4.5/5 for being kind of meandering in the process of the story telling. If I hadn't already seen the movie, I might not have known what this book was4.5/5 for being kind of meandering in the process of the story telling. If I hadn't already seen the movie, I might not have known what this book was about really. First half and second half were distinctly different and while the first half fleshed out characters and history nicely, it made me wonder what the point was by the time the second half rolled around, as few of the characters were used in the second half.
That said, this book satisfies on so many levels where the movie failed to. Savannah is not just a backdrop to this story, but an integral part of why and how the story unfolds as it does. It's rich, lush, but subtle, in some ways much like the unique people in the story. The fascinating portrait it paints of the small group of characters in the book and the history they present is a rewarding read for those with patience. I didn't know that this book was nonfiction when I started it but as I went through the first half of the book, which was so loaded in history, I had to stop and look it up and found that much of the story is based on actual events and people. This made the book even more interesting as I read, though there were times the pace seemed a bit slow. Still, in all, very worth reading. ...more
Complete fluff books. But well-written, completely enjoyable fluff. There were a few editing errors here and there but nothing major to detract from tComplete fluff books. But well-written, completely enjoyable fluff. There were a few editing errors here and there but nothing major to detract from the stories. I did get a little annoyed with Barbara's chronic misunderstandings of her husband in the first two books but this situation improved with the third and fourth books. Still well worth the read. ...more
The story and dialog started out quite choppy, the dialogue was confusing and messy, and people's interactions with each other seemed contrived. EventThe story and dialog started out quite choppy, the dialogue was confusing and messy, and people's interactions with each other seemed contrived. Eventually, however, Ms. Stickland found her footing and the writing and dialog improved. The story itself was still a bit stretchy, with some parts very well done while other parts were confusing. Still, overall, I thought it was fairly well done and while some bits could have been improved upon, it worth the time invested in reading it. ...more
I want to keep my personal feelings about this book separate from the actual writing of the book. I think the book, for the most part, was well-writteI want to keep my personal feelings about this book separate from the actual writing of the book. I think the book, for the most part, was well-written. I can give it 3 stars based on that fact. The problem with this book was that I had no idea what was going on through most of it. The first half of the book meandered all over, with no real plot or point to it. Was this humor? Was it fantasy? Was it a fictional biopic? I struggled to maintain interest.
Then the book finally took a direction and split into two story lines: the story of Ava and the story of Kiwi. I did not like the story of Kiwi at all. It seemed pointless and completely out of context from the rest of the book. The story of Ava continued along with the feeling and context of the rest of the book and her adventure started to have an air of the mystical and I thought it would be fun. Then something terrible happened and it lost all of the mystical, magical feeling it started to take on. Meanwhile, the story of Kiwi started to improve, right towards the end of the book. But I felt it had no real resolution. Things happened, the family came together, but it wasn't a satisfying ending. Of course, real life rarely has a satisfying ending, but I felt this one was too far off.
It was hard to really get behind any of the characters, to like or relate in any way to any of them. Since Ava was the main story teller, she was easiest to connect to but there still seemed to be a missing element to really feel her character. The others were even less relatable. And there was a lot of unnecessary prose, too long stories for other individuals in the middle of the stories for Ava and Kiwi, that it felt like Karen Russell was just doing her best to bulk up a short story to novel-length rather than pulling essential elements together in a story.
Overall, I felt it was an odd bit of storytelling that didn't really have any heart and won't linger with me now that I'm done. Which is too bad. I think Karen did her characters a grave disservice. It could have been so much more....more
Fun, light read. I wasn't really in love with the language of the book to start with. It didn't really feel authentic, as opposed to reading an AgathaFun, light read. I wasn't really in love with the language of the book to start with. It didn't really feel authentic, as opposed to reading an Agatha Christie Tommie and Tuppence book. That said, I got into the rhythm of the style and the characters were pretty likable, even the bad guys. It's not something that compares to the likes of Agatha Christie but it got harder and harder to put down. I think this character and the writing has good potential for the future and I hope that LB Hathaway lives up to that potential. I would recommend for a summertime story. ...more