Alright, so I've been meaning to write this review for a little while, and therefore some of the thoughts may not be as clear as they once were. ThisAlright, so I've been meaning to write this review for a little while, and therefore some of the thoughts may not be as clear as they once were. This book was good, but there was one aspect that bothered me. Before I get into that (since it may contain some spoiler alerts) I will say that it is well written and most people would enjoy it, so don't choose not to read it just because I'm not rating it 4 stars. I did love many aspects- seeing old Italy, being immersed in a new culture, seeing them come to America, getting a view of the opera world and many other things.
Part that bothered me. I read that the author was intrigued by the love story of her grandparents and how they were meant to be and how they loved each other and stuff along those lines. What bothered me was how I do not feel she portrayed that. Enza loves Ciro. I feel that when reading this book. Enza and Ciro are good for each other and belong together- I see that. I even come to feel that Ciro appreciates Enza, but I don't feel like Ciro truly loves Enza. Now let me explain. Ciro is a player. He loves women. He seems to be able to devote himself entirely to other girls in the book but keeps on running into Enza and you hope he will fall for her, but he never seems to. Then he gets shipped off to war and sleeps with various women- it doesn't matter what they look like or who they are. Ciro is a sex addict and therefore does not really care as long as the woman makes him feel good. He comes back from the war and there's a beautiful set of pages where he talks about how he realized that he's always been looking for Enza but didn't realize it. How every European woman he slept with during the war was an attempt to find Enza and he saw something of Enza in all of them. It makes me feel like Ciro has changed and that he truly does love Enza. But then my hopes are dashed when just a chapter or two later, while these pages are fresh in my mind he ends up at a dance. He gets upset but NOT AT ENZA. He ends up seeking solace in a girl that reminds him of a girl he slept with in Europe who SUPPOSEDLY reminds him of Enza. But even though Enza is right there, in plain sight of him, he ignores her, despite that he is not upset with her and runs off to be with another woman. This is not true love. This does not show that Ciro loves Enza so truly and purely. And then Ciro lies about the whole thing. He danced with another woman in front of Enza, practically flaunting it in her face before running off for more intimate things with this other woman. It's as if he was an immature child trying to get even with Enza, but they weren't even in a fight for him to react this way. And what bothers me more is Enza talks of wanting to dance with Ciro and despite Ciro wanting to dance with every other woman in his life, he NEVER dances with Enza. There are no more incidents in the book mentioned of Ciro being unfaithful after that night, but I wouldn't doubt that there were other times, especially since this love story is based off of real people. Maybe the other times were more hurtful and not documented. And even if Ciro is a sex addict, this does not mean that he doesn't love Enza, but I believe the book never portrays his love for Enza. It shows how Enza was good for Ciro and how Ciro doesn't regret marrying her, but is that partially because Enza is more forgiving than some women would be with husbands running off having affairs? Did she help him overcome that and prove his loyalty and devotion for her? We never see that.
So, my main problem with this book is if you are reading it looking for a story of true love. It is definitely a love story on Enza's part. And you see changes in both Ciro and Enza. But to me, you should read it if you're more interested in culture. In feeling a part of old Italy or Old America. How it was for immigrants, or to see a part of the opera world. I was actually inspired to make gnocchi for the first time after reading this book and tried coming up with some similar sauce to the one Enza makes for the opera singers. I just didn't like that the author seems to think that they had some great love story and that was her motivation in writing it, and I felt like it was lacking from Ciro's end....more
Really enjoyed all of these books. It gives a good, humanistic view of these women from the Old Testament while still reserving a special spot for theReally enjoyed all of these books. It gives a good, humanistic view of these women from the Old Testament while still reserving a special spot for them among people to be admired. I felt like he quoted his sources accurately so you can know what's fact and see the fabrications if you want, or just get into the story and get an idea for what these women MAY have been like.
