In the beginning I was drawn by the historical background of the story. Sadly, like the majority of fictiThere is a reason that I stick w non-fiction.
In the beginning I was drawn by the historical background of the story. Sadly, like the majority of fiction that I came across, Sarah's Key struggles w a thin plot & lack of supporting details. Most importantly, the supposed train of thoughts of ten year old Sarah struck me as unrealistic. This is just from someone who's been a kid once.
Probably read up to p.222, a real drag by that pt....more
I agreed with some of the opinions on "A Dissenting view of THE HELP" -- a thread on Amazon. I learned mThere is a reason that I stick w non-fiction.
I agreed with some of the opinions on "A Dissenting view of THE HELP" -- a thread on Amazon. I learned more in reading that discussion than from other sources.
=== The movie was more enjoyable than the book, they cut out a lot of fluff and made it a light piece. It is interesting to contrast life in this Jackson, Mississippi setting against that of Madison Ave, NY city in "Mad Men" (TV series) of the same period.
by happenstance i started this book just b4 i heard about "the diligent". Pirates, kidnappings, a boatload of slaves bound for Morocco on a month-longby happenstance i started this book just b4 i heard about "the diligent". Pirates, kidnappings, a boatload of slaves bound for Morocco on a month-long voyage ... i hope the rest is as good as they've led me to believe ...
Heaving bosoms? Obviously i haven't recovered from that last gangster memoir.
========================================================== Comment added Dec 08, 2010 06:16pm
Intro: In 14th century Barcelona, a cathedral for the ppl by the ppl was built. The Santa Maria del la Mar was funded by donations & the donated laIntro: In 14th century Barcelona, a cathedral for the ppl by the ppl was built. The Santa Maria del la Mar was funded by donations & the donated labor of the bastaix. It took fifty some years to finish the cathedral, and this event, as well as other historical happenings in & around Barcelona, became the backdrop for the life of Arnau, our protagonist.
Cathedral of the Sea is a story that spans more than 60 years, starting from the countryside of Navarcles from which Arnau's father fled. Feudal laws of the day would shape the fate of our protagonist. He would struggle thru poverty, then as a free man, got swept up by the "via fora" in Barcelona, survived the plague, found himself entangled in the uprising against the Jewish ppl, suffered the many wars waged by the Monarch Pedro the 3rd, & finally, the infamous inquisition.
Con: He'e not a saint, but compared to other characters in the plot, he might as well be. The 1 complaint i can think of for this book would be, that, as a novel, the author chose not to delve too deeply in human nature. This is a story not lacking in drama, richly & meticulously researched for historical authenticity. All the laws in the storyline were accurate for the time & place. It's just that the author tells the "what happened?" of the story, w/o going into "why does this person do that?" I feel that I didn't really know the protagonist after following his life for more than six decades. He is one with purity in his heart, even well into his forties. I'm not saying that such a char is not believable, i just don't know what makes him tick (-or- he just didn't get under my skin). There are other novels where, nothing much really happened on the outside, but the author spends 100 pages into the mindscape of his/her character and we get to know this person.
Pro: But all this is a minor flaw in my mind. I love history. This book made me learn. Where he is reluctant to delve into the mids of adults, he wrote about children w/ talent. I was smitten by how a 7 yr-old & a 9 yr-old interacted when they came up against the adults. This is not a tacky effort that made you think, "Oh that was cute." Rather, it brought you back to how you used to feel, and the world loomed large when you were 7. I also want to commend him for not delving into the mind of an inquisitor, another central char in the plot. Out of the whole cast of characters, the inquisitor should draw the most curiosity. But the author chose not to overextend himself there. ...
Conclusion: For a bedtime novel, this is a 5-star read. The story takes one to a different place without being emotionally laden, and one gets a history lesson as a bonus. I enjoyed it thoroughly....more
The story began with a small girl trying to coax her mother out of her depression with food, learning & experimenting along the way. It was a noveThe story began with a small girl trying to coax her mother out of her depression with food, learning & experimenting along the way. It was a novel approach to introduce the protagonist and at first, I was impressed.
"What else am I supposed to do?" "Lillian, each person's heart breaks in its own way. Every cure will be different -- but there are some things we all need. Before anything else, we need to feel safe. You did that for her." "So why is she still gone?" "Because to be a part of this world, we need more than safety. Your mother needs to remember what she lost and want it again."
Sadly, this quote (on p.30) was the last time Ms. Bauermeister wrote anything insightful. Time lapsed to Lillian as a restaurateur hosting a cooking class, and the remainder of the book was filled to the brim with individual short stories on her students in a sickening marathon of non-stop magical moments. We never found out out what became of Lillian's mother, or of her kiddie cooking project -- which to me, would be immensely more interesting to read than a collection of short stories about ppl who barely related to one another -- except when they stepped into her cooking class and their collective charisma inspired spontaneous orgasmic epiphanies & life-changing discoveries deep into one other's souls of course.