I thought I'd be reading the tales of a select few of a thousand stories, instead, I only read one.
This isn't as much a story of the 982 Jews fleeing...moreI thought I'd be reading the tales of a select few of a thousand stories, instead, I only read one.
This isn't as much a story of the 982 Jews fleeing from Europe and Nazi terror to be President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's guests in the United States as it's a story of a young woman making the trip with them and acting as their guide to their new life and home.
Haven and its thousand refugees are only the frame that holds the picture of Ruth Gruber facing her life-altering moment as she learns the extent of the horrors of the concentration camps, and the obstacles that come with modern democracy.
This book offers a rare glimpse to the inner machinations of the government and politicians and officials deciding people's fates. It shows the nasty edge of all politics as well as few good moments when reason and humanism wins. Gruber tells just how difficult it was to offer sanctuary for even those thousand people while millions were dying, and she shows all the loops she and others had to clear before the refugees could reclaim their lives and build new homes for themselves in America.
She also goes to a great detail of all the things that followed for herself over the years after the refugee camp had been closed.
All in all, I can see why she'd choose first person voice to tell this story. It is a personal story and it is nearly impossible to stay detached, but I do think that the book suffers for the lack of objectivity. I missed the neutrality as I read about the suppressed memorandums and the stern resolution to send the refugees back to the ravaged Europe as soon as the war would have ended. I missed it, because I couldn't feel the frustration or anything else Gruber must have felt while living through those months and years despite the intimate point of view.
The lack of objectivity also drowns out the individual survival stories that I thought were the most memorable parts of the book, or at least should have been.
Still, this is a story that had to be written and should be read. People need to know the mistakes of the past to learn from them.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.(less)
I read it in Finnish and I loved the trilogy. I remember not being a fan of the slow start, but when the events started to unfold I was captivated.
I f...moreI read it in Finnish and I loved the trilogy. I remember not being a fan of the slow start, but when the events started to unfold I was captivated.
I finished the reread in English.
Things I do to myself. Like reread a book I absolutely loved over a decade ago and spend three days remembering the translated names I hated the first time I around. Or draw comparisons between the main character in this series and the one so similar in Soldier Son that I ended up hating long before I jilted the books.
Some of the pain and suffering that Fitz goes through in his teens, I've grown out of in a way that prevents me from even sympathising with him. And this time, knowing what's coming, I look forward to the ending of Farseer trilogy in a way I never could accept the appeasing in Tawny Man.
I've learned to despise the first person voice more than anything in writing aside from bad grammar. It's a choice that shuts out so many avenues for the author, and makes the brilliant magic's like Old Wit and Skill seem like illusionist's tricks to cheat the audience. But it also works here and solely because of the character Hobb created. Things that others would have missed Fitz noticed, because of his training, and that allowed clues to create unexpected depths for the story. Many things made sense only a hundred pages later after having been first introduced.
It's also one thing that didn't work in Soldier Son and the other being the main character always blaming others for his troubles undeservedly, but enough about that.
I still love this book and despite my reserve, I'm tempted to upgrade the rating. Tempted, only tempted.(less)
It started out well but ended on a sour note, at least where the romance is concerned. I don’t mind the fated pairs nature that practically eliminates...moreIt started out well but ended on a sour note, at least where the romance is concerned. I don’t mind the fated pairs nature that practically eliminates choice and comes with the shapeshifter romances, but I do mind the utter suffocating of one half’s will. I was hoping that Singh would hit that precious balance between his overprotectiveness and her need stand on her own two feet, but instead it went down the he is always right–path.
What I did like and why I’ll probably continue with the series despite the dismal rating, is the world. I liked the Psy and their reliance on logic and attempt to shun emotion. We need more Vulcans in fiction. I also liked the pack dynamics on the changeling side to a certain extent. They’re a bit too misogynistic for my taste but if I don’t overindulge or attempt to take any of the “romances” seriously, I should be able to cope. (less)
This is a different kind of mystery novel. Instead of hiding the clues for as long as possible and distracting the reader from the obvious, Derek Raym...moreThis is a different kind of mystery novel. Instead of hiding the clues for as long as possible and distracting the reader from the obvious, Derek Raymond dives deep into the pool of victim characterisation. His nameless Factory detective gets lost in the cassette tapes the victim has recorded and finally in his life too.
The exceptional characterisation of the victim is what makes this novel so special, but it's also its weakest point, because in the end, an old man's blathering is just that, an old man's blathering. If you, like me, aren't that interested in getting lost in trivial observations and life-lessons of a fifty-one year old man, you might find yourself bored for chapters at a time.
But if you're the stubborn kind, like I am, you'll find yourself swept away by the occasional rapid dialogue that advances the actual plot in leaps and bounds.
Derek Raymond's London is far from the happy shiny place I've come accustomed to seeing in films and shows, and although this London Noir makes for a fascinating read, it also highlights the fact that I as a non-Brit can't possibly understand all the subtle references hidden in the minimal descriptions.
I wonder how much, or little, has changed in three decades.
