I kept wanting to skip to the end in this book! Definitely kept you on your toes. I would give it 3.5-4 stars, if it weren't for the language. I thougI kept wanting to skip to the end in this book! Definitely kept you on your toes. I would give it 3.5-4 stars, if it weren't for the language. I thought it gave real insight and understanding of domestic violence and abuse. I really liked the perspective of all the characters and how different each one was. Definitely a surprise ending. It really made you think-I like that kind of book. Especially seeing a situation with "new eyes". Oh Calamity....more
Loved this little book. Short 1-2 page chapters for a quick daily thought. It is easy to forget to remember! Remember is such a powerful word! So manyLoved this little book. Short 1-2 page chapters for a quick daily thought. It is easy to forget to remember! Remember is such a powerful word! So many hidden gems and quotes in this book. ...more
I loved this book! This was a compilation of stories and biographies from mothers all over. Some were famous and some ordinary. I would read one or twI loved this book! This was a compilation of stories and biographies from mothers all over. Some were famous and some ordinary. I would read one or two biographies a day and it was so uplifting and interesting! It made me want to be a better person and mother, and I found myself learning something new about myself or traditions I would want to incorporate into my family. ...more
2.5 stars. Eh....Too bad because it had so much potential. A coming of age story about an Irish working-class girl who immigrates all alone to Brookly2.5 stars. Eh....Too bad because it had so much potential. A coming of age story about an Irish working-class girl who immigrates all alone to Brooklyn set in the early 1950's. I was intrigued by the young woman Eilis leaving her home in Ireland to find a new life in America. I kept waiting for the conflict or something exciting to happen, but found it a little dull. When Eilis arrives in America, she gets a job and goes to school, meets an Italian American boy and they begin dating. (Although that didn't happen until 2/3 of the way through!) I really had a hard time relating to the main character-she just never seemed to make any decisions for herself. Eilis was reserved, passive and focused on doing what everyone expected of her at home in Ireland as well as in America. While I admired her and sympathized with her situation, the combination of naivety and aloofness was difficult to warm up to. I felt the author could have made it so much more interesting with some topics that were going on at the time in history. (African Americans being able to shop, work, go to school in public places, her professor was a Holocaust Survivor-that could have made for more mystery, an Irish Catholic girl dating an Italian, etc.) Towards the end of the story, Eilis is needed back at home because of a death in the family and she has to leave her new American life. Once she is home, she almost forgets her new life in America, and she has to make a decision whether to stay or go back.
Usually books tend to always be better than the movie, but I'll bet the movie is actually better! :)...more
This was a fascinating book! I especially enjoyed reading it during the Christmas season. It goes perfectly well with the classic tale, "A Christmas CThis was a fascinating book! I especially enjoyed reading it during the Christmas season. It goes perfectly well with the classic tale, "A Christmas Carol". Have you ever wondered why Scrooge was the way he was? How did he get to be so crabby? This is the sad tale of Jacob T. Marley and his part in shaping the old crusty, mean Ebeneezer Scrooge. At times, the story was truly heartbreaking, but a beautiful story of friendship, loyalty and forgiveness. I highly recommend. It is definitely thought provoking and perhaps even life changing:) Can't we all be a little more kind?
Some of my favorite quotes:
“Remorse is a heavy burden, but in its weight, it has great power to awaken men's souls.”
