Katie, a book editor in New York, has been left by the man that she hoped to marry someday. Matt, a poet from Martha's Vineyard, drops off a diary byKatie, a book editor in New York, has been left by the man that she hoped to marry someday. Matt, a poet from Martha's Vineyard, drops off a diary by Katie's door to help her understand his actions. His first wife, Suzanne, wrote this diary to their son Nicholas, telling him about her move to Martha's Vineyard, falling in love with his father, and the happiness she found in motherhood.
When Suzanne had health problems, a friend told her a story about getting better balance in one's life. Life is a game in which you are juggling five balls--work, family, health, friends, and integrity. You're trying to keep them all in the air. But work is a rubber ball that will bounce if it is dropped. The other four balls are made of glass, and will be harmed or shattered if they are dropped.
The author had the experience of losing a woman he loved when she developed a brain tumor. Years later he married his present wife. In the book Patterson shows that a person can fear to love again, wondering if they are setting themselves up for more heartache.
The book had some good messages about love, and about keeping balance in one's life. But it was overly sweet with a predictable plot. The author seemed to follow a similar formula as Nicholas Sparks, so fans of Sparks' romance novels would probably enjoy this story....more
In this zany novel the centenarian Allan Karlsson climbs out the window of his nursing home to avoid his birthday party. Wearing bedroom slippers, heIn this zany novel the centenarian Allan Karlsson climbs out the window of his nursing home to avoid his birthday party. Wearing bedroom slippers, he heads to the nearby train station. One crazy event after another lands Allan and some new friends (with criminal backgrounds) heading through Sweden while avoiding the police.
Alternating chapters tell us about Allan's backstory as a munitions expert. Although he avoids talking about politics and religion, Allan found himself inadvertently meeting world leaders and influencing history for eighty years. Allan is an optimist who needs nothing more than a good meal and some vodka to make him happy.
The reader has to suspend disbelief that a 100-year-old man could be in such good shape physically and mentally as Allan is. Just go with the flow, and enjoy the escapades of this remarkable centenarian. I especially enjoyed the social commentary and the dry humor describing our world leaders. 3 1/2 stars, rounded up to 4 stars....more
Caroline Jacobs is not assertive. But when the president of the PTO belittled another member, Caroline snapped and dropped a f-bomb in the middle of tCaroline Jacobs is not assertive. But when the president of the PTO belittled another member, Caroline snapped and dropped a f-bomb in the middle of the meeting. Caroline realizes that an incident from her teens helped mold her normally passive nature. Her best friend Emily rejected her in front of all her friends so she spent her high school lunch periods by herself in the school library.
Caroline no longer wants to be an invisible person so she and her daughter Polly take a trip to Massachusetts to finally confront Emily. Along the way Caroline and Polly talk and strengthen their relationship. Caroline also has to face other important problems when she returns to her hometown.
This is a humorous novel with the underlying serious subject of bullying. In an analogy, bullying is compared to a rocket that can draw an asteroid off its course by the pull of gravitational force. "If you nudge an asteroid off course by just a tiny bit and give it enough time, it will end up in an entirely different place. Life is no different. Nudge someone one way or the next and a person's life trajectory can change forever." The author, Matthew Dicks, has been an elementary school teacher for seventeen years so he's seen plenty of bullying and understands people's emotions. He's a good storyteller who knows how to combine funny moments with heartbreaking ones to create an engaging book. ...more
Ken Kimble is a chameleon who can change his colors to adapt to any situation. He has very good instincts about the needs of the three women that he wKen Kimble is a chameleon who can change his colors to adapt to any situation. He has very good instincts about the needs of the three women that he will eventually marry. The three lonely women who will become Mrs Kimble each have a vulnerability: Birdie is emotionally fragile, Joan is fighting breast cancer, and Dinah has a large birthmark. They easily fall under his spell, and ignore the fact that he has no friends or family, and that they know nothing about his past. He's a smooth talking man which helps him close the deal in business, as well as win over these women.
The reader gets to know the secretive Ken Kimble only through the eyes of the other characters during the course of his life. But we don't know the motives for some of his actions. Once the ring is on their finger, the women find out that Mr Kimble is not capable of really loving someone, not even his wife or his children. On page one we find out that he died when "his heart seized". But it seemed like he lived his life with a heart that did not function emotionally.
While his children hunger for love, his two abandoned children from his first marriage also hunger for food. His third child overeats because he is unhappy. A food theme runs through the book, especially in the section about Dinah who is a chef.
