Disclaimer: this just wasn't my type of book. It was basically a Lifetime movie. It was way too saccharine. There were a lot of "life lessons" about fDisclaimer: this just wasn't my type of book. It was basically a Lifetime movie. It was way too saccharine. There were a lot of "life lessons" about friendship, and children, and blah blah. I couldn't relate to the characters at all, probably because I'm nowhere near to being middle aged. I also hate baking. I can see how some people would like it, but it just really wasn't for me.
Legitimate criticisms: there were too many characters. I had to keep track of the twelve women in the club, their husbands and boyfriends, their children, and additional friends that weren't there. Too many. I had a really hard time trying to remember which tragic event happened to which woman, and forgot about some characters entirely until they were mentioned again 50 pages later. Also, I found a lot of the dialogue to be unrealistic. I found myself constantly thinking, "Who talks this way? Do people actually say things like this?"
It's a pretty short and easy read, which is the only reason I bothered to finish (and so I could talk about it at my book club.)...more
Overall, I enjoyed The Left Hand of Darkness. It started out really slow, though. In the first half there's lots of politics and some unexplained madeOverall, I enjoyed The Left Hand of Darkness. It started out really slow, though. In the first half there's lots of politics and some unexplained made up words. Maybe this is nit-picky of me, but the names of many people and places were hard to pronounce; I find sentences with unpronounceable words can sometimes be hard to follow. I had also heard so much about this book, especially from a literary perspective, but I had a hard time determining what the point or theme was just from the first half. Not much happens. I might have given up if I didn't have to lead a discussion for my book club.
But the second half was great. The pace really picked up, and the number of characters I was trying to keep straight went way down. There was action, excitement, character development, and some interesting philosophizing. Not only was the second half much more interesting and entertaining, I really got what the "point" of the book was.
It's worth wading through the first half of the book to get to the second half, and I can see why this book is held in such high regard....more