Confessions of a book club enthusiast: I have to be honest, this book took me a few chapters to really get into. It's funny. I've been learning about Confessions of a book club enthusiast: I have to be honest, this book took me a few chapters to really get into. It's funny. I've been learning about something called counter-will. I hear about it at parenting classes. Lots of times, we can bring out our children's counter-will just by telling them to do something. It's like they feel the loss of choice and rebel against it. I find it in myself all the time. We are reading this book for book club. I find my counter-will rising almost every time I have to read a book for book club. I choose to be in book club, but somehow, that little loss of choice irks me every time. It was worse this time. We have a limited supply of this book, just 2 for 10 people. So we have to read it and share it as quickly as possible. That makes 2 marks against it. I have to read it fast, and I have to read it period. Honestly, I love book club, I love being apart of it. Talking about books that a bunch of other women have read and so have I, um yes, I'm there every time. It's just something I have to work out every month.
This book was actually really good, but I had to wrestle with myself to read it for the first 2 days I had in my possession. It felt like homework. Luckily, that feeling flew away when the action heated up. And heat up it did! Once this book got rolling, it was super fast-paced. But what I appreciated the most about this book was it's balance. This book had that in spades. Often, I find that an action-adventure/love-story will be rushed and won't feel real. This book really focused on what abuse does to a woman, what a traumatic experience can do to a child, and what it takes to recover from those things. I really appreciated that. It also didn't drag the book down, it buoyed it up. So for this book and the many other's I've "had to read," I say, thank you book club!...more
More plot holes than a connect 4 board! I understand that romance fiction is not renown for its high quality writing. I do. But I have enjoyed a few ChMore plot holes than a connect 4 board! I understand that romance fiction is not renown for its high quality writing. I do. But I have enjoyed a few Christian romances in my time. This one has an incredible amount of plot holes. Just because I read a romance novel, does not mean I don't have a brain. I expect a story to be at least a little plausible.
Donovan's goddaughter is 7, he left Denver only 5 years ago (usually godparents are assigned at the Christening), he had a job in Europe? Where in Europe? Ariane speaks English with no hint that she may be bilingual, so England maybe? No hint at an accent either once she finally starts talking. What kind of a "job" would want a high school grad to move from Denver all the way to "Europe"? Is it really logical that a girl from "Europe" who refuses to speak would make friends so quickly in school?
I was actually so upset after I finished reading this book that I wrote the author a letter. I'd read some of her other books, but this one really took the cake. ...more
I have been waiting for my copy of this book for months! I've been so excited for it. Mostly this is because I know the author. Darrel Nelson taught mI have been waiting for my copy of this book for months! I've been so excited for it. Mostly this is because I know the author. Darrel Nelson taught me in school, his wife is in my book club and we go to church together. This also made me a teensy bit worried. What if I didn't like it? I guess I could have pretended I didn't read it. Look the other way when he tried to make eye contact. Well, I'm here to tell you, that it is with a great sense of ease, relief and excitement, that, it's good. It's really good.
The story starts in the present with Adam and Elizabeth celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary with their anniversary waltz. The story then jumps to Adam coming home from serving in the Armed Forces after WWII. It's a story of how they met, and the challenges they faced coming together.
The characters felt genuine, true and they were smart. The main character Adam was a good mixture of toughness, brains and sentimentality, really a perfect gentleman. Elizabeth was fun, feisty and a little flirty, just enough to keep us interested. The story was multidimensional, with equal parts of bitter and sweet. The post-war era felt real, I could picture the town and it's occupants in my mind. This was a really nice read. Now all I have to do is wait for his next book :)...more
This novel is unique for a couple of reasons. First, is the format. This book switches POV back and forth from Michael and Leesie. Her POV is either wThis novel is unique for a couple of reasons. First, is the format. This book switches POV back and forth from Michael and Leesie. Her POV is either written as her personal poetry or as chat logs or, sometimes, as a combination of the two. Her poetry was pretty good, not awesome, but not bad. I found the chat logs to be a little too kitschy, I would have preferred to read just a first person point of view, but whatever. Michael's story was told through his dive logs, which I guess is fancy talk for a journal. Which, in the end, is just a clumsy way to deliver first person POV. Those were easier to read, but I hated him, so that didn't really help.
The second reason this story is unique, is that the main girl character is a Mormon (like myself). I mean, really a Mormon. The "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet made an appearance (if you don't know what that is google it.) This is the first book I've read that has a major Mormon character, was intended for a main steam audience, AND was published by a major publisher. This book was published by Razor Bill. Holy Horses. Morrison did a good job of explaining LDS (aka Mormon) Speak and other nuances like Branch President, Stake House and what "formal dress" means for Mormons. It also, surprisingly, didn't bog down the text, which I always imagined would be a problem. So, good job there.
However, like I said before, I hated one of the main characters. That took a lot of the enjoyment out of the reading. Michael loses his entire family at the start of the novel, and spends the rest of it with post traumatic stress disorder. I think we're supposed to cut him a break because of it. I do feel for the guy, but no excuse is good enough for the way he treats Leesie.
The main theme in this book is not grief, like you would think, it's sex. It's a classic will she or won't she, with a Mormon twist. I was very disappointed. It seemed like this novel could have shifted focus away from sex to explore some other issues. The main reason that Michael is getting my ire is that he puts some major pressure on Leesie. "Show me that you love me." What a jerk. Then Leesie feels guilty when she doesn't give in. He doesn't deserve her guilt. I realize that his behavior is plausible, and perhaps typical, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.
At the end of the day, I'm not sure if I would recommend this book. It landed somewhere in the middle for me. I didn't hate it, but I have no love for it either....more
OOoh, I really liked this one. Sara Zarr just understood my teen years. OK so my mom was not an alcoholic, and my dad was not a preacher. But my mom wOOoh, I really liked this one. Sara Zarr just understood my teen years. OK so my mom was not an alcoholic, and my dad was not a preacher. But my mom was sick and I felt like that was something we didn't talk about and I didn't know why. I really connected with this novel for those reasons, and also, it was just nice to read a well written novel. This one is about faith, losing it, finding it and about family. It reminds us that what families look like from the outside, are not necessarily what they feel like on the inside. If you're worried about reading "Christian Fiction" you needn't be worried about reading this one. It is not overly preachy and it really centers on faith, who hasn't questioned something they believed in before? It's a novel for everyone. ...more