The Storyteller is comprised of several separate and distinct stories that interconnect. Sage is a young woman who has aBook Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
The Storyteller is comprised of several separate and distinct stories that interconnect. Sage is a young woman who has a disfiguring facial scar, and she is battling an inner torment that disfigures her far more than the scar on her face. Josef is a 94 year old, healthy, German man who no longer wants to live because he is tormented by his past and the things he did as a Nazi commander at Auschwitz. He asks Sage to help him end his life. Minka is Sage's grandmother and she is many things including a survivor of the Holocaust as well as a creative writer. Within is included a story that Minka wrote about a young woman who falls in love with a vampire.
Jodi Picoult has written 20 novels, including My Sister's Story. The Storyteller is both a drama and a historical novel. The story is told in a first person narrative from the point of view of the character whose story is being revealed.
I enjoyed the story and I liked how the past and present combined to slowly reveal the truth. I thought the characters were well developed and multidimensional. My favorite was Minka; I enjoyed reading her tale. I thought she was a strong and resourceful woman, and I found it fascinating how her fictional story about Ania and the Vampire saved her life. It provided both a sense of hope, as well as entertainment to the other prisoners, because it was a metaphor for love and redemption. The Storyteller may have been about the Holocaust, and parts of the story provided a heart-wrenching view into what it was like, but it was so much more than that. It was really about forgiveness, and not just for Josef, but for all of the characters and on many different levels.
I liked how the story unfolded, and I was surprised by the twist at the end. I recommend this book as a very good read, and if you enjoy reading about the Holocaust, both the horror of it as well as the triumph over it, then you will enjoy The Storyteller.
“Mary folds her arms. “I know I've told you how I left the convent, but did I ever tell you why I entered it?” she says. “My mother was raising three kids on her own, because my father walked out on us. I was the oldest, at thirteen. I was full of so much anger that sometimes I woke up in the middle of the night with the taste of it in my mouth, like tin. We couldn't afford groceries. We had no television and the lights had been turned off. Our furniture had been reclaimed by the credit card company, and my brothers were wearing pants that hit above the ankle because we couldn't afford to buy new school clothes. My father, though, he was on vacation with his girlfriend in France. So one day I went to see our priest and I asked what I could do to feel less angry. I was expecting him to say something like, Get a Job, or Write your feelings down on paper. Instead, he told me to forgive my dad. I stared at the priest, convinced he was nuts. ‘I can’t do that,’ I told him. ‘It would make what he did seem less awful.’
I study Mary’s profile as she speaks. “The priest said, ‘What he did was wrong. He doesn't deserve your love. But he does deserve your forgiveness because otherwise he will grow like a weed in your heart until it’s choked and overrun. The only person who suffers, when you squirrel away all that hate, is you.’ I was thirteen, and I didn't know very much about the world, but I knew that if there was that much wisdom in religion I wanted to be part of it.””
“She faces me. “I don’t know what this person did to you, and I am not sure I want to. But forgiving isn't something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself. It’s saying, You’re not important enough to have a stranglehold on me. It’s saying, You don’t get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future.””
This was my favorite quote because it sums up forgiveness and why it is important...more
A Week in Winter is a collection of stories that are weaved together, and the common thread that pulls them together is tBook review: 2 Treasure Boxes
A Week in Winter is a collection of stories that are weaved together, and the common thread that pulls them together is the location of the story, a small inn in Ireland. Each chapter is a glimpse into the life of a new guest. The beginning of the book examines the life of the proprietor and the birth of the inn.
Maeve Binchy was an Irish author and she published 16 novels; A Week in Winter was the last novel that she wrote. The protagonist in A Week in Winter isn't a person, but rather a place. It is Stone House, a newly renovated hotel on the cliffs of the west coast of Ireland. Each chapter tells a different story about the inhabitants of the inn during it's opening week. I enjoyed this book, it was a nice light and easy read. There were not any surprises, and not much excitement, but it was entertaining. I recommend this book as a good read. ...more
Reverb is a story of redemption, healing, and love, with a twist of foreboding. The majority of the story takes place inBook review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Reverb is a story of redemption, healing, and love, with a twist of foreboding. The majority of the story takes place in Greece and revolves around James, a musician in hiding, and Elizabeth, a young mother recovering from the death of her husband.
The book captured my interest from the first page. The story was well told, and I liked all the characters, who I found to be well-rounded and complex. I enjoyed how the tale unfolded, and many parts I found original, although I did think the ending was a bit abrupt, and perhaps a tad too concise. Overall, I enjoyed the story and I recommend this book as a very good read.
