In the spirit of full disclosure I should let you know I love Adriana Trigiani to a near stalker extent. I would read, and I’m sure love, anything she...moreIn the spirit of full disclosure I should let you know I love Adriana Trigiani to a near stalker extent. I would read, and I’m sure love, anything she wrote. If she would be so kind as to send me her cast of grocery lists I would be a happy girl. That being said it should come as no surprise to anyone when I say I adored this book. But even more so than just as an AT (yes, that’s how cool I am I call her AT) novel but a a truly magical story.
From the mountains of Italy to backstage at the Metropolitan Opera House to the Iron Mountains on Minnesota this in both a sweeping immigrants tale and an intimate love story. And every word of it held me spellbound. If I could properly convey the sighs I’ve made when talking about this book I would. It really is remarkable.
Here’s the thing that got me for the first section of the book. You know the main characters are going to end up together, it’s there in the title. But at every missed connection as was heart-broken. Enza and Ciro are destined for each other and I wanted that destiny to hurry up. When it finally does it’s so satisfying I have to admit it was worth the wait.
The other thing I found amazing about this book, is just have brave those souls who left everything to make a new life were. I mean the characters in this book are babies, 15 years old for goodness sake. We don’t even let our 15 year olds drive let alone set sail across the globe, alone to make their way in the world. Honestly, those of us with grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents, etc. who did this come from hardy stock and should be proud to the end of time at what they did.
The loving care AT tells her grandparents story is a testament to just how much their story shapes her family’s history and makes me love her all the more. (Don’t worry I won’t really stalk her-well at least I’ll try).
There’s so much to love about this story. All the characters are fantastic. Enza’s friend Laura is a friend we all should have. Ciro’s brother Eduardo is as good a man that has been written. The nuns who care for the Lazzari brothers are warm and wonderful and Enza’s family is so loving and caring you’ll understand how Enza turned out so well.
I made a promise I was not going to reread books this year because my TBR stack is so big but I think I may have to break it for this. All I can say is thank you Adriana Trigini for becoming a writer and thank you to her grandparents for inspiring such a wonderful story. Now, all of you hurry out and buy a copy-you won’t be sorry.
Thanks to my boyfriend Edeweiss for my review copy of The Shoemaker’s Wife. (less)
Hurray, hurray, hurray Maisie’s back and she’s just as wonderful as I’d hoped she’d be. The thing I love about this series is the depth of which we ge...moreHurray, hurray, hurray Maisie’s back and she’s just as wonderful as I’d hoped she’d be. The thing I love about this series is the depth of which we get to know Maisie and cheer for her happiness and success. But more on that later, first I want to talk about the mystery because this one was first rate. As Maisie looks into the death of Eddie Pettit she finds herself learning more about up coming world events then she ever hoped to know. I have to admit I was kept guessing the whole time and when it was resolved I was thoroughly (but sadly) satisfied with the outcome. With past, but not all, Maisie stories they mystery isn’t always the thing but in this case the mystery was worthy of, I think, a Christie nod. Maisie is at her best when she observes and makes logical leaps in thought and that’s just what she did here. From the first sad death until the final summation all the pieces fit together very well and make perfect sense.
Now, as for our girl Maisie. One of the things I love about Maisie is she’s a complicated, very real, person trying to figure out who she is and what her place is in the (and her) New World Order. My heart always cries a little as Maisie tries to fit between two worlds, even as the old world of class is dying out. I always worry about giving away too much in a review, especially when I’m not sure how far along in the series anyone is. So, let’s just say Maisie’s love life is complicated and she’s still trying to find her way. I don’t know what camp anyone else is in but I’m firmly in the “I like who she’s with now” camp. Wasn’t that a nice “not” giving it away??
There other thing that sticks out in this story and is still making me think is what I’d be willing to do or accept for the greater good. There are things that must be done in order to keep order and I don’t think I want to know too much about it. As Maisie learns knowing is an awful burden. It makes her question what is right and wrong in the grand scheme of things. It made me question too. Could I accept the “good of the many out-weighing the good of the few”. Maisie handles it better than I could.
There were only trace amount of WWI in this outing but the specter of WWII is looming ahead. Churchill makes an appearance and there’s a good chance he’s going to take notice of Maisie’s unique abilities. I still worry about Billy leaving for Canada but less so this time (though I’m not altogether happy about the reason) and the lovely Sandra is back proving herself indispensable. Happily Pris is back and her husband Douglas plays an important part in this story. I’m always relieved Maisie’s father is hail and hardy and even having a little romance of his own. I only missed Lady Rowen and hope in the next installment she makes an appearance.