“Are spirits so involved in men's lives? Marley asked. Mankind is inolved in men's lives. We only help them know how. ...Jacob, all around you, every day, as you walk the miles of earth, there are calls to your spirit and to all others' spirits as well. They come from your fellow beings and from life itself: the way the sun highlights a tree, a bird song lilting across the morning, the smell of flowers. All these are for your joy, but also for more. They call you.” ...more
I was really intrigued by this book when I picked it up at the airport on an overlay. I hadn't heard of Laura Bridgman-the girl who lost all her senseI was really intrigued by this book when I picked it up at the airport on an overlay. I hadn't heard of Laura Bridgman-the girl who lost all her senses at the age of 2 except for the sense of touch. Everyone knows about Helen Keller, but I hadn't heard about this woman. She actually blazed the trail for Helen Keller and had encounters with Anne Sullivan. It was fascinating in the beginning and I thought the author did a good job of portraying Laura's character through the sense of touch. I can't imagine what it would be like to not hear, see, taste or smell. Laura was a feisty and somewhat spoiled child. Many people did not understand her and were afraid of her because she would touch them everywhere. All over their faces, inside their ears, eyes and nose. Many people shunned her because they were annoyed by her and there was no such thing as personal space. That was the only way she could discover who people were. The book starts when she is young and continues to tell her story as she grows into womanhood.
I had such hope for this book especially when it had such high reviews, but soon became very disenchanted when the book started to take some uncomfortable turns for me. I actually stopped reading it a third of the way through when I came upon some inappropriate sexual innuendos and scenarios. Why did the author feel the need to put that in there? Very disappointing. I am not finishing the book. ...more
3.5 stars. Cute young adult read. Fun mystery and interesting art history woven throughout. I enjoyed the friendship between the two girls and the adv3.5 stars. Cute young adult read. Fun mystery and interesting art history woven throughout. I enjoyed the friendship between the two girls and the adventures they had while solving the mystery filled with famous works of art, museums and WWII History. It reminded me of the book "From the mixed up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler", which I loved reading when I was younger....more
This book is about Lina, a 15-year old girl who is deported from Lithuania to Siberia in 1941. She and her mother and younger brother are separated frThis book is about Lina, a 15-year old girl who is deported from Lithuania to Siberia in 1941. She and her mother and younger brother are separated from their father and forced to work in a prison camp where they are treated inhumanely. It is historical fiction based upon real-life stories. This is a very fascinating look into a different side of WWII. We mostly hear only about the horrific terrors Hitler forced upon people, while Stalin's reign of terror was just as ghastly. In 1939, the Soviet Union occupied the Baltic States. Shortly thereafter, they drafted lists of people who were considered to be "anti-soviet" to be deported into prison camps or into slavery. I really had no idea about the Baltic people's genocide....it is not widely known, but after reading this book, I found it to be a very important part in history! This book can be read by YA audiences as well as older. It had many similarities to "The Diary of Anne Frank". The author used art and journal writing to reveal history and settings. This book was full of hope, kindness and love despite the adversity these poor people had to endure. One of my favorite quotes from the author was, “Whether love of friend, love of country, love of God, or even love of enemy—love reveals to us the truly miraculous nature of the human spirit.”...more
I feel strange writing a review about this book. How do you rate a book about something so horrific and truly disturbing? This poor woman went throughI feel strange writing a review about this book. How do you rate a book about something so horrific and truly disturbing? This poor woman went through hell. I applaud her for surviving and sharing her story. ...more
I always enjoy reading historical fiction. This was a captivating read and the author used rich story-telling and descriptive imagery. This is a loveI always enjoy reading historical fiction. This was a captivating read and the author used rich story-telling and descriptive imagery. This is a love story during the Holocaust in which characters Josef and Lenka meet as students in Prague in 1936 and fall instantly in love. Three years later, with Nazis crossing the border, they rush to marry, but circumstances then force them apart. Lenka remains in Europe, and Josef flees to America. For 61 years, each believes the other dead until they meet by chance at the wedding of their grandchildren, leading them to reflect on the past and the separate lives they've led: Josef ended up in New York, becoming a successful obstetrician because he was "tired of being haunted by death." Lenka wasn't so lucky. She was sent to a work camp, where her artistic talents connect her to "an underground network of painters illustrating the atrocities" of the Jewish ghettos. And then she's sent to, and survives, Auschwitz. This is a sad tale, but also full of hope. My only complaint about the book is Josef's constant reminiscing of the physical relationship between he and Lenka, it became rather cloying. ...more