Revolutionary Road is really well written, but I am finding it quite depressing. I find it difficult to pick up the storyBook Review: 2 treasure boxes
Revolutionary Road is really well written, but I am finding it quite depressing. I find it difficult to pick up the story to read it, due to the bleakness that emanates out from within the pages. Additionally, I do not really like any of the characters because I found them unlikable. Frank, the husband is cheating on his wife and for me this is a real turnoff. The story revolves around an unhappy couple.
The story addresses mental illness, and brings awareness to this issue. Revolutionary Road was released as a movie in 2008, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. I saw this movie in the theater, so I knew what was going to happen, and because I knew where it is going I was not able to fully appreciate the novel.
The writing was amazing and I give Revolutionary Road 3 treasure boxes for the writing, however the story was depressing and I did not like any of the characters so I give the content 1 treasure box, which leaves me to give the overall book 2 treasure box rating.
Sabriel is a necromancer, but instead of raising the dead, she returns the dead back into the grave. Garth Nix has writtenBook Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Sabriel is a necromancer, but instead of raising the dead, she returns the dead back into the grave. Garth Nix has written numerous young adult fantasy novels and series, including: the Old Kingdom series, The Seventh Tower series, and The Keys to the Kingdom. Sabriel is the first book in the Abhorsen Trilogy and it is told in a third person narrative from the perspective of the main protagonist, a young woman who can control the dead. The story takes place in a world filled with magic that can be controlled through sound. Particularly the sound created by whistling or bells.
The story was intriguing from the first page. The characters were all interesting and the concept of the world was unique and captivating. I was never too sure where the story was going but I was anxiously turning each page to find out what was going to happen next. There was plenty of action during the fight scenes against the dead.
“Sabriel” is a standalone novel. There are two other books in the series, but each has its own characters and storyline, which only lightly touch each other. I recommend this book as a very good read.
The narrator, a man who suffers from insomnia, is continuing looking for meaning in his life. He starts going to various diffeBook Review: 1 Trash Can
The narrator, a man who suffers from insomnia, is continuing looking for meaning in his life. He starts going to various different support groups, like The Vctims of Testicular Cancer support group, The Parasitic Brain Parasites support group and numerous others, pretending in each one that he too is ill. He goes to a different support group everyday as a method of dealing with his life and his insomnia. In the process he meets another person, Marla Singer, who also attends these meetings faking illness. While he is stumbling through life, he becomes involved with Tyler Durden, a man who is even more emotionally and spiritually messed up than himself.
I read about half of the book and then I had to stop. I found that these people were sick and I did not enjoy sharing their twisted view of life. I have also seen the movie, so I knew where the book was going. I did not like any of the characters, and I did not think the writing was especially good. Instead, the main focus seemed to be how to disgust and shock the reader. I stopped reading shortly after Tyler was urinating in the soup. It was at this point that I realized, I did not care about these people and I did not want to read anymore.
I do not recommend this book, I thought it was a piece of trash. Perhaps there is a veiled message against consumerism, but overall it is not worth reading.
It’s 1922 and women have only recently received the right to vote, so when a young dancer has the opportunity to go to NeBook Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
It’s 1922 and women have only recently received the right to vote, so when a young dancer has the opportunity to go to New York City to study her craft, she needs a chaperone. Cora Carlise, an unhappy, middle aged woman with a secret past, decides to accompany the girl. In the process she finds what she has been seeking all her life.
Ms. Moriarty has written several novels, but The Chaperone is her first book in the historical fiction genre, it is also a drama. The story is told in a third person narrative from the point of view of the main protagonist, Cora Carlisle.
The character of Cora, a middle aged woman and the chaperone of a wild and troubled fifteen year old girl, was really well developed. I also liked how Ms. Moriarty tied in Louise Brooks, but I would have liked more insight into Louise’s character. The story was primarily about Cora and spanned over her entire life with details sprinkled in a non-linear fashion. This made the story more interesting because her upbringing and experiences were slowly revealed. Cora was my favourite character, at first I thought she was stuffy, yet she showed her true self right at the beginning when she convinced her friend that the KKK was to be avoided. I thought that she blossomed as the book unfolded. She had many hardships that she had to deal with, but she dealt well with everything that she faced. She seemed at times to be judgemental, but as the story progressed she softened up. The subject matter was surprising, because it touched on homosexuality as well as child molestation. The story was nothing like I was expecting, but it pulled me in from the beginning, and I was never really sure where it would lead.
There were several surprises as the story unfolded. I also found the facts about the orphan trains surprising as well as upsetting. To think of all those little children, in the first half of the century, just sent off without any consideration of the people who were picking them or what kind of lives they would have to lead. It also made me think about why there were so many orphans, but I guess the combination of the great wars, the influenza breakout, and the great depression, caused many children to be left without parents.
