While in a stall in the ladies' room during her aunt's funeral, Trudy overheard her cousins talking about her - how naive she was, how her husband was...moreWhile in a stall in the ladies' room during her aunt's funeral, Trudy overheard her cousins talking about her - how naive she was, how her husband was a cheat and had been for all their married life, and what a fool she was. That revelation in the ladies room changed the entire course of Trudy's life. After the shock of hearing this, Trudy took matters into her own hands, and the story commenced from there. It's a very sweet, funny, romantic book, a fast read and I enjoyed it very much. I'll check out some of the author's other books, as I enjoyed her writing style. (less)
This book had an unusual plot premise - the main character had a head injury after a fall, and lost 10 years of her memory. Totally. Thought she was p...moreThis book had an unusual plot premise - the main character had a head injury after a fall, and lost 10 years of her memory. Totally. Thought she was pregnant with her first child, when in fact she was the mother of 3 young children, and even after meeting them, she had no memory of any of them. It only gets more complicated, as she also learns that she is separated from her husband, they are in divorce proceedings, and she has only the excited memories of being pregnant and happily in love.
Everyone thinks her memory will return in a few days, but life goes on and she remains clueless. And, she is apparently at odds with various friends and family members and is again clueless about why they are no longer close.
I listened to the book on audio, and it was engaging and interesting. I enjoyed it. Good chic lit.
This book was an Amazon Prime monthly free download. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was an extremely well written first novel, and I found myself often c...moreThis book was an Amazon Prime monthly free download. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was an extremely well written first novel, and I found myself often checking the meaning of words I had never seen before. I look forward to the author's next novel.
In the vein of the PBS production of "I, Claudius", I Am Livia takes place in ancient Rome, covering many years of the whole Roman experience and characters known from history. The author herself was fascinated by the series, and it resulted in her taking up the study of ancient history, literature and art. In her novel she felt Livia had been unjustly maligned and has attempted to stick to actual historical facts. So I read it with great interest, not just for the story of Livia Druscilla and Caesar Augustus, considered the father and mother of Rome during its Golden Age, but for insight into ancient Roman history. Mark Antony and Cleopatra also play their roles in the story, although not in the romanticized Hollywood version. I'm inspired to go further into the historical record and to learn more about this tumultuous time in roman history.
I was conflicted about this book, and read it off and on over the course of a couple of months. The descriptions of India were clear and give a real s...moreI was conflicted about this book, and read it off and on over the course of a couple of months. The descriptions of India were clear and give a real sense of the place, the smells, the sounds, the crowds of people, and the culture, which was all good. It was well written.
On the other hand, the use of the Indian language found liberally throughout the book, as though we knew what was meant, was frustrating to me. I was using my Kindle, and sometimes the translation could be found by selecting the word to look up the meaning, but other times the word was not available, and so I would just move on. This happened often, time and again, which is one reason I was not engaged enough in the story to see it to the end until today. When I did reach the end, I found that there is a 10 page alphabetical glossary of translations! This would have been useful during the reading, but afterwards served no purpose other than to annoy me. Reading the story in book format would have worked out well. I would have noticed the glossary and used it throughout, but I had no idea it was there in the digital format. (less)
I listened to this book in my car, so I spent a while getting through it. Not the fault of the book, however. This is my first book by this author, an...moreI listened to this book in my car, so I spent a while getting through it. Not the fault of the book, however. This is my first book by this author, and I was very impressed with his writing. A great author.
What intrigued me is that this is a fictionalized book about two real brothers who lived their entire lives in a mansion in New York City across from Central Park. They began their lives at the turn of the 20th century as normal, lively children of wealthy parents who had a beautiful home, many servants, and held glittering dinner parties. The story is told in Homer's voice, as late in life he told of the daily lives of the brothers. Circumstances changed following the death of their parents. Homer began losing his sight, and was totally blind by the time he was a young adult. His brother Langley was gassed in World War I. This changed them over both over time into hermits who eventually never left their home. Langley was a paranoid hoarder who completely packed their home with numerous stacks of newspapers piled to the ceilings, with every imaginable piece of human detritus, from pianos to garden spades to lamps to typewriters to a whole automobile reassembled in the dining room - over time resulting in narrow paths as the only means of getting through.
I admit to feeling an urgent need early on in the story to start purging my OWN crowded basement. It is a very dramatic story that can't help but leave you changed. The ending was extremely powerful to me. I had to listen again, and it is still haunting me.
This was a free Kindle download. Given that I had no investment in the book, I should be more generous in my rating, but it was disturbing. The viscer...moreThis was a free Kindle download. Given that I had no investment in the book, I should be more generous in my rating, but it was disturbing. The visceral language and the utter physical brutality were unsettling. I do most of my reading before going to sleep, and although it was a quick read, I long for an engaging and captivating book.
The very improbability of how all the pieces fell into place was a fantasy. An author's imagination is a good thing, but unless we're reading science fiction or fairy tales, the storyline should be believable, the characters with normal human abilities, and the events should happen with the normally expected angst, missteps, bumps in the road, and near misses. That's not what happens here. I won't be reading the sequel.(less)
It's been a long time since I read a book that had so much of an impact on me. It was definitely a page turner. Once I actually started to read it, I...moreIt's been a long time since I read a book that had so much of an impact on me. It was definitely a page turner. Once I actually started to read it, I flew through in 3 days. The writing is excellent, the storyline consuming, and the characters fully developed. The drama of the book became so intense at one point that I had to stop reading and do something else for a few minutes while I calmed down.
I'd like to share a quote that made me smile. Marina, the main character, has had her personal luggage swiped by the friendly Lakashi tribespeople as soon as her boat pulled up to the dock. Adding insult to injury, the very clothes on her back were taken away the following day and she was left with one of the tribal women's loose dresses. "She was certain one of the men was wearing a pair of her pants rolled up at the cuffs. Pieces of her clothing walked by her from time to time and there was nothing to do but watch them pass."
I rarely ever reread a book of fiction, but in the case of this book, I think I will make an exception. I loved it.(less)