I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.(less)
This is basically a repeat of the first book with different characters, slightly different psychic abilities, and the fact that the couple actually di...moreThis is basically a repeat of the first book with different characters, slightly different psychic abilities, and the fact that the couple actually discussed about some of their problems. He actually wanted her to choose him unprompted—or uncoerced. Yes, the casual misogyny or he is always right attitude is still there but not quite as bad. There also was a killer, again, and some advancing of the bigger Psy plot but not enough for my taste.
I just reread the blurb for this novel for the first time since requesting it from NetGalley and found it slightly misleading.
It is true that Miss Ma...moreI just reread the blurb for this novel for the first time since requesting it from NetGalley and found it slightly misleading.
It is true that Miss Marian Wynswich is rather unconventional as is her whole family. It is also true that she is a young lady who plays chess, reads and converses in Greek, and is as educated as any young man of the regency era. It is true that she abhors the idea of falling in love, but has no qualms about wishing it on others. As for plot, it is true that a man who happens to be an English lord and quite handsome pays her and her family a visit just before Christmas. What isn't quite true is this visiting lord's age:
For a sixteen–nearly seventeen–year old girl twenty-eight seems terribly old. This discrepancy is underlined continuously when Lord Ingraham calls Marian a child or a brat. It is also a convenient reminder to the reader of Marian's naiveté, when the Lord's feelings become quite transparent early in the novel. So transparent in fact, that for a moment I worried how the author would fill the rest of the book.
I shouldn't have worried. Miscommunication and ignorance pays only a small part in this story, and the focus shifts on the familial relationships and modest though violent adventure. You see, Lord Ingraham isn't quite what he seems to be. As Marian peels away the layers of his deception, he uncovers her heart and makes his home there. Marian's inner dialogue and rationale is terribly amusing at times, but always believable. There are no hammers or mallets here.
It is quite a lovely case of showing how two people fall in love despite what they know to be obstacles on their way.
There are other gems in there too. I marvel at Kelly's ability to bring alive such a gallery of characters, some better than others, but with such grace that none seem neglected. We not only get to meet Marian's wacky family, but we also learn about his. It's such a refreshing change from all the other romance novels I've read where only one side or family is fully explored. Lord Ingraham's sisters may be left in shadows, but his mother and her butler Washburn are more memorable characters eclipsed only by Marian's brother Alistair.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.(less)
It had a slow start that reminded me of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and just like with Larsson's text, the story didn't really take flight until after the hundred page mark. Then I was devouring the pages as fast as I could.
The writing was enchanting and engaging - I'm not sure whether to thank the original author for this or the translator - and it kept me hooked. I got to the end having passed through each gate and turned each corner for maximum points - although, I could have skipped the rather obvious misdirection and end twist - and thought "Was that it?"
What was supposed to be so scary about it? The mere thought of closed spaces can drive me a little nuts and flesh-eating monsters running amuck should make anyone reconsider their holiday destination, but maybe neither of those were the point. Maybe the point was in the group dynamics and the psychological effects the deep can do to individuals. In that case, it would help very much for the reader to be able to remember more than two names of a hundred and fifty.
I need more than casual remarks about characters braiding each others' hair for their deaths to affect me in any way. Molly's fate for example was sorely in need of foreshadowing, and I don't mean the obvious kind.
For Ike, the mountain climber it's quite a journey. From the top of the world to the bottom of it and back up again. He, at least, finds a semblance of peace after the hell he's travelled through, but for the rest of us the story reads unfinished.
It really shouldn't have taken author eight years to write the sequel and, hopefully, finish the story.(less)
To me the most memorable thing about this book was Eden's knowledge of gardening. I kept thinking "Mum will like this" and that's about it. Not a bad...moreTo me the most memorable thing about this book was Eden's knowledge of gardening. I kept thinking "Mum will like this" and that's about it. Not a bad book, but just not for me.(less)
What can I say, I was taught to round up like 3,5 stars. And since I liked this book slightly better than the previous two (Julian is the key) four st...moreWhat can I say, I was taught to round up like 3,5 stars. And since I liked this book slightly better than the previous two (Julian is the key) four stars it is.
The series is good and well written, but left me unaffected. I didn't hate the heroine but I didn't care about her either, and just when she was about to become interesting the story ended. The only time I felt interested in the events taking place on the pages was when Julian was involved. Too bad about him btw.
I guess I'm just too old to appreciate this kind of innocence in books. (less)
I didn't exactly have high hopes for this book, but the first pages seemed to prove me wrong. The writing was good and the text flowed just right. Sti...moreI didn't exactly have high hopes for this book, but the first pages seemed to prove me wrong. The writing was good and the text flowed just right. Still, not the likes of Christie. Although the author managed to mislead and keep me guessing until the final reveal, the unveiling moment itself between the heroine and the culprit reduced all that good buildup to cinders.
Can you get more clichéd than that? I think not.
So, what I was hoping to be three star book, turned out to be two star book.
If you don't mind a silly nonsensical crime novel with few redundant passages, this is a good afternoons read. Don't you dare to spend more time on this. (less)