This book fell somewhere between good and really good, and I gave it a 2 Treasure Box rating although I enjoyed the book, I was not obsessed with it, and had no problem putting it down
“Show me a mother with that much thwarted ambition, and I’ll show you a daughter born for success” (page 111.)
I just thought that this was an interesting quote about Hollywood mothers.
“As young as Lousie was, she was a grown woman, a modern woman, smart and fearless of judgement, a lovely sparkle on the blade of her generation as it slashed at the old conventions” (page 302.)
I loved this sentence, I thought it beautifully written and I loved the idea of cutting away the old conventions, which oppressed women.
Question to consider: Was this book an accurate portrayal of women during the 1920s? For example, Cora was afraid to show her own husband affection for fear that he would think her forward.
Food is required to live because it feeds the body, but to feed the soul, connection to another person is required and thBook Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Food is required to live because it feeds the body, but to feed the soul, connection to another person is required and this is the true fuel. The School of Essential Ingredients provides both, and it is a slice of life story. It briefly introduces 8 cooking students and their teacher, Lillian, telling a little about each. Most of them meet for the first time at an upscale restaurant which holds a monthly cooking class.
Erica Bauermeister has written a few fiction books and has co-written a couple of reading guides. She released a sequel to The School of Essential Ingredients in January, 2013; it is called The Lost Art of Mixing. This sequel is a continuation of Lillian's story and revolves around her restaurant and the people who frequent it. The School of Essential Ingredients primarily takes place in Lillian’s restaurant and is told in the voice of a third person narrative with each chapter from the point of view of a different character. It falls into the drama genre.
The School of Essential Ingredients is an enjoyable book, although it does not have much depth. In many ways the story was like a recipe with the subtle flavours of the characters all mixing together to create a feast. The book tries to be more than what it is and would succeed better if Ms. Bauermeister shared as much about the characters as she does about food and ingredients.
There were lots of different characters, and the reader learns just a little about each one. The stories are generally uplifting and the cooking class helped each of them in just the way they needed. Ms. Bauermeister effectively uses white spaces between the words creating a great effect. In many ways the book was laid out like a recipe book. Each section dealt with a separate person. Each person mixed with the others like the ingredients in a recipe.
The writing was great, and the story interesting, but it felt more like a mixture of short stories. I like a story that is big and full, one that pulls you in and doesn't let you go until the last page. I also like a story with a bit more excitement. For me the overall story was just a little bit lacking, but I still recommend the book as a good read.
“Underneath the wand was an old photograph of her mother holding a baby Lillian, her mother’s eyes looking directly into the camera, her smile as huge and rich and gorgeous as any chocolate cake Lillian could think of making.” (Page 25)
“There were so few occasions for a zester; using it felt like a holiday.” (Page 27)
Margaret receives a mysterious letter from the famous author Vida Winters, and Vida is ready to finally relate her dark sBook Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Margaret receives a mysterious letter from the famous author Vida Winters, and Vida is ready to finally relate her dark secret tale, but Margaret has her own secret haunting past. During her research, and during the tale, a ghost is seen lurking in the old mansion at Angelfield estate, an old mansion that was burned and destroyed many years ago.
The Thirteenth Tale is Diane Setterfield's debut novel. It is a gothic suspense novel and the story moves between the past and the present. The story is told by two people: an introverted biographer Margaret Lea as well as the fictional author Vida Winter. Margaret's tale is told in a first person narrative, and Vida's tale starts out in a third person narrative and then moves into a first person narrative. These two stories are about each of the character's life.
One of the themes in this book is twins, which Ms. Setterfield has an interesting way of presenting, and at times a twin is seen in the reflection in the glass, or in a mirror, and in a shadow but often she appears pale and colorless. The Thirteenth Tale is the untold story of fictional author Vida Winter and is revealed by the end of the book.
I recommend this book as a very good read, and this standalone story is told in an interesting and intriguing manner. The characters are unique but the story is sad and somewhat haunting.
For I was spellbound. There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider ilk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic. (Location 202)
For more of my reviews go to http;//books-treasureortrash.com...more
The neighbor’s dog has been murdered and Christopher is determined to play “Sherlock Holmes” to find the killer. He has aBook Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
The neighbor’s dog has been murdered and Christopher is determined to play “Sherlock Holmes” to find the killer. He has an unusual way of looking at the world, which both helps and hinders his investigation. Christopher, through his detecting, unravels more secrets and finds more answers than he was looking for or is capable of handling.
