The teaser in this book attracted me. A girl raised by wolves is found. Dr. Julia Gates does her utmost to draw Alice out, make her feel secure. I truThe teaser in this book attracted me. A girl raised by wolves is found. Dr. Julia Gates does her utmost to draw Alice out, make her feel secure. I truly enjoyed this part of the story. However, no documentation that Alice was raised by wolves emerged from the story. The "chick lit" adornments of iffy love affairs, Jacuzzi tubs and kisses with tongues didn't wow me. Ms. Hannah did a brilliant job building the trust between Julia and Alice.
I am not a sports person at all. The reviews of this non-fiction book persuaded me to give it a try. I loved it and recommended it to my local book grI am not a sports person at all. The reviews of this non-fiction book persuaded me to give it a try. I loved it and recommended it to my local book group.
It is a three-fold story. First, the crew team from Washington State from the years 1934-6. The psychology behind coaching this magnificent team is just as fascinating as reading how they slowly rose in their coach's estimation. Ultimate trust in one's fellow rower is the key.
Secondly, Joe Rantz, a boy kicked out of his home during the Depression, has to find himself. He lands on the crew team. Reading about his transformation, personality and struggles is gripping.
Third, the Olympics held in Berlin in 1936. The book describes what Hitler and the Nazi's hid from participating countries.
I highly recommend this eye-opening story. ...more
My local book group loved this memoir, but I felt they "read in" too many metaphors. The book is a memoir, not a novel. I thought of it more as a reflMy local book group loved this memoir, but I felt they "read in" too many metaphors. The book is a memoir, not a novel. I thought of it more as a reflection on a very difficult emotional journey, but Strayed's descriptions of her experience on the PCT were stunning. After reading Wild, I put aside all romantic and exciting images of hiking a mountain trail. The author told us every difficult, intimate detail. Kudos to this courageous woman.
I think the book examines what reality is. And so, each individual should interpret it for themselves, just as we interpret reality differently. ThereI think the book examines what reality is. And so, each individual should interpret it for themselves, just as we interpret reality differently. There are themes of loss of youth and time. It fuses reality and fantasy. Did Tara really spend six months/twenty years in a fairytale existence or was she confabulating (making up stories to compensate for memory loss)? (view spoiler)[ The last scene with the psychiatrist is very telling to me. Tara is dressed in professional clothing, so is not the Tara he knows and lo and behold, she winds up hypnotizing him. What is real in that scene? That he is wrong about her or that she know a reality he will never understand? She obviously has some mystical power because her boyfriend's tumor goes away when she leaves (to return to fairytale land, I think). (hide spoiler)] I still don't understand about the cat.
Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times By Jennifer Worth
You might think this book is about Jennifer Worth’s life as a midwife in a poor section of London, but that takes a second place to the fascinating stories she tells about the people she meets. Sociological issues about the East End Docklands during the 1950s are revealed through the triumphs of its amazing people, their poverty and deplorable living conditions. “Tolerant warm-heartedness has always been a hallmark of the Cockney way of life.” (p. 245) Worth relates amazing stories such as Conchita, mother of 24 children, who speaks no English and can’t communicate verbally with her husband.
In the Nonnatus house live midwives Jenny Lee, Trixie, Cynthia and Chummy (I longed to read more about her). Nuns who are nurses and midwives run the house. Sister Julienne has a quiet wisdom. Sister Evangeline, who has no sense of humor, elicits our laughter over her gruff exterior. Ethereal and delightful Sister Monica Joan always keeps us guessing about whether her observations of the cosmos result from senility or eccentricity. The grace and selfless love with which the nuns serve the Dockside people is touching, evidenced by their focus on God. Jenny Lee writes of Sister Julienne, “…her radiance had a spiritual dimension, owing nothing to the values of the temporal world.”
Worth holds nothing back in her descriptions of the birthing process. Particularly explicit are her accounts of the filth and smells local women bring into the convent house weekly free clinic. Those who enjoy the PBS Call the Midwife series (which just started its third season) will recognize many of the stories told here. Although the book takes us directly into the birthing room, it fails to penetrate the recesses of Jenny Lee’s heart. We see little personal development despite all of her experiences and she is constantly judgmental of her patients.
I recommend the book because of the fascinating stories of courageous people whose spirits soar despite the depravity of their lives.
Catherine the nun speaks to main character, Rachael, who has leprosy.
“Who can doubt the presence of god in the sight of men whom He has given wings…GoCatherine the nun speaks to main character, Rachael, who has leprosy.
