This book is worth mentioning for its unique take on alternate lives/time travel. (For my favorite look at alternate lives so far, see My Real ChildreThis book is worth mentioning for its unique take on alternate lives/time travel. (For my favorite look at alternate lives so far, see My Real Children.) Greta is unable to cope with her grief over her twin brother's death and her subsequent breakup with her long-term boyfriend, so she submits to electroshock therapy (or whatever the modern terminology is). Somehow, with each treatment she has, she ends up in 1918 or 1941, where the Greta of that period also has electroshock therapy. The fascinating part is that Greta isn't the same in each timeline. While we only meet the 1985 Greta, it's clear that the other Gretas, while similar in personality and with identical families, are slightly different. My interpretation was that they were all a product of their times - the end of WWI, the beginning of WWII, and in the midst of what Greta treats like a war on AIDs. These events, plus the different tragedies the Gretas face in their own lives, shape them differently, so the same pattern creates a slightly different woman. As the 1980s Greta travels from time to time and evaluates her priorities (and therefore which time she wants to remain in when her treatments are over), it's impossible not to wonder what one would choose in her place.
And speaking of impossible - are her titular lives impossible because they couldn't happen, or because she finds a situation in each one that she finds impossible to live with?
I say it a lot, but that's because I look for books like this and am happy when I find them - thought-provoking stuff!...more
Oh wow, this one got me! I have to get it out of the way... It had a similar feel to Twilight in that this Edwardian (har har) guy has a big secret frOh wow, this one got me! I have to get it out of the way... It had a similar feel to Twilight in that this Edwardian (har har) guy has a big secret from his girlfriend that might put her in danger, plus they're completely obsessed with each other. And they work on Wall Street, which made me think of Fifty Shades of Grey. But there the comparison stops!
Because the writing was great. The story was both complex and simple all at once. The romance seemed so ridiculously sappy and over-the-top, but it made sense with the old-fashioned nature of Julian, plus Kate stood her own. Many times you almost want to dismiss Julian as an archaic, overprotective masochist, but as new facts are revealed, his character is redeemed. Even though they often felt two-dimensional, I still got sucked into caring about Julian and Kate. A lot of that was probably thanks to the fantastic dialogue. Even though their love felt almost impossible for the real world, their conversations and fights rang true.
I thought this book was quite insightful about the power of historians... and love. It also had interesting things to say about the circularity of time, the futility of tempting fate, and the power of the written word even after a century.
This one didn't wow me as much as the first one, just because it felt mostly like a bridge to the third book. A lot of the "whys" behind certain mainThis one didn't wow me as much as the first one, just because it felt mostly like a bridge to the third book. A lot of the "whys" behind certain main story events weren't explained very well, but I did enjoy the characters, including the addition of Xemerius, the ghost of a gargoyle demon type thing. The epilogue hints that the third book will be quite interesting, though!...more
This book was a HUGE struggle for me. It took me so long to read that my checkout expired and I had to wait to check it out again. I think the premiseThis book was a HUGE struggle for me. It took me so long to read that my checkout expired and I had to wait to check it out again. I think the premise was awesome, and I really enjoyed the first few and last few chapters. However, I found it very difficult to keep up with the politics in the middle section and was just thinking too hard to enjoy it. Also, military operations and intelligence strategy just aren't areas of interest for me, and probably 80% of the book revolved around just that. Don't get me wrong, it was well written, and if I hadn't recognized the merits I probably wouldn't have finished it or given it more than 1 star. I think it would be the perfect book for a certain kind of reader; I was just disappointed that reader isn't me....more
A really cute concept, though disappointingly predictable. Still, I did enjoy it for the uniqueness, the writing wasn't bad, I liked the heroine and hA really cute concept, though disappointingly predictable. Still, I did enjoy it for the uniqueness, the writing wasn't bad, I liked the heroine and her love interest, and the ending was cute. So all in all, pretty standard chick lit. Not a standout, but not a waste of time either....more
I was getting pretty worn out by the Outlander series, and I'm not entirely sure why I keep reading it. I barely made it through A Breath of Snow andI was getting pretty worn out by the Outlander series, and I'm not entirely sure why I keep reading it. I barely made it through A Breath of Snow and Ashes. However, I really enjoyed An Echo in the Bone. Perhaps the story was more interesting because they moved from the nowhere of Fraser's Ridge (where absolutely nothing ever happened) to Quebec/Saratoga/Philadelphia (while the Revolutionary War was going on). There was much more in the way of suspense and strangely interlocking plots, which made it a compelling read. And like most Outlander novels, the last 100 pages took the book from moderately engaging to an absolute page-turner.
I fin myself looking forward to the next one again, rather than resigning myself to it. Although it hasn't been announced, it's clear there will be another--there is a giant cliffhanger that I know Gabaldon won't leave unfinished....more