Mark Haddon has written several children’s books and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is his first adult novel. The story is told in a first person narrative from the point of view of Christopher Boone, a 15 year old autistic boy. Mr. Haddon worked with autistic children when he was a young man.
This is a very sad story about an autistic teenage boy who decides to solve a mystery using his special unique talents. He is highly gifted in mathematics and in solving problems, but he is unable to deal with life and does not know how to respond to people. He does not like to be touched, and if someone touches him, he will strike back using violence.
This is a standalone story, and it is told in an interesting and unique manner. The story is told in a memoir style from the point of view of an autistic boy who has Asperger’s Syndrome. Rather than numbering the chapters numerically, they instead are numbered in an increasing sequence of prime numbers, which is a good representation of how Christopher views life. I recommend this book as a good read.
“Lots of things are mysteries. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t an answer to them. It’s just that scientists haven’t found the answer yet.” (Page 100)...more
In Life of Pi a young Indian boy becomes lost at sea after his ship sinks in the Pacific Ocean during his family’s journeBook Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
In Life of Pi a young Indian boy becomes lost at sea after his ship sinks in the Pacific Ocean during his family’s journey from Indian to Canada. For 227 days he lives in a lifeboat, and his sole companion is a Bengal tiger.
Yann Martel has written several novels, but Life of Pi is his most well known book, and this book has also won several awards. It is written in the genre of magical realism and is an adventure story. The story is told primarily in a first person narrative from the point of view of our main protagonist, Pi Patel.
The author’s note at the beginning of the book convinced me I was reading a true story, and it wasn’t until I was about half way through the book did I come to realize that this note was part of the fiction. The story is told in a format that suggests it is a retelling of a true adventure, including italicized notes at the beginning of some of the chapters.
The story is told in three parts. The first part introduces the main character and develops the premise which explains how Pi could eventually exist alone on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. This part takes place during Pi’s early years when his father ran a zoo. There were some interesting comparisons between animals and humans. The second part is his time at sea, and the final part introduces a possible alternative.
This is a spiritual story, and Pi Patel has a strong faith, which he relies on heavily during his trials at sea, but it is not religious or sanctimonious. Overall I thought the story was told in an interesting manner, and generally found it believable. The Life of Pi is a standalone story, and it is well told, although both the beginning and the time at sea were a bit too long. I recommend this book as a good read.
“To lose a brother is to lose someone with whom you can share the experience of growing old, who is supposed to bring you a sister-in-law and nieces and nephew, creatures to people the tree of your life and give it new branches. To lose your father is to lose the one whose guidance and help you seek, who supports you like a tree trunk supports it branches. To lose your mother, well, that is like losing the sun above you.”
Question to ponder:
Which version of the story did you think really occurred?
What did you feel was the most spiritual or mystical part of the journey?
Marian is a successful television producer and she has everything, a great job, a wonderful boyfriend, and a big secret.Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Marian is a successful television producer and she has everything, a great job, a wonderful boyfriend, and a big secret. A secret that she has kept for 18 years, but which is about to be exposed to the world. When 18 year old Kirby knocks on her door, she sees her daughter for the first time in 18 years and Marian is forced to examine the decisions she made 18 years ago.
Emily Giffin has written numerous books, and they all fall into the chick-lit genre but Where We Belong is also a drama and a romance story. It is told in a first person narrative alternating between the main protagonist, Marian's and her daughter Kirby's point of view.
The theme of this book is secrets, and it reveals the power of destruction behind the secret. The story shows how a secret can become an emotional barricade that separates us from the people in our lives. The characters are all well rounded and interesting. My favorite character was Kirby, she knew what she wanted and she went after it, even though she was afraid and she did not know how she would be received. Although I could not really understand why she had a difficult time with her parents, I still thought it was believable. I also loved all the scenes with Conrad, because he was an intriguing and sexy character.
Where We Belong is a standalone novel that captured my interest from the very first line and I thought the story built up to a satisfying ending. There were no real surprises and it pretty much went where I thought it would. I recommend this book as a very good read and I stayed up late several nights because I found it hard to put down.
"So I guess what I'm trying to say is that life is fast. And it keeps speeding up. Sometimes I lose track of the season-or even the year. And we just have to make the best of it all. Our choices. Our fleeting moments together." (location 3973)
"Although too much time has gone by to miss her, I feel regret that I didn't maintain our friendship. Even if we no longer have much in common, we would have always had the past, which, in some ways, is just as important as the present or future. It is where we come from, what makes us who we are". (location 4284)
"It's about wanting something real-even if it's messy and complicated. It's what Kirby has taught me." (location 5151)
Question to Ponder:
Often in the book Ms. Giffin states that secrets and lies are the same thing, do you agree, do you think they are the same thing?