Because of the sisters both being married to the same man, this book becomes a little enlightening. It shows how they can be jealous, and reasonably so. When reading the scriptures I always pitied Rachel. But after reading this book, I pity Leah more. Yeah, she had more kids, but did she really feel any love from her husband? I feel it's best to be loved and feel loved than win a contest of who has the most kids. I realize polygamy isn't normal now, though there are tv shows about how it does still exist... but even without that in marriage, there are times when guys have multiple girlfriends. And that, if the guy isn't careful, can end in the wife feeling jealous. If we feel we have to compete with other lovers, past or present, we can be put in the shoes of Rachel and Leah....more
Really enjoyed all of these books. It gives a good, humanistic view of these women from the Old Testament while still reserving a special spot for theReally enjoyed all of these books. It gives a good, humanistic view of these women from the Old Testament while still reserving a special spot for them among people to be admired. I felt like he quoted his sources accurately so you can know what's fact and see the fabrications if you want, or just get into the story and get an idea for what these women MAY have been like. I really liked this one and I think I related to Rebekah the most....more
Really enjoyed all of these books. It gives a good, humanistic view of these women from the Old Testament while still reserving a special spot for theReally enjoyed all of these books. It gives a good, humanistic view of these women from the Old Testament while still reserving a special spot for them among people to be admired. I felt like he quoted his sources accurately so you can know what's fact and see the fabrications if you want, or just get into the story and get an idea for what these women MAY have been like....more
Alright, so this book I read with a book club. So I'm going to explain the categories I placed this in that may be LESS obvious. First historical fictAlright, so this book I read with a book club. So I'm going to explain the categories I placed this in that may be LESS obvious. First historical fiction. I say that because it's based on a family who leaves Russia around the time of Communist Russia. Also, with some of the ancient time stuff- there are stories about a Slavic priest who teaches his village to write. So there are hints of history thrown into a mostly fiction book. I say it's sci-fi, because without that qualification, to me, the whole place where they can travel through time becomes unexplainable. I guess it could just be magical, but it seemed more sci-fi to me.
With that said, I thought it was a very interesting and entertaining book. In our book club we mentioned how nudity seems to be a prevalent theme. I don't think it's that bad- it portrays vulnerability and new beginnings and is brought up as a way that the princess notices that he is Jewish. It also leads to an interesting scenario that is used against him as part of the plot and wouldn't have happened if he weren't naked.
There are some cuss words, but they always seemed appropriate instead of just thrown in there for fun. I'll say, with only reading his books about the women in the Bible I was more surprised by the language than the nudity. The nudity seemed weird but it was not uncomfortable. It just seemed, at first, to be an odd detail.
It is because of the nudity and the language that I'm not qualifying it as YA-fiction. I don't think I care if my future children read it in high school but I wouldn't qualify it as YA fiction considering. For parents, sex is obvious when it happens but no details are given. It is not in there as a means to enjoy the sex scene, but enough details are given that you know that they have finally "sealed" their marriage. Also with the ancient part of the text there is some focus on an heir being important. The nude scenes are more humorous than crude. With that, be the judge for your own children.
I really enjoyed the book. However, my biggest criticism is that the beginning was slow for me. To me it was similar to the first Fablehaven book. I really enjoyed that one too, but since it was his first book, he took too long getting into the heart of the story. I enjoyed all the stuff leading into the actual plot. Like the mini-puzzle they had to figure out before finding the world of fantasy where the story would begin. I felt this book was similar. It's not that I didn't enjoy the first part of the book, but I thought it was too much set up. The first part of the book made me think it was a historical fiction novel with no "Enchantment" at all. I mean it hints at it, but then he leaves that side of the world to come to America. Too many chapters were devoted to setting up the novel before actually entering the world of fantasy. I was especially disappointed that it took Card that long, seeing as how it's NOT his first published novel. In book club, we learned that he likes this novel best, and I think he loved his research too much, that he included too much of it in the first part of the book before delving into the meat of the story.
