Like many books that are turned into movies, I feel compelled to read the book first. I read this book in a matter of hours - of course the size of th...moreLike many books that are turned into movies, I feel compelled to read the book first. I read this book in a matter of hours - of course the size of the book lends to that but also the way the writing flows sucks you into the story. Set in 1861, Alessandra Baricco takes you the Orient and introduces intriguing characters and plots. Baricco also fills his book with strong emotional imagery that comes across as poetry while at the same time using simple and direct words without embellishment.
At first I didn't understand why Joncour became so obsessed with a woman, a concubine, he never even spoke to. Then I learned that "obsession" was not the right word to use to describe his overwhelming feelings about this woman. This book leaves you with a sense sense that Joncour felt he was never able to live to his fullest potential. Even though he is able to find a calm peace with his wife, Helene, and the life they create at home, his world is soon rocked when he receives a letter full of Japanese symbols that he believes is from this 'soul mate'.
Unfortunately, there are really no words that can describe the way this books left me feeling. You just have to read the book and find out how it ends......(less)
The first thing that attracted me to this book was the cover, the blues are very eye catching. The second thing was the book description that this inc...moreThe first thing that attracted me to this book was the cover, the blues are very eye catching. The second thing was the book description that this included a Gothic mansion (I'm a sucker for old mansions and homes, and anything Victorian and Gothic).
Evie is "shipped" off to an all-girl private school and not by choice. Evie's father has to leave and her grandmother can no longer take care of her. From the moment she is dropped off at the gate to the school, by the taxi driver who refuses to take her up to the school doors, strange things start to happen. First, she meets a mysterious guy, Sebastian, riding on a horse; little does she know that Sebastian is going to turn her world upside down wether she likes it or not. She is further met with more strange things when she starts to have "visions" at Wyldcliffe. One of Evie's escapes comes to be Sebastian, who also becomes the person that puts her in danger.
Evie discovers a connection between Sebastian and all the strange things that are happening at Wyldcliffe. The question is, can she trust Sebastian even though she loves him, and does he love her in the right way, or will his love put her in more danger?
While I overall enjoyed this book (as the suspense and history grabed my attention) there were a few things that I did not. There were too many plots going on all at once - it got confusing at times as to what exactly was going and which plot was more important than the other. Also, the love between Evie and Sebastian didn't feel concrete enough, it wasn't completely believable - there was no development or build up to it, and it just seemed to have happened. I also wish there had been more diary entries - to get a more concise understanding of the past, maybe that will be included more in the sequel...(less)
I, like many others, saw the movie first (I am a huge Edward Norton fan!). I have come to learn that when I see a movie first that when I pick up the...moreI, like many others, saw the movie first (I am a huge Edward Norton fan!). I have come to learn that when I see a movie first that when I pick up the book I have to look at the book as it is completely separate from the movie, and infact is not tied to the movie at all - this is the only way I am able to give a book a fighting chance. That being said, I loved this book (and the movie too). It was actually nice to envision the actors from the movie, in terms of physical looks, while reading the book.
Kitty is spoiled rotten, having a life of great privileged. Kitty also prides herself as being very independent, especially from her mother's 'demands' and 'disappointments' that she is not married yet. To get away from her 'overbearing' mother (at least overbearing in Kitty's opinion) she marries Walter Fane, who she does not love and barely likes. Upon their marriage they move straight to China as Walter's work as a scientist is. Bored in China, Kitty meets Charles Townsend, a politician; soon they start a torid love affair! Despite Kitty's new found happiness, Walter finds out. In an attempt to tear Kitty away from Charles Townsend, he uproots them to the center of a Cholera epidemic. Bitter against Walter, Kitty finds her new life unbearable. However, in time she is able to see another side of Walter as he works to save the town's infested water supply and many lives.
I would not say that this is a book about a love affair (as Kitty and Charles Townsend have), but more of self discover, as Kitty finds who she is and what she is capable of bearing. All the characters are very well written. I loved and hated Kitty all at the same time; I felt sorry for Walter; and I hated and like Charles Townsend. The plot unfolds expectantly, as W. Somerset Maugham makes you as in the end: "What and who is really important to us and in life?"(less)
The Awakening The Vampire Diaries' first installment introduces the main characters and the main plot. Elena is the queen bee of the school - she can h...moreThe Awakening The Vampire Diaries' first installment introduces the main characters and the main plot. Elena is the queen bee of the school - she can have any boy and do pretty much anything she wants. However, she is not the same Elena she used to be since her parents have died. While Elena struggles with this her best friends are there to support her. Then Stefan arrives in Mystic Falls... While Elena is with Matt she cannot help but be "attracted" to Stefan and puts her energy into getting him.
Elena's character is at first very annoying. She is stuck up, a snob, and overall self-concerned. However, this is done on purpose... or so I believe. Within the first installment you start to see Elena as caring and understanding - there is more to her than her "social" appearance.
Elena finds out that Stefan is a Vampire while people are attacked in her town. Then comes the love triangle with Damon's arrival. The brothers are completely opposite of eachother.... Stefan is mysterious in a brooding way. He clearly harbors guilt and sadness about his past but just wants to start a new life. Damon is evil. Simple as that. He has no thought for others and is only out for himself. What does Damon want....? He wants Elena all for himself, he want her to be his Dark Queen.