“Who can doubt the presence of god in the sight of men whom He has given wings…God didn’t give man wings; He gave him the brain and the spirit to give himself wings. Just as he gave us the capacity to laugh when we hurt, or to struggle on when we feel like giving up.
“I’ve come to believe that how we choose to live with pain, or injustice, or death…is the true measure of the Divine within us. Some…choose to do harm to themselves and others. Others…bear up under their pain and help others to bear it.
I used to wonder why did God give children leprosy? Now I believe: God doesn’t give anyone leprosy. He gives us, if we choose to use it, the spirit to live with leprosy, and with the imminence of death. Because it is in our own mortality that we are most Divine.” ...more
The Dress Lodger is a daring, spine-tingling historical thriller set in England during the 1831 cholera scare. Prostitution, anatomic research, the hoThe Dress Lodger is a daring, spine-tingling historical thriller set in England during the 1831 cholera scare. Prostitution, anatomic research, the horror of street life, descriptions of corpses, and the gulf between poor and rich are graphically told.
Expecting to love this book, I soon discovered that I was both revolted by the honest but gruesome description and absolutely engaged with the writing style. Personally, I found the content abhorrent, but measuring an author’s craft is equally important in a review. The characterization of fifteen-year-old Gustine is a treasure of resourcefulness and hope. Ms. Holman begins the book with a narrative voice speaking directly to the readers. The voice is mysterious and engaging. “Dear readers, you…” We are summoned to describe, to draw conclusions, to judge.
The book is raw and dark. It is not for the faint of heart, but a discerning reader will appreciate how Holman can captivate her audience.
Give me a cottage in Scotland, a writer’s process as she researches her novel and I’m in heaven. I couldn’t resist downloading this historical fictionGive me a cottage in Scotland, a writer’s process as she researches her novel and I’m in heaven. I couldn’t resist downloading this historical fiction romance for my Kindle. Susanna Kearsley takes a pinch of gothic, adds genetic telepathy and the mystique of Scotland, sprinkles liberally with romance, binds it together with historical appeal and tada! A delectable concoction for readers seeking great storytelling.
Who better than an author to write a story about a writer’s craft? Woven together are many wonderful Scottish elements: winds sweeping through castle ruins, locals speaking in dialect, coal stoves, a dog named Angus, feeding twenty pence coins into the electric meter, a sea cave.
The book alternates between current day and early eighteenth century Scotland. Novelist, Carrie McClelland, rents a crofter’s cottage in Cruden Bay to be close to the remains of Slains Castle, home to her protagonist, Nathaniel Hooke. Hooke, a real historical figure was a leader in the first Jacobite rebellion of 1715. The castle and location give Carrie the perspective and insight she needs to create true-to-life characters. Despite writing into the wee hours of the morning and researching, Carrie has time to be attracted to her landlord’s youngest son.
Kearsley’s novel is enchanting, poignant and well-researched. If you want a vacation in Scotland at an affordable price, buy this book.
• Prior to reading The Winter Sea, I had no knowledge of this first of two Jacobite risings, called “The Fifteen.”
• In this age of ancestry.com, I appreciated the author’s mention of the International Genealogical Index, catalogued by the Mormons.
Reviewed by Holly Weiss Author of Crestmont ...more
A wonderful book for reading groups. I love Ann Patchett, but enjoyed this book less than Bel Canto and The Magician's Assistant. Her research (travelA wonderful book for reading groups. I love Ann Patchett, but enjoyed this book less than Bel Canto and The Magician's Assistant. Her research (travelled to the Amazon) was impeccable and the writing glorious.Her narrative is compelling and multi-layered. I was somewhat disappointed in the lack of character development. The development of characters in her writing is often subtle, but here I found it lacking. I was a bit disappointed in the one-dimensional Dr. Swenson. There is much fodder here for book group discussion as many questions remained unanswered. Ms. Patchett feeds the reader rich descriptive narrative with one hand and forces us to ponder with the other.
**spoiler** I have unanswered questions.
Why didn't Marina Singh write on her progress to Karen Eckman, who sent her to Brazil to investigate how her husband died?
Why did Marina take Easter's strong box with her when she left? Had he found his way back to the Lacashi tribe, that was his only tie to Anders Eckman, whom he loved. ...more
I admire author Michelle Moran greatly. She has a way of setting you immediately right into the time period she writes about. Many of the details abouI admire author Michelle Moran greatly. She has a way of setting you immediately right into the time period she writes about. Many of the details about what happened to Cleopatra's children were fascinating. The characters in this book, however, seemed wooden to me. I thought Selene's outrage at the treatment of slaves odd, since she grew up in her mother's palace, filled with slaves.