How is a young abused boy and a missing, wild and reckless young women related? “Never Smile at Strangers” shows the reacBook Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
How is a young abused boy and a missing, wild and reckless young women related? “Never Smile at Strangers” shows the reaction of a small town when a young woman disappears and outlines the derailment of an abused boy as he grows into manhood.
This is the first novel Jennifer Minar-Jaynes has published and it is a thriller/suspense. The story is primarily told in a third person narrative from the point of view of a number of the characters.
The story was captivating from the first page, and I was interested to see where it was going and how it would end. There are several interesting characters that the novel centers around, and each of their journeys is cleverly weaved together. Most of the characters were well rounded and the reader can understand the choices that were made. There were also some exciting scenes. Erica was one of my favourite characters; I found her character both likeable and fascinating.
This is a standalone story that is skillfully weaved together with a great conclusion, and I recommend it as a very good read.
It is 1995 and Gabe has HIV, although he currently isn’t showing any symptoms, he knows he is going to die soon. This isBook Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
It is 1995 and Gabe has HIV, although he currently isn’t showing any symptoms, he knows he is going to die soon. This is his story, starting at the end and moving backwards through time. Gabe shares with us three monumental times during his life, starting in 1995 and moving backwards to 1976. Songs for the New Depression is the debut novel by Kergan Edwards-Stout. It is a drama and falls under the genre of literary fiction as well as gay literature. The story is told in a first person narrative with the voice and thoughts of Gabriel Travers (Gabe). The story begins and ends in the present with a prologue and epilogue.
The story was written in an interesting manner, and we know from the beginning, or should I say the end, 1995, that something horrendous happened to Gabe that irrevocably changed him. It isn’t until the end, or should I say the beginning, 1976, that the reader finds out what happened. Each time period explored contains pivotal events in Gabe’s life. At each point Gabe faces a huge life changing event and how he chooses to react has repercussions that affect the rest of his life. Gabe is a complex character, sometimes endearing, sometimes cruel but always interesting.
This is a standalone story about one man’s journey through life. It is well written, but at times I was shocked at the explicit gay sex, although I understand that it played an important part of Gabe’s life and story. This book is not just for fans of gay literature, it is a sad and thought provoking story and I recommend Songs for the New Depression as a good read.
“Maybe the next time you meet someone, try keeping your mouth shut and your brain in neutral. Ask questions. Find out everything you can about the other person. The more rounded they become, the less easy it will be to dismiss them.”
Questions to Ponder: The decisions that Gabe made in 1976 and again in 1986 had huge repercussions on the rest of his life. Do you think he could have made different decisions at either of these times? Why do you think he choose to do what he did?
The book was mildly entertaining and the characters were ok, but not as well rounded or defined as I would have liked. TheBook Review: 1 Treasure Box
The book was mildly entertaining and the characters were ok, but not as well rounded or defined as I would have liked. The story centers on 3 male friends who are all very different from each other but they have a bond and they spend each summer together cruising on a luxury yacht meeting girls and partying.
It was fun to read about life on the yacht. The story shows the progression of relationships with each of the guys as they meet various different girls in their travels both on and off the yacht. I could not really understand the name of the book and how it relates to the story as I did not feel all the characters were "Toxic".
The book was pretty mediocre and transparent but the ending was satisfying.
Vivian is married to the man of her dreams, but her life is far from perfect. Before long everything falls apart, includingBook review: 1 treasure box
Vivian is married to the man of her dreams, but her life is far from perfect. Before long everything falls apart, including Vivian and it is up to her to pull things together, with a little help from her friends.
Arthur Wooten has written several novels in a number of different genres. Leftovers is a drama told in a third person narrative from the point of view of the main protagonist, Vivian Lawson and the story takes place in America during the 1950s.
The story starts out in a unique and interesting manner, detailing Vivian's dream. The dream, how it ends and what it represents is a reflection of the entire book. I thought it fitting that Mr. Wooten dedicated the book to his father, a pioneer in the plastics industry, since Tupperware saved the day. Vivian is the poor little rich girl, literally. She has a cold, uncaring mother who did not teach her how to be a woman and now Vivian is on her own struggling to survive.
This is a standalone book with a predictable story. The book was not very exciting and I pretty much knew how it was going to end after reading the first few chapters. Overall the story is heartwarming as Vivian matures into a successful, confident woman.