The Struggle The Struggle picks up right where The Awakening leaves off. The love triangle only thickens in the second installment of the Vampire Diaries. Elena loves Stefan. However, there are clearly "moments" between her and Damon... Meanwhile the search for the person responsible for the attacks in town is still underway. At first everyone believes that it is Damon's doing - why not? He's evil and dangerous... However, they soon learn it is someone from Stefan's and Damon's past - someone that is more evil and dangerous than Damon. Someone who threatens Elena herself.... (I know we all know who it is but just in case I won't say).
The first volume of the Vampire Diaries series is a very fast read. The writing style is simple and engaging, following a very tight and concise plot and timeline. While Elena's and Stefan's relationship started a little bit too quickly for me, their relationship becomes more rounded throughout the books. Overall, I really enjoyed the first volume! (less)
Once I saw the movie previews I went right out and bought this book - - I could not put this book down; it would have been read in one sitting if I di...moreOnce I saw the movie previews I went right out and bought this book - - I could not put this book down; it would have been read in one sitting if I did not have to work at the time. Audrey Niffenegger has been added to one of my favorite authors. Before I go into further detail, I recommend that when you begin to read this book you have a box of tissues handy - not because it is sad (which it is at points), but also because you will be crying happy tears as well.
To tell the story of this amazing relationship, Niffenegger uses both of the characters', Henry DeTamble & Clare Absher, points of views. Henry, a librarian at the Newberry Library, has a problem - he time travels. Now before you start to think that this is a SyFy book, it is not. From a very young age, Henry has had this "problem"; at least he saw it as a problem until he met Clare. Clare, an art student, has known Henry pretty much all her life, meeting him as a very young girl while he was traveling back in time. You know it is fate that these two people need be together the moment you discover that Henry cannot control where and when he travels, but is drawn to places as and people as if they were magnets. Even Henry cannot help but think that when they kiss it is "a kiss born of long association."
By 'plugging' in Henry's travels, Niffengger presents their relationship from beginning to the end, allowing the readers to watch how they grow together and apart. Outside of Henry's time traveling, this story is very real and raw - Clare and Henry are just a normal couple who happen to be dealing with a very abnormal aspect of their life and relationship: they fight and argue, kiss and make up; they have hopes and dreams just like any other normal couple.
While writing in the world of a SyFy concept, Audrey Niffenegger's keen sense of character development and description help make these characters real. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys real life situation and people with a twist, or just a good romance.(less)
Where to start with this book... This was an amazing book! Atonement is told from many different points of views: Briony Tallis, Cecilia Tallis, and R...moreWhere to start with this book... This was an amazing book! Atonement is told from many different points of views: Briony Tallis, Cecilia Tallis, and Robbie Turner. Briony Tallis is introduced to as a 13-year old who has a passion for writing, and for creating imagined worlds. Cecilia Tallis, Briony's older sister, is more concerned with relaxing and smoking while her mother has one of her "headaches". Robbie Turner, a son of one of the household maids, dreams about going to college for medicine.
The main events behind the whole pot of this book all occur in a single day. Briony misinterprets an interaction taken place between Cecilia and Robbie while looking out her window. To add to Briony's imagination of what she "thinks" took place she intercepts a note written by Robbie addressed to Cecilia. Robbie gave this note by accident, with the intended note still at his house. Inside this note sexual and personal thoughts of Robbie's send Briony's thoughts array. Later on Briony see's an intimate event take place between Robbie and Cecilia, not understanding at all what it means - she believes that Robbie has "assaulted" Cecilia and is thus a bad man. If this wasn't bad enough, one of Briony's cousins is found violated later that night in the woods. Briony automatically believes and accuses Robbie as the assailant.
Briony's accusation sets in motion the events for the rest of the book - Robbie is given the choice to either go to Jail or to serve in the Army; he chooses the Army, which changes him completely. Cecilia becomes a nurse, as she too is changed by Briony's accusation. As Briony grows up she starts to question her actions and realizes her mistake. Can she ever make up for the pain and heartache she has caused, for tearing apart two people who loved each other?(less)
The Friday Night Knitting Club is a story of love, friendship, and life through the actions and commitment to knitting. Georgia Walker, single mothe...more The Friday Night Knitting Club is a story of love, friendship, and life through the actions and commitment to knitting. Georgia Walker, single mother, business woman, knitter, reluctantly starts a Friday Night Knitting Club at Walker and Daughter with the most unusual of characters: ~ Georgia Walker - owner of Walker and Daughter, mother to Dakota, who finds new friendships and love in old places ~ Dakota Walker - Georgia's teenage daughter who is always cooking up a new concoction ~ Anita - Georgia's mentor, always lending her support ~ Peri - Walker and Daughter employee and fashion designer wanna be ~ Lucie - an experienced knitter with a few marital problems ~ Darwin - a grad student who struggles in knitting for a bit ~ KC - constantly knitting but has problems with finishing a project ~ Cat - Georgia's once best friend who finds true friendship once again along with herself
Through this weekly Knitting Club, each woman is able not only to share their thoughts, hopes, and dreams, they soon discover answers to their deepest concerns and worries. (less)