A page and a half into The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh, I said to my sister, "I feel like Columbus! I've made a discovery." OK, that might have beenA page and a half into The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh, I said to my sister, "I feel like Columbus! I've made a discovery." OK, that might have been a bit of hyperbole, but finding this exquisite novel did feel like a major discovery.
I loved everything about it ... the story line, the lyrical use of language, the characters (even supporting characters are fully developed and fascinating). About halfway through it, I found myself slowing down because I didn't want to be done, but I still finished it in about twenty-four hours.
I rarely keep books any more -- I read them and pass them along, to make room for new books. But Moon Sisters will have a place on my shelves until I die....more
Adultery left me cold. First, I didn't find the main character believable as a woman -- she sounded like a man's fantasy of what a woman who was williAdultery left me cold. First, I didn't find the main character believable as a woman -- she sounded like a man's fantasy of what a woman who was willing to have an affair would be like. Second, I couldn't relate to her. She spent the first half of the book explaining how perfect her life was and how perfect her husband was (and he WAS -- a real Mary Sue of a husband, and Bill Gates wealthy to boot) and how it made no sense whatsoever for her to have an affair ... and I agreed with her. Her decision to have an affair just because made her look cold and shallow. Finally, the ending was completely unbelievable. Again -- a man's fantasy of how an affair might end. I don't know who the target audience here is, but it's not me....more
I'll admit I was determined not to like this book. I probably picked it up five times in a bookstore and left without it. It was recommended at leastI'll admit I was determined not to like this book. I probably picked it up five times in a bookstore and left without it. It was recommended at least three times by friends whose opinion I respect. I even put it on hold at the library once, carried it around for three weeks, and never opened it.
Two things about the story biased me against it. One was the incredible buzz. This is a character failing in me, I know, because often the buzzed books are phenomenal (Kite Runner and Running With Scissors come to mind). But still, there it is. There have been so many times I finally broke down and read the book everyone was talking about it ... only to be disappointed. So it takes a lot for the latest-craze book to convince me to actually read it.
My second bias was against the author herself. As a former credentialed journalist, it's very, very difficult for me to take self-styled "reporters" seriously. And I'd heard enough to know that Amanda Lindhout was not what I would call a real journalist.
However, I was completely won over by this incredible story of spirit and survival amid atrocious suffering. No matter what I think about how foolish Lindhout was to go to Somalia in the first place, her actions once captured were truly heroic.
On a scale with Viktor Frankl.
I finished the book in the Emergency Waiting room, while I waited for a CT scan to see if I had a brain aneurysm. I sat in excruciating pain, amid a crowd of suffering people, and realized how very lucky we all were to be there.
Thanks, Amanda. You are truly an amazing woman, and a source of enormous inspiration for me....more
The Secret Place is the fifth book in the fabulous Dublin Murder Squad series -- and it's my favorite since The LikeneTana French never lets me down.
The Secret Place is the fifth book in the fabulous Dublin Murder Squad series -- and it's my favorite since The Likeness (#2).
I loved the posh boarding school setting. Loved the tight-knit group of friends who've created family for themselves. Loved, as always, the complexity of the characters, and the fact that the story is character-driven.
OK, fine. I simply adore Tana French, and everything she writes....more
This is NOT an easy book to read. Because the stories intermingle and the scenes jump around in time, the reader has to stay alert just to follow theThis is NOT an easy book to read. Because the stories intermingle and the scenes jump around in time, the reader has to stay alert just to follow the story. Life After Life was as difficult to follow as The Time Traveller's Wife, and that book had an added element of confusion because there were two timelines to keep track of. After a hundred pages of so, I found myself constantly flipping back to earlier chapters to confirm details, and I kept a second bookmark in the Table of Contents, so I could quickly and easily find the chapter I needed.
Also, I have to say -- by Page 50, I was furious at the book. The premise -- that Ursula is born and dies, then reborn to live a little longer, over and over again -- felt like a shtick.
However, you'll notice I have given the book five stars. Furious though I was, I was also intrigued, and well and fully hooked. As the story progressed, I became more and more invested in Ursula and more and more willing to suspend credibility and accept the premise. And then, the story became fascinating. I've always been interested in how one small choice (e.g. which path to take home) can change the course of a lifetime, and once Ursula figures out that her odd moments of deja vu might actually be real, she has the chance to change those choices.
I wanted to make a flow chart of all the different lives, and the specific choices that led to different paths. I may yet do that on a second reading. It's that kind of book. One to study, rather than just read.
It doesn't hurt that Atkinson's use of language is lyrical and rich in imagery. This is the first book I've read by her, but I will definitely read more. Atkinson is a world class storyteller....more
Delightful -- and heartbreaking -- book that shows what it might feel like to be trapped inside a brain sliding into Alzheimer's. Elizabeth is MissingDelightful -- and heartbreaking -- book that shows what it might feel like to be trapped inside a brain sliding into Alzheimer's. Elizabeth is Missing is crafted with love and honesty....more