Another good point this book makes is in the importance of writing and keeping records, and the power of the written word. I thought that was a great element to the book. ...more
So, this book was good. It's about a girl who grows up in Brooklyn. She's from a poor family but goes to the library to read. She reads a lot. Her dadSo, this book was good. It's about a girl who grows up in Brooklyn. She's from a poor family but goes to the library to read. She reads a lot. Her dad is friendly but not always the best role model, but wants the best for his kids. She's able to get into a better school and always tries to make education a priority. There are a lot of good things in this book and it covers a lot of life topics. It touches on poverty, and scrimping, drinking, (it's been a few months- I believe there was a rapist in the neighborhood but I don't know if it's that explicit or just a run-in with a bad guy- I don't remember how vividly he's portrayed). It also has many side tangents, including the value of hospitals and modern medicine when it comes to delivering babies and how some babies can now survive that wouldn't have been able to in the past. I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it. I did think the end was a little funny. I finished reading it and although I had enjoyed it, I had a difficult time thinking about what the real plot had been besides following her life for an indefinite amount of time. I don't know if I could pinpoint any type of climax either. But I would still recommend it- many good things in this book....more
I liked the book. I listened to it rather than reading it though, and my husband will tell you that sometimes I miss things when I only listen to someI liked the book. I listened to it rather than reading it though, and my husband will tell you that sometimes I miss things when I only listen to something. "Amerika: The Missing Person"
The summary on the books page says that Karl was exiled from Germany by his family and sent to America because he had impregnated a servant girl. I did not get this angle at all. When he first comes over he meets up with his Uncle, and I thought the Uncle explained why he had lost contact with the family (due to a sexual encounter). There is a time in the book when Karl is thinking about writing to his parents and remembers a fight he had with them right before leaving, in which he promised never to write. But then there's the part with Brunhilda, who is supposed to be a very beautiful, albeit voluptuous woman, and Karl doesn't seem to really notice or care. His interactions with most of the girls, Teresa, the girl in New York and Brunhilda suggested to me more innocence in him than would've been there if he really had impregnated someone. He definitely seems attracted to girls/women, but he acts too young around them, as if his hormones are never roused by them. I mean he comes to America and is too young to really do any work except be an elevator boy, at first- and I picture them being relatively young.
Then there's the title: "Amerika: The Missing Person". I never quite got the missing person part. It seems like Karl goes from misfortune to misfortune, and tries to make the best of each case. There's always something he does, but it never seems to be entirely his fault and based on a miscommunication, or a partial truth. Through it all though I found it very interesting.
I am sad that Kafka never finished the book. I liked the writing style better than his short stories, but he never finished. The fragments leave an incomplete story. In the last fragment, it talks about applying for another job. Here he gives his name as "Negro", a nickname he received at a previous job which was never actually written. My best guess as to the title is how Karl's life led him to leave Karl behind and become someone else entirely. To become known as "Negro" and therefore Karl is lost and missing, even to himself, out of necessity of surviving and making the most of his life.
Anyways, I enjoyed it. The chapters were longer, but as long as you don't mind stopping in the middle of a chapter it was still a very good story....more
Honestly, I was expecting to like this book more. I mean it was still intriguing like Nefertiti was and historical fiction, which I like. But it was mHonestly, I was expecting to like this book more. I mean it was still intriguing like Nefertiti was and historical fiction, which I like. But it was more graphic than I would've liked. I mean based on the content- there's competition for being the wife of Pharaoh and then becoming Chief Wife. But I didn't need to know that she was taught how to touch him sexually, and I didn't need as much info in those scenes. I've read one or two romance novels that are worse, but it still was more than I like.
Throughout the whole book I was kinda disgusted with the whole two wives thing. I mean, the one doesn't even love him in the book and is just plotting for more power for herself, and the husband still spends as much time with her as the other one who truly does love him. Though I guess we're supposed to like Nefertari more anyways. I didn't realize that there are remnants of poetry that Ramesses the Great wrote that show his love for her. And I was touched most at the end when reading through the notes, that although the book was fiction- their love in real life was not. ...more
Alright, well I recently made a goal to read more classics. This made it onto the list. I'll admit, I started it and it was pretty boring to me. I didAlright, well I recently made a goal to read more classics. This made it onto the list. I'll admit, I started it and it was pretty boring to me. I didn't get into it and as a result didn't finish it. I picked it up again, but had forgotten how it started. I started reading and got the same feeling, so I flipped back to the beginning and this time started reading a bit faster. As a result I may have missed some minor details but I started enjoying it more. I think the reason for that is, sometimes it seemed on the wordy side. Not that that's bad, but when reading it quicker I started forming a picture, I understood the metaphors better because by the time I finished the depiction of the scene, I could still remember the first part and be able to see a picture of what it might have been like. I found the scenery to be fascinating in creating a mood, foreshadowing, or even just describing the era.
