautiful writing, but I didn't enjoy how hard it was to weave the tales together. They were very much disjointed. I got that the tiger's wife's sister was the woman the deathless man stole away from the butcher, but how did she become pregnant? What happened to the butcher. Why did the apothecary betray the grandfather? And why is this book CALLED the Tiger's wife- when she wasn't so central? And what was the point of having the granddaughter tell the story?
There are just so many question marks in the end. It makes it really an incomplete book/story to me. When I got to the end I just thought- this is all? Maybe some one else got more out of this book than I did- I'd love to understand more if there is more to understand. Please leave comments to explain!
Also, really amazing that this girl is 26. Had I read this book before knowing how old she is, I would have guess she was older. She writes beyond her age- very maturely and about topics not many that age have experienced much of: death, war, etc. As much as this book may have fizzled for me, I think she's a very promising author, and I'll be putting her on my follow list!...more
At times she was blunt and honest about her abilities and her plans. I enjoyed this book and the journey she went on. I also enjWhat I liked about it:
At times she was blunt and honest about her abilities and her plans. I enjoyed this book and the journey she went on. I also enjoyed how spirited she was to take on this journey on her own. She is truly an interesting person. I can relate to her a bunch of times throughout the read.
What I didn't like:
First, there were no photos of this amazing journey. Also, at times she sort of rambles. And while she's trying to make this a personal journey, it gets tiresome so I had to skim over some parts. Also, at times she gets a bit too emotional about things, which I guess is her way of relating to the audience, and while many probably relate to it, I felt like some of it was just overboard. I was more interested in the actual trail adventure. Maybe a little more focus on that. ...more
I'm giving this 4 stars just for the setting of the scene, the vivid detail to visual elements. I loved where it took my imagination. This is the onlyI'm giving this 4 stars just for the setting of the scene, the vivid detail to visual elements. I loved where it took my imagination. This is the only reason this book gets that. I think it could have been taken to another level with a stronger story line. The climax was a bit anti-climatic and the pace slowed in a bunch of places. When I started this book I had visions of Carnival (the show), but when I reached the middle it started to really slow and it became a bit harder to finish. Don't get me wrong, it was still interesting, but it lost its edge when it slowed. I enjoyed this book, I just think there's room for improvement. The characters could have been built a little bit more, the story could have been better developed. It's still a lovely book because it was still an interesting story in the least, even if it dragged a bit, and the visuals were amazing. I would give this book a read....more