When Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told that it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is lau...moreWhen Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told that it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is launched on a winding and perilous journey into the history of her ancestor Giulietta, whose legendary love for a young man named Romeo rocked the foundations of medieval Siena. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families immortalized in Shakespeare’s unforgettable blood feud, she begins to realize that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is the next target. It seems that the only one who can save Julie from her fate is Romeo—but where is he?05.06.2012:==========This book is a somewhat entertaining modern day re-telling of the story of Romeo and Juliet, complete with warring families, a look at Italian history, and, of course, love. The story alternates between long passages telling the ancient story, and Julie's passionate relationship with Allesandro--Romeo. Her sister Janice joins her and the danger ramps up as the sisters close in on the prize. They can't depend on any friend or foe being who he seems to be. Harrowing scenes play out in the bone-filled crypts and ancient waterways far beneath the city of Siena, and in the Piazza del Campo where the historic Palio (horserace) is run.I found the fictional old story fascinating, and I loved the romantic setting in Tuscany where memories are long and the events of six hundred years ago are still so alive in the buildings, the art, and the hearts of the people. This novel also has an intriguing mystery and adventure component that pulls you into that beautiful and ancient world Siena, Italy. It leaves you wondering and questioning and hanging on every written word up until the very end.(less)
I rated here the book as four stars but the real rate is 3.5 stars. Isabel Allende tells the story ( and really she is a storyteller) about the lives a...moreI rated here the book as four stars but the real rate is 3.5 stars. Isabel Allende tells the story ( and really she is a storyteller) about the lives and loves and troubles of a family in a country in South America. Although the story is beautifully written (although the images sometimes are a little bit forced, but maybe that is just my dutch translation), I didn't feel it was a superb book. Here's why. The caracters are two-dimensional. Reading the book I could guess where the story was going and the main reason is that the caracters are to logical. In given her caracters limited space to move beyond the expected Isabel Allende isn't doing her story a favour and that's a real pity because otherwise I really enjoyed escaping in the book for a couple of hours. A good book that could have been great. The magic aspect is seen throughout the book, especially in the character of Clara the clairvoyant. Magic is treated as commonplace and very real. Only in magic realism can a mother bathe her daughter or give food to the poor just as easily as predict the future and move things with her mind. Only in magic realism can a Senator vehemently oppose Marxism within the walls of Congress as well as shrink daily due to a curse. (less)
I like the way that Nicholas Sparks write. This is the story of how an ideal love can falter, despite its purity and strength. Not every romance resul...more I like the way that Nicholas Sparks write. This is the story of how an ideal love can falter, despite its purity and strength. Not every romance results in a happy ending, but with a great deal of luck, those who don't survive will find meaning from the experience. Love, loyalty, friendship--all those sentiments are great, but to what cost? And how does this make a good man great? This is John's journey to that understanding. My gripe is that I didn't feel the chemistry between John and Savannah. It rung true as first love, certainly. But I never felt the pull between this couple as I have between most of Sparks other couples. I truly feel that the stregnth of this book lies in the story of the relationship between John and his father. Savannah's biggest contribution is what she did for that relationship. In that father/son relationship lay all the beauty that I've come to expect from Sparks. (less)
Like water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. English translation from Spanish. This delicious story of love, family, fate and food is enthralling. Esqu...moreLike water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. English translation from Spanish. This delicious story of love, family, fate and food is enthralling. Esquivel, a Mexican resident, does a brilliant job on this her first novel. This book tells a tale of Tita who is unable to marry her true love due to unjust family tradition.The story develops to reveal the pain suffered by Tita in struggling to live without her soulmate and having to live with in oppression due to her old fashioned mother.Narrated in the third person this story is fairly comprehensible although it moves quickly so reading it more than once allows for better understanding. This book is outstanding as it is unique, the journey of unrequited love is captivating. The Mexican setting is easy to visualise because of the detail used in describing the food and people.the story is set at the time of the Mexican Revolution(1910 to 1920) which adds to the atmosphere of the book. Tita as the main character is likeable as she is an interesting, lively character with extreme talent for cooking. Tita deserves a lot of sympathy in the story as she is the victim. One of Tita's two sisters, Rosaura, is the quiet , shy type. She became a bother to the plot , she was placed in a bad situation but she is not an evil person.Gertrudis, Tita's other sister is a free spirited soul who rebels against all restrictions. Gertrudis brings an element of shock or surprise to the story which makes her likeable. The male lead and love interest of Tita, Pedro is highly passionate but acts at times submissive as he is not strong enough to stop circumstances. The villain of the story is arguably Mama Elena. As the mother of the three girls, this tyrant woman is dislikeable as she ruins the lives of nearly every character. Esquivel has created such a believable character in this bitter selfish woman. I liked this book! It was filled with emotions, you could taste, smell, feel and see the characters lives unfolding. I liked the magical touch too. The truth is that I would like a different end to this book, but I have ti live with the author decided to write.(less)
Product Description The Woman in White (1859-60) is the first and greatest "Sensation Novel." Walter Hartright's mysterious midnight encounter with the...moreProduct Description The Woman in White (1859-60) is the first and greatest "Sensation Novel." Walter Hartright's mysterious midnight encounter with the woman in white draws him into a vortex of crime, poison, kidnapping, and international intrigue. This new critical edition is the first to use the original manuscript of the novel. John Sutherland examines Collins's contribution to Victorian fiction, traces his practices as a creator of plot, and provides a chronology of the novel's complicated events.