I liked the love story and I especially grew to love most of the characters. I also gained insight into the French Revolution. What an awful time. It was depicted as the "natural" course, but still was just so awful with how many people went to the Guillotine. The book helped me feel pity, hope, anger a few times, and compassion. I would read it again, though now I'm hoping there's a movie that picked up the same visuals I saw in Dickens' writing. Loved it....more
Loved it. I loved the movie and decided to read the book after (usually I like to do it the other way around). I was especially touched, when readingLoved it. I loved the movie and decided to read the book after (usually I like to do it the other way around). I was especially touched, when reading it, that as bad as things may have been for African Americans in the past, their whole life wasn't miserable (or at least once they were no longer slaves). They loved, or grew to love some of the children they worked for. When I was nannying I grew to love those kids, even though they weren't mine and in some ways it should've been just a job to me. Anyways, I liked seeing the duplicity of it all- the women, afraid because of the awful conditions brought on by severe racism, yet the things they did care about in their daily lives as well. Very entertaining, even after watching the movie. Not a true story, but the author wrote based on a maid that she once loved and cared for and what she hoped may have gone through her mind- similar to Skeeter and Constantine....more
Here's the thing. Scarlett O'Hara is Irish- they love the land. To emphasize this (exaggeration used) they explain the land of her home several timesHere's the thing. Scarlett O'Hara is Irish- they love the land. To emphasize this (exaggeration used) they explain the land of her home several times throughout the novel, maybe 5 times, each time saying almost the SAME exact thing, and taking about TWENTY pages to do it. I loved the storyline, and I even loved the description of the land- but in my opinion it should've been shortened. I thought the purpose of the book was to tell her story, not emphasize that she was Irish. Yes, it's a part of her, but shorten it just a little. When you repeat it, only repeat the things that actually had some effect on the character... Example, the gently rolling hills made her feel at home and she looked ahead with anticipation to the bend from where she'd be able to see her home. (I haven't read this in years, so obviously NOT an exact quote). Instead I felt like it was more like, "She looked ahead to the rolling hills, and as she rounded the bend she could see her house." Same way, every time. No emotion. Just a statement of fact. The rolling hills were there- she saw them. The bend was there, and from there she can see her house.
SO... to sum up my opinion, take out a few of the descriptions of the land, or shorten them or rewrite them and you have a great novel. With it, you have a great story with some boring parts that although, they do emphasize an aspect of her character, are easy to fall asleep in and miss any value those pages might contain....more
This review is for the whole series. I liked this Historical Fiction piece. It's centered around WWII. It concerns and LDS (Mormon) family and I likedThis review is for the whole series. I liked this Historical Fiction piece. It's centered around WWII. It concerns and LDS (Mormon) family and I liked it because it sought to give you insights into different aspects of the war. The family had an older son who served his mission in Germany who is sent back to fight against the people he taught. It follows a family he taught. It follows the home front. One of his sisters becomes a nurse and a younger brother ends up serving over in Japan. I don't remember who they tie in the Japanese but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing different sides of the same event. ...more
It's been awhile since reading this book but I remember really liking it. It's placed back when Jeremiah was a prophet, right before and during when JIt's been awhile since reading this book but I remember really liking it. It's placed back when Jeremiah was a prophet, right before and during when Jerusalem was captured. It's taken from a few facts and then a whole fictional story fabricated on how one girl might have escaped and further fulfilled the scattering of Israel. I just thought it was very interesting....more
Loved it! Thought it was a great story of ancient Egyptian history. She stayed as close to what she knows from researching archeological sites and altLoved it! Thought it was a great story of ancient Egyptian history. She stayed as close to what she knows from researching archeological sites and although she told the story clearly she didn't go into unnecessary graphic scenes. :)...more