I enjoyed this book a lot. I really liked how the story was told from both the mother and the daughter's point of view, and I thought it was interesti...moreI enjoyed this book a lot. I really liked how the story was told from both the mother and the daughter's point of view, and I thought it was interesting to read how the reactions of the people Syd told when she first found out she was pregnant varied so much. My biggest problem with this book is that there were way too many minor characters who were only around for a small portion of Syd's life, but then every once in awhile, one would pop back in again and I would have to go back in the book and figure out who that person was. I also thought that the last portion of the book seemed rushed. I wish there was more with Grace and her aunt Kendra, and I feel like the story with Syd's friend from home (See? Minor characters!) didn't really end, it just stopped happening.(less)
This book was luxurious and opulent. I found the concept of the "repoussoir" to be a fascinating look at how we view beauty. There were a few moments...moreThis book was luxurious and opulent. I found the concept of the "repoussoir" to be a fascinating look at how we view beauty. There were a few moments where I wanted to smack Maude on the back of the head, but when I remembered her background, I saw how easy it would be for her to get sucked in to that world. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys historical fiction.(less)
I thought about doing individual reviews of each short story, but I'm on vacation and feeling lazy, so I'm not going to do that. My least favorite sto...moreI thought about doing individual reviews of each short story, but I'm on vacation and feeling lazy, so I'm not going to do that. My least favorite story was the first (the one on the cruise) because it felt like something I could write myself and I like to be a little intimidated by the authors I read. My most favorite was the Maureen Johnson story because I have a weakness for anything French and it had the most twists and turns throughout. Overall, I thought this collection was great, and a great choice to read while you're already on a vacation and not able to back out of a trip because these stories terrified you, haha.(less)
Overall, I think that this book served its purpose very well. It gave both a biography of Walt Disney and a critical analysis of basically all aspects...moreOverall, I think that this book served its purpose very well. It gave both a biography of Walt Disney and a critical analysis of basically all aspects of Disney.
My biggest complaint with this book is that there were sections of it that didn't seem to be necessary. I don't really care about other employees at the Disney Studios, and I definitely don't care enough about them to read large sections of chapters devoted to them. Once I realized that for the most part, these sections didn't really impact the overall book, I skipped them. I also skipped over a lot of the parts where art critics of the 1920s and 1930s analyzed early Mickey Mouse cartoons and other Disney cartoons. I don't really care about the artistic integrity of Mickey Mouse.
I found it interesting to see how Walt Disney's political opinions changed over the years. This is actually something that I've wondered about because I knew that in his later years he was a very conservative Republican, but that his father was a Socialist and in my mind I wasn't sure how that transition happened.
This book is NOT for everyone. I wouldn't even say that it's for every Disney fan. Disney fans who take the movies and theme parks at face value without having any interest in the history of the company will not like this book. People who have an interest in the history of the Disney company, but don't know much about the early years of Disney will struggle, although the author does a decent job of providing a brief synopsis of the more critical Disney films mentioned in the book.
I learned a lot from this book, but it's a very slow read and it's not one that I would read again because I can't afford to devote another month of my life to one book.(less)
This book was so amazing. Even though I knew the entire time that Esther dies, and that her hopes for the future that are scattered throughout the boo...moreThis book was so amazing. Even though I knew the entire time that Esther dies, and that her hopes for the future that are scattered throughout the book amount to essentially nothing, I found myself amazed at Esther's honesty and outlook of life. Although I joined Nerdfighteria after she had already passed away, I've heard of her many times throughout my time (obviously in John/Hank's Esther Day videos) and I've always been curious to see if the living Esther lived up to the description that her friends and family have posthumously given her. The answer? YES.
More than anything, I appreciated that Ester's story covers the full range of emotions. When she got (temporary) good news from her doctors, I was happy with her. When she felt lonely and disconnected from her older sister, I felt lonely with her. And when she felt cheated that her life was most likely going to end up being a lot shorter than she would have liked, I felt even more cheated because I would have liked to have had the chance to connect with Esther while she was still physically alive.
This book has given me a fantastic new outlook on life. It's so easy to live in fear when you know you could die soon. But really, any of us could die at any time, so why not enjoy the life we have now while we still can?