March book club. Pretty good, but I didn't get to experience any twists and turns in the narrative, I think I predicted every plot point. I'm just tooMarch book club. Pretty good, but I didn't get to experience any twists and turns in the narrative, I think I predicted every plot point. I'm just too good :)...more
Great book. I just wish the descriptions were not so grisly! I know that women and girls are oppressed and that there are horrible injustices going onGreat book. I just wish the descriptions were not so grisly! I know that women and girls are oppressed and that there are horrible injustices going on every day with trafficking and prostitution, but I'd rather hear less about what I already know and more about how to help. The last few chapters were great for this reason, they addressed increasing education for girls (and how to keep them in school), micro-business loans for women, and other ways to combat cultural biases that keep women from prospering.
I especially liked the stories about training women to be midwives and medical professionals that may be illiterate or uneducated. Proof that you don't need to go to medical school to be trained in a specific trade. One story was about a lady in Africa who hung out in the hospital after her fistula surgery and eventually moved up to become a world-expert in that kind of surgery. However, in between teaching conferences etc, she became tired of being illiterate and is now attending night school...and has reached the 3rd grade!
P.S. George Clooney and Angelina Jolie reviewed this book. So it must be good right?...more
Very good memoir detailing the life of a kid from a broken home who is trapped in the downward spiral of poverty - but fortunately there is a light atVery good memoir detailing the life of a kid from a broken home who is trapped in the downward spiral of poverty - but fortunately there is a light at the end of the tunnel for him. The author faithfully describes his transition from town to town and from foster home to foster home, making new friends, getting in fights, running away, etc. etc.
I won't spoil the ending, but it is great to see the resiliance of children, the impact of relationships and a life put back on track! It might sound kind of like a "hallmark" story, but I found it very uplifting.
P.S. The title IS confusing though. You have to read quite a ways until you figure out who the "girl in the italian bakery" is....more
I probably wouldn't have picked this one up, but it was my bookclub's book for August. In general I found it to be a little dark for my taste but theI probably wouldn't have picked this one up, but it was my bookclub's book for August. In general I found it to be a little dark for my taste but the premise of the story was interesting. The author is from Cooperstown, NY - named for the famous writer James Fenmore Cooper. She started to write a book about her town until she realized she was embellishing and adding histories that never really happened...so she abandoned that idea and created her own fictionalized town "Templeton" - named for her fictional Cooper stand-in: George Franklin Temple.
The main idea of the story is that a young woman who is related to the famous author (and founder of the town) comes back home when she is in disgrace. While she is there she discovers that she is the illegitimate daughter of someone in the town who is ALSO related to the founder of Templeton! So, she does her own research and muckraking to figure out who it is. Along the way she discovers many sordid details of her family line. As she winds back in time to figure out who her father is she finds extra-marrital affairs, illegitimate children, and general debauchery all around. This was the part I didn't like. I'm usually sucked in by mystery so I had to stick it through and see who her father would be, but I wish it had been a happier tale. Also, the chapters that go back in time and the excerpts from her ancestors' diaries were confusing to me. In general I had a hard time keeping track of everyone or remembering why I was supposed to care about them.
So, I give it 3 stars for the "cleverness," but certainly no more for taste or enjoyability....more