**spoiler alert** If you read this for the romance there's a risk you might be disappointed. Because it's about so much more, and the romance unfoldin**spoiler alert** If you read this for the romance there's a risk you might be disappointed. Because it's about so much more, and the romance unfolding between Holly and Jason is not center stage but really more one smaller strand in a story about love, loss, growing up, healing, family and friendship. As well as the three much heavier subjects of Depression, Suicide and Alzheimer's that I think Heather Davis manages really well. She handles them delicately, lightly but very humanly. She gives you a glimpse on how it feels to be living it, in a way that feels honest; real. And that is one of the main assets of this book: the people seem real. The way they talk and relate and what they go through and the dilemmas they face. And it's not just the main characters, no pretty much all of the characters come off as real and not stilted caricatures which unfortunately often happens. The story moves along slowly, maybe a little too slowly at times (patience is not my strong suit), but then again I think that is actually one of the reasons the 'realness'ness is developed. Because that's life; it's mostly slow but yet there are small, and sometimes they turn out to be big, changes in us and in our stories as we deal with life - we grow, we learn. And I like that about this book: that it somehow managed to capture that feeling of life lived, of growing as we are dealing with the small stuff and the big stuff.
I read it for the love story but I wasn't disappointed - I was pleasantly surprised and I thought it was all well done....more
I'm a woman but I'm not a feminist. Not in the way the 'movement' is being portrayed by many of its spokespeople, anyhow. Don't get me wrong, I'm all foI'm a woman but I'm not a feminist. Not in the way the 'movement' is being portrayed by many of its spokespeople, anyhow. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for equal rights, freedom, awareness and the like. But i feel like much 'feminism' is doing women a disservice, narrowing in and limiting instead of opening up and expanding; moralizing and judging instead of respecting and celebrating diversity and choice. Woe on you if you are a 'girly girl' who likes pink and princesses and to dress up or play with barbies and dolls, or wear makeup and sexy outfits but weepie if you reject all that and all the better if you like guns and cars and traditional 'boy' stuff. But it's mostly about rejecting the traditional female roles and plays. But what then if you happen to actually LIKE them? What if you really LOVE dolls, dresses, pink and sparkly things, or if you feel empowered by embracing and showing off your female body and sexuality? Well then you have certainly been brainwashed and subdued by media and/or marketing. Because there is no room for those choices being genuine choices or preferences, because they happen to have been picked up by a money-making market who is indeed obviously further exacerbating all that. But that doesn't mean that it has CREATED it all on its own and that everyone who happens to like this culture have been brainwashed. I'm well aware that marketing, media and our social culture and values have impact and make us inclined towards certain choices and lifestyles, but I don't think it's an as all-empowering force as many feminists like orenstein make it out to be. And I think people are adfected by it in varying degrees, depending on the issue at hand. If you look around you people's choices are still varied, regardless of cultural dictates or majority's preferences. For some it even serves as an eye opener, as furthering awareness and personal choice, and I think THAT is an important lesson to learn. We are not all the same, nor should we be. It's okay to like pink and it's okay not to, and it's okay to like it AND like the other colors too.
Orenstein poses many of the good and interesting questions and dilemmas where she actually poses the different views and sides, but unfortunately her answers all quickly land on the classic 'pink is bad, and women are being used and manipulated by the big evil market' end of the spectrum, without any solid arguments but her own moral and personal views. None of the research she posts and uses as argumentation actually proves a cause-effect relationship, but more so serves to show that we do indeed have a culture focused on looks and materialism but that is a bigger, more important and more underlying problem than a gender issue or what toys or cartoons our kids play with. That is just one sign of what our culture values, and if we wanna work on that I think we should start with a broader scope and include both genders and more age groups.
I would suggest reading some social psychology studies and some social and cultural critics instead. ...more
Luckily this was a short read. Or I probably wouldn't have finished it. There were a few pages here and there are found good, but the majority was eithLuckily this was a short read. Or I probably wouldn't have finished it. There were a few pages here and there are found good, but the majority was either irrelevant or coming from a place of scriptures and religious experience I simply couldn't connect with....more