What if you had a secret past? Would you seek out answers or hide in your room? Sara, now in her early thirties, has deciBook Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
What if you had a secret past? Would you seek out answers or hide in your room? Sara, now in her early thirties, has decided it is time to find out about her roots. She has a spot on her forearm that drives her crazy, continually demanding to be scratched, but there is nothing there. She has a recurring dream, where she is a man and a father whose child has drowned. She is unable to maintain a romantic relationship and she lies to her therapist.
Patchwork of Me is Gregory G. Allen’s newest release. The story is a drama told in a first person narrative by the main protagonist, Sara Butler. The story follows Sara while she goes on a journey of self discovery.
I loved how this book began. We are introduced to the main character, who at first glance appears to be male, but soon we discover, was a dream character and we are hooked, why is Sara dreaming she is a man? Before long, we are introduced to Sara and her circle of friends. Sara lives in Arizona and although she has no family of her own, she has a small group of friends that have become her family. It was interesting to read a story that centres on a woman, told from her point of view but written by a man.
This is a good read and the characters are interesting, I enjoyed the banter amongst the friends. This standalone story grabs our attention from the first page and keeps us engaged right up to the ending. The story unfolded in a smooth manner, and although it wasn’t thrilling or exciting, it was captivating. I recommend this story as a light and entertaining read. ...more
Who is Mr. Hyde? Why is he so callous and what is his association with the upstanding Dr. Jekyll? This is the mystery thaBook review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Who is Mr. Hyde? Why is he so callous and what is his association with the upstanding Dr. Jekyll? This is the mystery that Mr Utterson and Mr. Lanyon explore to their detriment. Here is the legendary tale of the good and evil that exists within us and what can happen when we do not control the corrupt side of our nature.
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote numerous novels, short stories and poems including Treasure Island as well as the novella of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde which was first published in 1886. The majority of the story is told in a third person narrative from the point of view of Mr. Utterson, a lawyer who is observing his friend Dr. Jekyll and the mysterious Mr. Hyde. The end of the story moves over into a first person narrative by Mr. Lanyon, another friend of Dr. Jekyll and finally by Dr. Jekyll himself. Both of these narratives are related in the form of letters that Mr. Utterson has received from each of the parties.
The story is well told in an interesting manner. It almost seemed as though we were being told some juicy gossip since the story is about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde but it is told through the eyes of Mr. Utterson. At times the writing was truly inspiring and I loved the word descriptions. The portrayal of Mr. Hyde is a good out-picturing of evil in human form and the examination of Dr. Jekyll's inner conflict is captivating.
This is a standalone story which builds up to an interesting conclusion. Although most of us are familiar with this story, I still recommend you read the book, it is well worth the time, especially since it is a quick read.
Eiji Miyake has never met his father, but he is on a journey to find him. The desire to find and meet his father is whatBook Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Eiji Miyake has never met his father, but he is on a journey to find him. The desire to find and meet his father is what drives him to take action, when in reality this aspiration is just a side quest. What he really wants to find is the meaning of life. Number9Dream is the second novel written by David Mitchell. The story takes place in Japan, it is a drama/coming of age tale told in a first person narrative by the main protagonist, nineteen year old Eiji Miyake.
Eiji grows through his trials and tribulations. He experiences life through his dreams, his imagination, video games and the people around him. But as the tale unfolds, it is difficult at times, to differentiate which of these experiences are really happening. While the task of searching for his father both terrifies and enthrals him, it also seems to be continually out of reach. Eiji is likeable and we care about him immediately, he is an interesting yet damaged character. There is a fair bit of humour throughout this novel and there are also some pretty gruesome parts.
Number9Dream is a standalone story which is weaved together in a unique fashion. It has stories within stories and includes his sister’s journey, which is tragic. However, I did not really understand the part about “goatwriter”, it does not seem to add anything. Despite this, it was a good read.
Kitty, a vain and shallow young woman, marries Walter, a serious, bacteriologist for all the wrong reasons. Although WaltBook review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Kitty, a vain and shallow young woman, marries Walter, a serious, bacteriologist for all the wrong reasons. Although Walter loves and adores Kitty, she is bored with Walter and their life together in Hong Kong. As a distraction, Kitty has an adulterous relationship with the handsome, dashing and married Charles Townsend. Once Walter discovers what his wife is up to, his heart breaks and to help both his heart and their relationship to heal he takes Kitty away to the interior of China to give aid dealing with a cholera epidemic.
The Painted Veil was written in 1924 and originally released as five instalments in Cosmopolitan magazine. Subsequently it has been made into a movie three times, in 1937, 1957 & 2006. This story is a drama and it is told in a third person narrative from the point of view of the main protagonist, a young woman whose name is Kitty. Mr. W. Somerset Maugham wrote numerous plays and novels; his best known work was Of Human Bondage.