Louisa May Alcott wrote many books, but "Little Women" retains a special place in the heart of American literature. Her warmly realistic stories, sens...moreLouisa May Alcott wrote many books, but "Little Women" retains a special place in the heart of American literature. Her warmly realistic stories, sense of comedy and tragedy, and insights into human nature make the romance, humor and sweet stories of "Little Women" come alive. The story of four sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy is one that will forever be a part of American liteary culture. Set in the mid-1800s in a small New England town, Louisa May Alcott invites the reader into the home of these four sisters as they deal with the struggles of having a father off fighting in the Civil War, having to mature and grow up supporting themselves with little jobs here and there and finding out about the joys of love, children, and the sadness of death. This coming of age novel follows Jo mainly as she is faced with the day to day choices that will help her sisters and mother make it through the harsh New England winters. My nana gave this book to me and I hope to continue on the tradtion of passing this book on. It's a wonderful book to be shared by mothers and daughter and granddaughters alike since it shows the true spirit of women. (less)
Well I am done with the re-read of this book. Yes I read it as a teenager and I loved it as I did the firs time. I have an uncle in Sacramento that sa...moreWell I am done with the re-read of this book. Yes I read it as a teenager and I loved it as I did the firs time. I have an uncle in Sacramento that says that it's good to read a book a couple of times in different parts of our life. Rebecca", the book that gave Daphne du Maurier immortality, has all the features of the novel of its time. Balancing on the thin, invisible line between plain romance and deep psychological analysis, it is engrossing, for me to the point of sacrificing sleep. Rebecca" is a great classic, full of suspence, with great characters. It is definitely worth reading even as the only book by du Maurier, to get acquainted with her style, and it is a very good novel for a long, winter evening, virtually moving the reader to the British countryside at the beginning of the twentieth century. Although the novel certainly aged, it did so gracefully, retaining all its charm. (less)
04.11.2011: ========== This author has a genuine voice that helps her characters be felt and understood. It takes a real talent for an author to allow h...more04.11.2011: ========== This author has a genuine voice that helps her characters be felt and understood. It takes a real talent for an author to allow her characters to be deep and fully formed. The romance was an unexpected and fun twist. The details on the lifestyle and thinking of an Iranian woman was very enlightening to me. It makes us as women really look at all the freedoms we have and how easy it is to take it all for granted.(less)
I finished the book while I was in Tornto, Canda. I actually really liked the story line because it focused a lot on Jeremy's job (as a journa-list/gh...moreI finished the book while I was in Tornto, Canda. I actually really liked the story line because it focused a lot on Jeremy's job (as a journa-list/ghost hunter) and there was a little bit of mystery involved. As for the characters, I didn't have a hard time accepting their attraction. True Believer was enchanting, as well, and it kept my interest throughout the story. I am continually amazed at his insight into the female psyche.
The characters, the plot and specially the extremely powerful and clever brand of storytelling deployed here seem to have left me under a spell that I...moreThe characters, the plot and specially the extremely powerful and clever brand of storytelling deployed here seem to have left me under a spell that I can't remember experiencing with any other book I've read in the last 25 years. The promise of the magic first few pages, a stunning and seductive journey to a wonderful place called "the cemetery of forgotten books", not only doesn't let down, but steadily builds up into a magnificent saga of intrigue, romance, passion, murder, satire and even spine-chilling touches of gothic suspense. The book reads like a dream,and reinforces to me the spellbinding nature of books. It is truly a beautiful work, and the language. The descriptions of Barcelona, the historical setting...the complex plot,Carlos Ruiz Zafon has indeed created a beguiling masterpiece. The book is a marvelous page-turner with a wonderful plot that is made up of many elements. It's a coming of age story, a thriller, a love story, a lose of love story, of father's and daughters, of friends in youth, of friends in envy, and full of dark secrets and lies.
In search of a lost room which moves around during the 2nd WW which relate part of that history leading to place in Germany and Czech. 2 huge collecto...moreIn search of a lost room which moves around during the 2nd WW which relate part of that history leading to place in Germany and Czech. 2 huge collector; Loring and Fellner come in competition to try find this priceless piece The Amber room; with direct hit between Suzanne and Christine Knoll. 1 couple was caught in between this fight; the Cutler, one lawyer Paul and a judge Rachel.
The treasure plot was one coaster ride and you will find many twist and turn espcially when it comes closer to the end...you will know the ultimate intention why secrets must be kept even to a point to eliminate those who knows the whereabout of The Amber room.
This story takes the reader on a journey through Europe in search of the infamous Amber Room. I thought that the story was slow in the beginning but it eventually got better. You'll enjoy this book if you like mystery and adventure. It was still a good mystery, and was mixed in with some interesting history (and yes, an Amber Room actually exists!). (less)
Stephanie Plum is an appealing heroine. She acts tough, but in reality she's all too human. The plot is complicated enough to keep the reader engaged,...moreStephanie Plum is an appealing heroine. She acts tough, but in reality she's all too human. The plot is complicated enough to keep the reader engaged, and the action never lets up. There were several parts I thought I had figured out only to learn later I was wrong. And Grandma Mazur is a riot as she gets more involved in the story. This novel is a fantastic sequel, and will keep you curious for what happens in the following book(less)
A fast read because it is an easy fun read. Her character development in this book is excellent. Pure escapism, very charming and such good fun, and s...moreA fast read because it is an easy fun read. Her character development in this book is excellent. Pure escapism, very charming and such good fun, and somehow it also manages to be a book which makes you take stock of what really counts in life. Enjoy it!!!!!! (less)