Saw this movie starring Jack Nicholson as Warren Schmidt several years ago. I just discovered there are two more books about Warren Schmidt so I decid...moreSaw this movie starring Jack Nicholson as Warren Schmidt several years ago. I just discovered there are two more books about Warren Schmidt so I decided to read the first book to refresh my memory before heading on the next two books. Warren Schmidt has lived a good and successful life and it all begins to unravel. Recently widowed, Schmidt is at loose ends. Even though he has a full life as a powerful New York lawyer, he has lost his wife of many years, has been forced into early retirement by the law firm, and now his daughter is engaged to one of the men behind the changes at the firm that forced him out. Even his lifelong friendships are hard to maintain as most of them were friendships that his wife nurtured so he is finding it hard to move in this circle of couples when he is now a single man. Books of this type are usually about middle-aged women trying to forge a new path so reading about a powerful and successful man trying to to reinvent his life is refreshing. Schmidt is reaching deep inside himself to determine what life is about as his life is totally and completely changed.(less)
Lovely read. At times haunting and unsettling yet the author explores several layers of life relationships. At the heart of the story, the bonds of a...moreLovely read. At times haunting and unsettling yet the author explores several layers of life relationships. At the heart of the story, the bonds of a deep female friendship are explored then tested. The friendship of Cameron and Sonia is tested by family, lovers, and distance. This is a story about life and loss. Do not expect a happily ever after ending. But be prepared for an ending that you will ponder deeply. An ending that will take your mind back into the story to re-think characters you once tthought of as insignificant. I do hope Ms. Stewart has another novel in the works. (less)
Reading this to prepare myself for reading the sequel Death of Santini. It is a hard book to read because the Santini (Bull Meecham) expresses his lov...moreReading this to prepare myself for reading the sequel Death of Santini. It is a hard book to read because the Santini (Bull Meecham) expresses his love to his family is less than loving ways. Colonel Bull Meecham is a fighter pilot with impressive military successes. Lillian Meecham is a true Southern "Steel Magnolia" with a love of literature and family. After years of moving from military base to military base, the family finally settles in a small bay town in South Carolina. The oldest son, Ben, often takes the brunt of Bull's cruelty. Both emotionally and physically.
A story of family and personal struggles. Very often heart-wrenching, the books if also filled with poignant images of how family is a lifeblood that can't be escaped. It is not difficult to figure out which character is based on Conroy himself. Your heart will both break and soar for this character. In the end, you realize his strength is displayed by his characteristic qualities rather than his fists.(less)
Started reading this sequel to Chocolat last night (Jan 18). A girl always on the move allows no "moss to grow under her feet". After years of assumin...moreStarted reading this sequel to Chocolat last night (Jan 18). A girl always on the move allows no "moss to grow under her feet". After years of assuming identities people recently dead, will Vianne finally find a place to put down roots and find peace and calm? I'll never know because I just could not get into the book. Life is too short to plod your way through an uninteresting book.(less)
I read this over 20 years ago when it first came out. My daughter was a pre-teen and I read it to be aware of what she was reading. When I saw that it...moreI read this over 20 years ago when it first came out. My daughter was a pre-teen and I read it to be aware of what she was reading. When I saw that it was being made into a movie, I remembered that I enjoyed it but could remember little about it so decided to pick it up again.
Jonas lives in a perfectly designed world. Every minute of every day is planned for every person within the community. The community is orderly and controlled. All decisions are made for the people - professions, spouses, even the children they will be given. There is no lying or stealing. The community is an apparent utopia. Every year of the first 12 years of life children are bestowed with a new "gift" - blouses that button in the front, bicycles, opportunities to volunteer, etc. Until you reach the age of 12 when your life work is revealed to you and you are expected to put all childhood behind and begin to train for your life work.
The story opens with Jonas a few months before his 12th year. He is nervous about what job he will be assigned because he does not show a clear leaning in any particular direction. There is one strange phenomena that has been happening to him in the months leading up to his 12th year - so strange that he is reluctant to tell anyone about it. Little does he know that much responsibility is headed his way.
This us an important book for re-reading today - for both adults and young adults - because Americans are losing so much of our freedom and privacy that we could find ourselves in a world like Jonas's if we become too complacent. This reads as fresh today as it did years ago. Jonas risks everything to discover everything that he is missing. The lesson in the book is appreciation for the fact that freedom, the right to make your own choices, uniqueness, and individuality are worth dying for. (less)
Extremely emotional. Especially when you know or learn that the author truly wrote this book in as a Word document as a Christmas gift to his children...moreExtremely emotional. Especially when you know or learn that the author truly wrote this book in as a Word document as a Christmas gift to his children. One of those books full of life wisdom that makes you step back and take a look at the true value of life and family.(less)