I was intrigued from the first page. The story pulled me in immediately. I was curious about the characters and what drove them. Mr. Maugham does a superb job of showing us who Kitty, Walter and Charles really are, with well drawn characters. This book is truly a tale of transformation.
This is a standalone book and although the ending is sad, it is satisfying. The story is original and keeps us guessing right up to the last page about what will happen. Although the book revolves around the marriage of Kitty and Walter, it is not a romance; instead the focus is more on Kitty’s personal journey through a difficult time. I recommend this book.
The Prices, an American missionary family of six, attempt to bring Christianity to the Congo in 1959, but things do not tBook Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
The Prices, an American missionary family of six, attempt to bring Christianity to the Congo in 1959, but things do not turn out the way they hope. Instead, the land, people and customs are so foreign that the Congo imprints itself onto the family and irrevocably changes all of them. This story follows both the Congo’s trials and tribulations during this time as well as the lives within this family.
This historical fiction starts in 1959 in the Belgian Congo and continues through to 1990. The story is told in a first person narrative alternating between the five Price women, Orleanna, the mother and her four daughters: Rachel, Leah, Adah, and Ruth May. Barbara Kingsolver has 13 published books and has received several awards for her various works.
The Poisonwood Bible illustrates how war negatively affects people’s lives. The story shows first how World War II changed and destroyed Nathan's life and ultimately led them all to the Congo. Since the majority of this book takes place in Africa during a time of war and strife, the heart-wrenching damage done to Africa and it’s people is continually revealed as this tale is told. The story is a clear indication of the evil and harm that greed and selfishness can do. This tale is well written with great character development.
I highly recommend this novel; it gives a really good description of Africa. I loved the picture Ms. Kingsolver draws of the pre-Belgian Congo. This is a standalone story with a great beginning and middle, I found the ending to be a bit weak, but overall still a really good read.
A horrendous, life changing event impacts three young college students. To protect themselves, they swear to keep it a seBook Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
A horrendous, life changing event impacts three young college students. To protect themselves, they swear to keep it a secret. After graduation, they drift apart, each finding ways to escape their past. Twenty years later, one of the friends decides the truth must come out, but at what cost? This story examines each of their lives, how they have reconciled with the past and how revealing the truth will affect them.
The Truth About Us is Dalene Flannigan’s second novel, she has also written a couple of plays. This book is a drama and it is told in an alternating first person narrative by the three main protagonists. Three women who roomed together in college. The story takes place about 20 years after they graduated. Grace is now a successful, independent woman who makes documentary films about violence against women. Erica is struggling with her marriage but loves her two children and is trying to make her life work. For Jude, life has been difficult so she turned to drugs, and became an addict, but recently she has found Jesus, This has led her onto a new path and she is putting her life back together.
The story was well told and intriguing from the first page. Ms. Flannigan is a gifted story teller as she baits the reader, slowly releasing facts while drawing us in. Each of the characters are well drawn, well rounded people who we care about. I found the book hard to put down. First I was curious to find out what the secret was, and then once it was revealed I could understand why they wanted to keep it a secret. I could also see how the secret impacted each of them and lead to their current lives.
The Truth About Us is a standalone book, with a well developed plot and a great ending. If you enjoy reading a good story about women, then I recommend this book.
A horrendous event occurred in Stevie’s life when she was sixteen which continues to haunt her. The story starts when sheBook Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
A horrendous event occurred in Stevie’s life when she was sixteen which continues to haunt her. The story starts when she abandons her loving husband, Ash, when she is in her late twenties. Her past won’t leave her alone. This is a tale of love, betrayal and secrets which continually tears at Stevie’s heart.
The Secret of Lies is Barbara Forte Abate's debut novel. This drama is told to us with a first person narrative using the voice and thoughts of the main protagonist, Stevie Burke. She is a young woman and the story follows her tale as she grows from a young teenager of twelve until she is in her late twenties.
The story grabs our attention from the first page and keeps us involved right up until the last page. It starts in the present, alluding to a tragedy, and then flashes to the past. Tension is immediately created and as the tale unfolds, I knew something bad was going to happen. I loved the beautiful word pictures that Ms. Forte Abate creates when she describes the beach house and the summers that Stevie spent there with her sister, aunt and uncle.
The book still needs a bit of polish, but overall it was well written. I liked Stevie’s character, but I did not see any reason that Ash would be so devoted to her. She was rather selfish, self-absorbed, and not very nice to Ash. I understand why she was the way she was, but I still had a hard time believing that Ash would be interested in Stevie.
I recommend this book, it is a good read. The story will keep you entertained as the characters are developed and it is an interesting look at the dynamics of family.