Here’s the only thing I didn’t like about Elegy for Eddie. It’s over, I’m all done reading it. Now I have to wait until the next installment, sigh.
I really loved this one. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite (the first stands separate to me) but this one is pretty high up. If your lucky enough to be starting the series new, I envy you. I know you’ll be happy when you get to this one. I can’t wait to see what’s next. I’m sorry Ms. Winspear, I know you’re out there supporting this wonderful book but I hope your working on the next installment…….and the sooner the better for my sanity. I can wait, I know I can wait. sigh……..(less)
The entire time I was reading this book I didn’t know whether or not I liked it. I knew it was well written but I didn’t know what I thought of it. It...moreThe entire time I was reading this book I didn’t know whether or not I liked it. I knew it was well written but I didn’t know what I thought of it. It wasn’t until I was finished and really thought about it that I knew just how much I liked it. And the more and more I thought about it the more and more I liked it.
The funny thing is this book reminded me of grown up Catcher in the Rye. Now, first let me say it’s been about 150 years since I’ve read Catcher in the Rye. When I was in High School it was one of my favorite books but I can’t bring myself to read in again. I have a feeling if I were to read it today I would just think Holden Caulfield was a whiny, pretentious teenager who needs a swift kick. And I don’t want to fall out of love so I just can’t reread it, you know what I mean?
Anyway, it’s not that the narrator is annoying or whiny but there’s something about the feel of this book that made me think of how I remember Catcher in the Rye felt. I guess you could say they both have an unreliable narrator, though Tony-the narrator of Ending-admits from the beginning that these are his memories and they could be skewed.
There were times I felt what I was told happened and what actually happened were two completely different things. And in the end that’s part of what I really liked about it. That’s how someone’s story should be. We shouldn’t see all sides of a persons story when they’re ones telling it. I didn’t always like many of the characters but I appreciated who they were. We meet them and get to know them when they’re teenagers. They’re at the time in life when the know everything, think far deeper, and feel much more than anyone on the planet. (this is said with a heavy roll of the eyes-really sometimes there’s nothing like a teenager to make you want to kick another human being) So, I knew I wasn’t suppose to always love them. But, you could see the people they could become.
I don’t want to give too much of the plot away because this is one of those stories you really need to let unfold in front of you. And Tony is a character I found myself liking more and more as I got to know him. I appreciated seeing how you’re not the person you are when you’re young. I loved the whole idea of Tony’s sense of an ending, realizing he’s getting farther away from his youth and closer to “the end”. The way he deals with the person he was and the person has become it what was makes me think about this story even now a couple of months sense I’ve read it.
This is an incredibly short book. At only 176 pages it’s a really fast read yet it’s packed with story, characters, and so many layers. I’ll guarantee you’ll feel like you’ve read a much longer book. I can see why this book has gotten all the praise it’s gotten. This is one of those smart books without trying too hard. You’ll really feel like you’ve read something special. I haven’t read any of Barnes’ other works but after this I’m certainly going to be reading more.(less)
The three generations of Slocumb women worry about what will happen every 15 years. Ginny or Big got pregnant with Liza at 15, Liza got pregnant at 15...moreThe three generations of Slocumb women worry about what will happen every 15 years. Ginny or Big got pregnant with Liza at 15, Liza got pregnant at 15, so they both are keeping a close eye on Mosey as she nears her 15th year. That doesn’t stop their world from being turned upside down. And they each struggle to keep their world together.
I really loved each of the Slocumb women. I appreciated Big wasn’t made into a model parent at age 15, sadly Liza suffered and struggled and, of course, became a teen parent herself. Liza is not a perfect parent ether but is really shown as becoming the better parent before being tragedy hit. But what I appreciated the most in this story was Mosey. So often teenagers are wise beyond their years able to put their thoughts and feeling into poetic terms. That wasn’t our Mosey, she was wise and grown up in the way many girls raised in unconventional circumstance are without being precocious. Along with her friends she seemed to be a real kid.
I don’t have much real world experience with what happens when someone has a stroke but the way Jackson wrote Liza and had Liza try to find her way out and still deal with her past just rang so true. It was so moving and honest. I couldn’t help but root and hope for the best for all the Slocumb women.
Where has Joshilyn Jackson been all my life? How did I miss her books? I’m fixing that already. I have Backseat Saints sitting on my shelf and I can’t wait to get to it. And I think I’m off right now to order the rest of her library. Oh, and I just have to say again-the cover is just beautiful.(less)