a compelling retelling of the Scandinavian legends leading up to the death of the gods and the end of the world. I would advise it to anyone who hasn'...morea compelling retelling of the Scandinavian legends leading up to the death of the gods and the end of the world. I would advise it to anyone who hasn't encountered these myths before and wants an easy and an exciting read.(less)
I can't explain how wonderful this book is. People say it's childhood, and yes, it's all my childhood was, as much as I remember of it, but it's not a...moreI can't explain how wonderful this book is. People say it's childhood, and yes, it's all my childhood was, as much as I remember of it, but it's not all there is to it. So here, have these quotes:
“I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I took joy in the things that made me happy.”
“Different people remember things differently, and you'll not get any two people to remember anything the same, whether they were there or not. You stand two of you lot next to each other, and you could be continents away for all it means anything.”
“A story only matters, I suspect, to the extent that the people in the story change.”(less)
I give this book 4 stars because of the last 30 pages, before I had resigned to give it 3. I'm not sure what changed my mind: did I finally understand...moreI give this book 4 stars because of the last 30 pages, before I had resigned to give it 3. I'm not sure what changed my mind: did I finally understand Gem, did the book took so long to convince me that it was good, or was it just that those few glasses of wine were clouding my judgement.
This is one of the earliest Remarque's works, but it wasn't published until 15 years ago. It was clear how unpolished his words were in this book, but also how... happy. This was certainly one of the happiest Remarque's books I've read (view spoiler)[(several men were killed because of Gem, but still... in the end it was a happy ending for her) (hide spoiler)], considering that usually his heroines die of tuberculosis or some other illness.
However I had expected something else when I bought it. The summary made me think of a female adventurer in the 20s, beautiful and independent of men... I'm not sure why I expected something like this from Remarque, but maybe that's why the first 200 pages was a bit of a disappointment. Only later I finally saw something I had in common with Gem, something I could relate to. She clearly had strength, but it stemmed from her beauty, which made men go insane. Yes, it is an art and a valuable ability, and she used it well while at the same time not caring much about it.
But I want a book about a woman from the turn of the century-era who travels the world and is not dependent on men, and there is no romance involved. Maybe I need to write one myself.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I am sad to say Bone Quill didn't excite me as much as its prequel. At times I quite enjoyed it but not once I felt like I couldn't put it down and ha...moreI am sad to say Bone Quill didn't excite me as much as its prequel. At times I quite enjoyed it but not once I felt like I couldn't put it down and had to know what would happen next. This was mostly because I found Emily and Matt quite annoying. Matt is obviously written to be a 'typical' teenager: never listens to anyone, especially his mother, always thinks he knows better, etc. I might have lived with that, but Em magnified all the other problems I might have with him. As a 20 year old, I still remember quite well what I was like at the age of 12, and while I was as sensible and careful, I feel like in her all the traits of a typical girl, as perceived in the 1950s, have been thrown in and magnified.
I had a small problem with this in Hollow Earth already, but I wrote it down to it being a children's book. Reading Bone Quill I realized, children are not supposed to think that it's all there is to girls and boys. I may be a bit too harsh about this, but if I read this at the age of 12... I wouldn't have been satisfied with Emily. That's why I'm writing this now.
In my review of Hollow Earth I compared it to the works of Enid Blyton. Now I have to say it again, because of how the roles of girls and boys are portrayed. (And also women and men, because of how their mother is treated, but I won't even go into that.)(less)