This was an entertaining book with vivid characters. The story also showed changes in American marriages since Ken Kimble married in 1961, 1969, and 1979. Kimble was portrayed in different economic classes since he was a poor minister in the 1960s, and a wealthy businessman selling real estate in his later years. Mrs. Kimble had a fast moving plot that kept my interest. The book won the PEN/ Hemingway Award for Outstanding First Fiction....more
The warm Irish Hayes family are rallying around Mia Hayes, nicknamed Rabbit, during her final days fighting breast cancer. Although there are heartbreThe warm Irish Hayes family are rallying around Mia Hayes, nicknamed Rabbit, during her final days fighting breast cancer. Although there are heartbreaking moments, there are also times when the three generations of Hayes sit with Rabbit remembering humorous times from the past. It's a bit of an Irish wake while she's still living. There are also tough decisions to make since Rabbit is a single mother to twelve-year-old Juliet (whose father is out of the picture). There are some sweet moments as her uncle offers emotional support to Juliet. When Rabbit feels foggy and dreamy on her pain meds, she is transported back to a teenage romance with the love of her life, a man who also died young. One can only hope there's an afterlife so those two lovers can be reunited.
The author's background as a stand-up comedian served her well in inventing this humorous, caring family. Anna McPartlin will have you laughing one minute, then blinking away the tears during the next. This was an especially touching book that celebrated the life of Rabbit Hayes all the way to the end....more
The theme of childhood traumatic events leaving lasting damage runs through "God Help the Child". The central figure in the book is Lulu who was rejecThe theme of childhood traumatic events leaving lasting damage runs through "God Help the Child". The central figure in the book is Lulu who was rejected by her lighter skinned parents because her skin was "midnight black, Sudanese black". Lulu makes a terrible mistake to get her mother's attention and approval, and ruins someone's life. When Lulu becomes older, she works for a cosmetics firm and changes her name to Bride. The beautiful Bride embraces her dark blue-black skin, and accentuates it by always wearing white. Although she is successful in business, Bride seems like a shallow, superficial person. When her boyfriend, Booker, leaves her, she searches for him to find out the reason.
As she looks for Booker, she meets a young girl who was abused by her prostitute birth mother. She also learns of a violent event in Booker's family that haunts him. There is a bit of magical realism in the book as Bride examines her life, and feels like she is turning back into a young child physically.
The theme of childhood abuse--both emotional and physical--is an important subject to present. Although I'm not going to quote passages from the book since it would give away too much of the plot, Toni Morrison came through with some beautiful writing as usual. Although I liked the book, I wished it was a bit longer so that the characters, especially Booker's Aunt Queen and Bride's mother, could have been seen with more depth.
Zoe and Jake were the first ones on the slopes at a ski resort in the French Pyrenees when they heard a deep rumble. As they headed toward the trees,Zoe and Jake were the first ones on the slopes at a ski resort in the French Pyrenees when they heard a deep rumble. As they headed toward the trees, an avalanche buried them in the snow. Fortunately they were able to dig themselves out and get down the mountain to their hotel, but found a strange silent world awaited them. They were unable to communicate to the outside world, and they only had each other. Time was playing mysterious tricks on them.
This is a fantasy novel that has frightening moments of horror, musings on memory, death, and existence, and emotional times of deep love. The book has wonderful atmospheric descriptions of the snow, the mist, and the cold. I read The Silent Land in one evening because the book was impossible to put down....more
The people of the small town of De Clare, Oklahoma were shocked by the murder of a young mother and the disappearance of her infant son in 1972. ThirtThe people of the small town of De Clare, Oklahoma were shocked by the murder of a young mother and the disappearance of her infant son in 1972. Thirty years later a man comes to town looking for his birth parents.
The book was part murder mystery, and part love story. The plot featured several unwed pregnant mothers who had to decide what was best for their children. Characters included mothers who were struggling to raise their children, and an adoptive child searching for his identity. Discrimination against Native Americans was a minor theme in the book. The mystery was fairly predictable except for an event at the end. This was a quick read full of quirky small town characters....more
Tsukuru Tazaki was part of a harmonious, close group of five friends who did volunteer work together when they were in high school. The other four teeTsukuru Tazaki was part of a harmonious, close group of five friends who did volunteer work together when they were in high school. The other four teenagers all had surnames that contained the name of a color. Although Tsukuru had a colorless name, his name fit him since Tsukuru means "to make things". His dream was to become an engineer who built railroad stations, and he left his four Nagoya friends to attend college in Tokyo.
During his sophomore year of college, his other friends suddenly cut off all ties with him and would not return his phone calls. Tsukuru had no idea why they treated him this way, and he was afraid to ask. He felt alone, colorless, just barely living in a void. When he is 36 years old, his new girlfriend tells him that he needs to investigate his past in order to have healthy relationships, and to be emotionally able to make a strong connection with someone.
Haruki Murakami uses an interesting blend of reality, dreams, melancholy music, and magical stories to tell Tsukuru's tale. The author draws a thin line between subconscious desires, traumatic events, and reality. Emotions thought buried can protrude through the surface, and direct our present and future paths. Although the ending is ambiguous, there is a feeling of hope for Tsukuru.