A gem that glistens. Beautiful. A contemporary rewriting of an ancient Maori legend. Its messages speak of the strength of women, but even more import...moreA gem that glistens. Beautiful. A contemporary rewriting of an ancient Maori legend. Its messages speak of the strength of women, but even more importantly of the oneness of the past and present, the rational and the irrational, what we understand and don’t understand and of all life on earth. This is young adult literature for adults.
The audiobook narration by Kiwi Jay Laga’aia was well done. There is music throughout the recording, but it is the same snippet repeated over and over again. When will we get audiobooks with varied music and numerous songs? Anybody listening out there?
Harper Collins lets us listen to this book, right now. Each chapter is read by a different narrator. I think, each week another chapter will be read,...moreHarper Collins lets us listen to this book, right now. Each chapter is read by a different narrator. I think, each week another chapter will be read, so start now and don't miss any. The first chapter read by the author himself was 14 minutes long. It is cute, for kids actually!
A present from Jeanette!!!! Thank you. I promise you, this book is so very lovely. Why? Well because the pictures are just perfect and the message imp...moreA present from Jeanette!!!! Thank you. I promise you, this book is so very lovely. Why? Well because the pictures are just perfect and the message imparted to children tells them to be brave in a gentle, kind and wonderful way. There is a cardinal family and a sweet man who is sort of shy..... Wait till you see the illustrations. I love picture books.
Buy this book and find some kid to read it to, then you need not feel guilty. Picture books are not just for kids. (less)
What I want to add is that this is the best BBC presentation I have listened to. I maybe should read the real book. I believe if I read the trilogy I would give it 4 stars. The characters were well developed. It was interesting to follow a family as it aged, to watch how the relationships changed, and yet how each character had qualities that remained stable. Lots to think about concerning family relationships. One cannot help but compare their family to one's own. Very interesting. This trilogy would be a wonderful book to talk about among a group of people. (less)
Although classified as historical fiction, this book is about the experiences of the author's mother. It is set during the last months of WW2 in Fries...moreAlthough classified as historical fiction, this book is about the experiences of the author's mother. It is set during the last months of WW2 in Friesland, a northern province of Holland. The Germans were retreating. However the book is primarily a coming of age story. Don't be fooled by the beginning, which is action filled and dramatic. Rather than being a plot driven book, it is focused upon Leen, the central character's development into adulthood. It is about the war's impact on one family. It is about how each family member reacted differently. I will say this, some of the family members were irreparably destroyed. What philosophical/psychological beliefs save us and enable us to surmount past horrors? So the book tries to guide a young reader into making appropriate choices.
I like books that focus upon characterization rather than those that are plot oriented. I did learn about how the war played out in Friesland. This book is not in any way similar to The Diary of a Young Girl. Although Jewish persecution is an element in this story, it is not primary. In my view this is primarily a Bildungsroman. It is a coming of age story. It is a story about becoming independent and making your own choices. It is very much about guilt. Every member of this family feels guilty in one way or another. For me this was just too much. I felt like shaking them and saying - heavens, there is a war going on! Stop blaming yourself for for that which happens. This bothered me to no end! At the same time I know that others may say I am too "logical". People DO feel guilty even when they shouldn't.
I also felt that the presence of untranslated Dutch made portions unclear.
And this book almost reads like an ad promoting cigarettes. Everybody smokes. Boy does smoking wondrously calm you.... That is the message given. I found this just ridiculous. Again, am I too logical and hard-nosed?!
The latter third of the book is gripping, but the finale was such a finger pointer. The lesson given on how to become an adult lacked subtlety. I am going to give it only two stars. If you are looking for a Bildungsroman, you might enjoy it more than I did. Remember I choose to be very restrictive with my stars and only judge a book from my own personal likes and dislikes. (less)