Paloma is looking for a reason to keep living and at times she thinks she may have found it only to realize, that no, thaBook Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Paloma is looking for a reason to keep living and at times she thinks she may have found it only to realize, that no, that is not good enough. Renee is cynical and she is reiterating her dim view of life, with only her art as the highlight. Both characters are completely different, yet each is searching for meaning.
Muriel Barbery is a French novelist and The Elegance of the Hedgehog was originally written in French and is a novel of ideas. The story is told with a first person narrative that alternates between the two main protagonists. Renée Michel is a 54 year old concierge (landlady) of an upper middle class apartment building. Paloma Josse is a 12 year old girl, who lives in one of the apartments.
Both the characters are living a lie; they are pretending to be less than what they really are because neither feels they will be accepted. Numerous times Ms. Barbery uses exaggeration as a means of portraying her point. It was obvious that the book had been translated from French into English because the language selected for numerous words are not commonly used, for example Renee refers to her apartment as a loge. There are some pretty profound thoughts and observations in the final chapter, with both characters experiencing epiphanies.
Although the story slowly unfolds, the book concentrates more on the internal dialogue of each of the characters as they examine the meaning of life then on actual plot. However, things do pick up in the last quarter of the book. There is a lot of philosophising in this book by both characters and at times, Paloma seems much older and far more cynical than most twelve year olds. The story also has both a sad yet uplifting ending. The book is not for everyone, but if you enjoy analyzing life, then you should give this book a try.
My favourite quote: Moments like this act as magical interludes, placing our hearts at the edge of our souls: fleetingly, yet intensely, a fragment of eternity has come to enrich time. Elsewhere the world may be blustering or sleeping, wars are fought, people live and die, some nations disintegrate, while others are born, soon to be swallowed up in turn-and in all this sound and fury, amidst eruptions and undertows, while the world goes its merry way, bursts into flames, tears itself apart and is reborn: human life continues to throb.
WOW!! An engrossing story centering on love and redemption. Twin brothers, Marion and Shiva Stone are born in 1952 at a sBook Review: 4 treasure boxes
WOW!! An engrossing story centering on love and redemption. Twin brothers, Marion and Shiva Stone are born in 1952 at a small missionary hospital in Ethiopia. Initially, conjoined, their birth resulted from the unlikely union of an Indian nun and a talented but aloof British Doctor. This is a 360° view of their life as shown through the eyes of one of the twins.
Cutting for Stone is a wonderful first novel written by Abraham Verghese. He is a medical doctor, with Indian parents and he was raised in Ethiopia near Addis Ababa. It is told in the first person narrative with the voice of Marion, and sometimes it takes on a third person narrative when Marion is telling his mother or father’s story.
The setting is primarily in Ethiopia and we experience the turmoil that was going on in that country. We also get a hint of what life was like there including a glimse of the Ethiopian people. This is a beautiful story; painted with vivid and stunning word pictures. Mr. Verghese medical background adds an interesting dimension to this narration as Marion's character develops as a Doctor. He weaves together an incredible tale with phenomenal character development. The story swung full circle and although somber it was still satisfying.
I highly recommend this novel. It has all, it made me laugh, it made me cry. Although the ending was surprising and somewhat sad, it was still great.
My Favourite Quote from the book: "Wasn't that the definition of home? Not where you're from, but where you're wanted."
A mysterious young man frequently holds extravagant parties for the rich and chic crowd in what is known as East Egg on LBook Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
A mysterious young man frequently holds extravagant parties for the rich and chic crowd in what is known as East Egg on Long Island. Nick, his neighbour, is soon invited, which we learn is due to Nick’s connection to Gatsby’s long lost love. This is a story of love, lost honour and the cruel nature of some people; it also shows how the past influences the future.
The Great Gatsby was released in 1925 and is a drama that takes place just after the end of World War I. The story is told in a first person narrative by Nick Carraway, but he is not the protagonist, only the narrator. He is chronicling Jay Gatsby's story. Gatsby is the protagonist and the story is his life as observed by Nick. The author, F. Scott Fitzgerald has completed four novels and numerous short stories; he is also considered one of the great American authors.
The first page of this book is intriguing and summarizes what the story is about, a non-judgemental view of Jay Gatsby's life. Throughout the book, Mr. Fitzgerald is examining society and exploring the difference between “old” money and “new” money. This is a sad story about some awful people. Initially, we know little about Gatsby, but as the story unfolds his character is drawn with skill and precision until we come to fully understand the man and his motives.
This book is a great character study and certainly worth the read. It examines an earlier time and gives us an interesting view into the past.
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