Loved this book; beautifully written. Will definitely be reading more by the author.
On a side note, I'm not sure why some reviewers class it as a You...moreLoved this book; beautifully written. Will definitely be reading more by the author.
On a side note, I'm not sure why some reviewers class it as a Young Adult though. Yeh the main characters might have been teenagers but I as a 30+ reader felt the concepts were relevant and appealing to a variety of generations.(less)
March 2012 - not yet bought this but think I ought. Ok it's chick-lit but my baby is due in September (like these characters so it kind of feels worth...moreMarch 2012 - not yet bought this but think I ought. Ok it's chick-lit but my baby is due in September (like these characters so it kind of feels worth reading, if only for that reason!)
March 2012 - My mum bought me this as a Mother's Day present (well I am a mother-to-be!)...
April 2012 - Took this away with me to read on our Babymoon in Spain.
This is British chick-lit and I suspect it would appeal most to women who are either pregnant or have been pregnant. A lot of the references are very relevant to me in my current situation.
I found certain aspects of the story predictable but I thought the three characters were relevant enough. Each had their "issues" with their pregnancy - one being a young but posh mother, another being mid-20s, happily married but finding her eggs were getting passed their sell-by date, and the last being late 30s and pregnant by accident. I could sympathise with different aspects of the individual characters. There were part of the story that made me laugh, parts that made me cringe, and parts that made me go "oh yes, agree with that."
I don't know on what basis the author wrote this story but I suspect there might have been some influence from www.mumsnet.com (a British website with forums, popular for discussing everything pregnancy and family related. The fact there was a September births group made me smile - I joined the similar group in real life!)
Overall I enjoyed the story - I'm not a massive fan of chick-lit so whilst I liked it I didn't love it. I'd be interested in a sequel though to see how the characters might develop and faces the challenges of toddlers and pre-schoolers.(less)
Set in England and Paris this novel charts the life of Linda, an upper class woman living in the 1920s / 1930s. I've read that much of the early parts of the novel are based on the home life of the Mitfords (so I will be interested in reading a biography / autobiography), whereas the later parts of the novel certainly seem to follow some of the Bolter's story. The narrator for this novel is Linda's cousin who lives with the family in the holidays but is looked after by her aunt because her own mother has abandoned her (again similar to the Bolter).
Linda is a romantic and wants a man and marriage and does get men and marriage which unfortunately are unsuitable. Eventually she makes a better choice...
Like others I found the novel very witty and an easy read. I read it over two train journeys and one night in the bath. It was that type of book. Un-put-down-able in some respects, and especially if you are interested in 1920s / 1930s age of excess. But, like others have commented, the ending is a little sudden and an little weak. My younger brother used to write stories in school, he'd get bored and then say "and then they died" and this novel by Nancy Mitford had something of that. I guess it was the choice she made but also meant there could be no follow-ups.
I'm looking forward to reading some of her other novels like Love in a Cold Climate and Wigs on the Green but at the moment I am interested in knowing more about her family so am reading an autobio by Diana Mitford Moseley (of the meeting Hitler fame).(less)
I really liked this book. My mum recommended I read it, I dismissed the idea but then got hooked on all things "between the wars" and read some review...moreI really liked this book. My mum recommended I read it, I dismissed the idea but then got hooked on all things "between the wars" and read some reviews, remembered she had the book so started to read.
What a woman Idina was. Scandalising British upper class society with 5 marriages, she certainly led an "interesting" lifestyle. I can't imagine what her parties were like. Descriptions of them being cocaine and morphine induced, guests being greeted by a naked host and bathing in champagne are far beyond my sphere. It was the days of excess - well for those with land and privilege.
After Idina's first marriage and having had two children she disappears off to Kenya with new husband in tow. Sadly her two sons aren't allowed to join her and she doesn't see or contact them for another 15 years. Kenya is possibly the main focus of the story. To be honest I knew next to nothing about The Happy Valley set (I was more familiar with life in the Raj and Indian subcontinent where similarly the English upper class led a life of interesting times, in a similar time frame). It was quite illuminating to understand another aspect of British history. I also knew nothing of The White Mischief storyline and that fact that Joss was one of Idina's husbands. I will be reading The Temptress which describes in more detail some of the characters surrounding Joss and his murder. As the story progressed there were a number of sad incidents, not including her own demise. Quite tragic really.
Overall I suppose I like Idina. I think she had "balls" to break with convention. She might not have been party to women getting the vote, and I don't especially agree with her leaving her children as she did, but the "not giving a damn" attitude is kind of interesting.
I love Laurie Graham as an author - have read many of her books and found them very funny and this was no exception. This is a light-hearted review of...moreI love Laurie Graham as an author - have read many of her books and found them very funny and this was no exception. This is a light-hearted review of the last century but the references to 1920s - -1930s I particularly liked. What I particularly liked was the way the book was written in what I assume is authentic language of the day.
I've got a bit of a thing for the 1920s - 1930s at the moment so this book was perfect for me. It told the story of a woman and her family who were Jewish, living in NYC. She was born pre-war, bit of a rebel, parents sort of practicised Judaism but were a bit lax (but later some members were much more dedicated). They are a wealthy family and so she enjoys the trappings of this wealth, travelling to Paris, the UK, becoming an aviatrix. References are made to various historical events including the sinking of the Titanic and WW1 / WW2 and effect it had on home front in NYC. The story then continued into the 1950s / 1960s / 1970s documenting the ups and downs in the life of the main character.
This was my first read of a book by Jennifer Weiner and I really enjoyed it - so much so I have another couple list on my Xmas list :-)
The story conce...moreThis was my first read of a book by Jennifer Weiner and I really enjoyed it - so much so I have another couple list on my Xmas list :-)
The story concerns three women - one mother and her two daughters. As the blurb says on the back of the book the girls father, a US Senator, is revealed to have had an affair with a much younger colleague. The mother / wife finds this out live on TV, as do the daughters. The eldest is a Doctor and going through her own unhappiness and seeks solace elsewhere. The younger daughter has her problems but she is recovering from them. All three women face some interesting choices and I enjoyed the twists and turns. I like the characters and felt sympathetic for them. There was one occassion where I did think "that could only happen in a book / film" but otherwise the story seemed plausible. (less)
I enjoyed this story despite it's slightly sad ending. It was a believable portrayal of family life, friendship and what happens when something unexpe...moreI enjoyed this story despite it's slightly sad ending. It was a believable portrayal of family life, friendship and what happens when something unexpected happens.
The dog and the Christmas family photo - if you've read it you'd know the bit I mean - I laughed out loud! (less)
I took this book out of the library and thought I would really like it but made it to 100 pages and didn't really enjoy the read. I actually found the...moreI took this book out of the library and thought I would really like it but made it to 100 pages and didn't really enjoy the read. I actually found the text slightly difficult to follow. I'm not sure whether it's the mix of 7 main characters or just the writing style. Maybe it's a book I have to return to at a different time in my life...(less)
I read this a while ago when I decided I should read up on my namesake (Dad chose my name and named after the fiesty French Queen Eleanor).
I've always...moreI read this a while ago when I decided I should read up on my namesake (Dad chose my name and named after the fiesty French Queen Eleanor).
I've always had a fondness for all things medieval so whilst this was a slightly academic text I didn't find it a difficult read. I have read other books by Alison Weir and find she writes about history and historical figures in a very accessible way (but the books still have sufficient substance to feel I have learnt something).