it may look inconspicuously thin, but the book, i bet, would be something that any lucky reader is sure to want to have...morewhimsical yet packs a punch...
it may look inconspicuously thin, but the book, i bet, would be something that any lucky reader is sure to want to have for keeps. starts off innocently enough...well, okay, maybe not so innocent since the first scene was the finding of a brutally murdered dog. some may already think that that is all the story is going to be about--the finding of the killer. nothing too deep or exciting. heck...maybe not worth the effort at all (hey, don't pelt me--i own a dog and i drown her with hugs and kisses...).
then readers will realize that the protagonist isn't the usual teenager. christopher's frames of argument, logic, judgements are so interesting to muddle through, you'll find yourself at times amused, oftentimes befuddled, and, sometimes still, sympathetic. the way haddon reveals how christopher thinks, feels, and understands the world around him was masterfully done--not too inflated, nor apologetic. there were chapters and chapters where it seems that everything in christopher's life would be untouched by his determination to find the perpetrator of the crime, and then suddenly what seemed so delicate and innocent came crashing down on his shoulders. the focus of the story then hones in mercilessly on christopher and his topsy-turvy world. one can actually feel his overwhelming fear as he is inevitably forced to "confront" the world outside his comfort zone, yet often one has the strangest desire to embrace him for his even stronger will to make things "safe" and "logical" for him again, if only for the sake of his sanity.
though special people like christopher may hardly ever be truly understood by any one person in all their entirety, haddon makes it excruciatingly evident to us that, what for most people is just a simple day, it's a series of endless emotional barrage for autistic people.
i found myself on the verge of tears when his father yearned to "hug" christopher but was unable to do so. you sort of "hurt" with the father and may even be empathetic to how it must be for him to look after a son with special needs, and yet you also can't help but inexplicably cry for christopher and for what he unknowingly needs but is unconsciously having such an enormous difficulty in reaching for -- indeed, there was a part of me that was relieved that the burden of having to know this will never be christopher's.
i immensely enjoyed this novel. it may begin on light, delicate feet but steadily gains ground, and before you know it, you are assailed with conflicting emotions you never thought to feel. a real treasure.(less)
after i finished with this novel, i found myself staring at the book itself with what i think was a bemused expression.
to clarify: i immensely enjoye...moreafter i finished with this novel, i found myself staring at the book itself with what i think was a bemused expression.
to clarify: i immensely enjoyed this--as they called it--"story-within-a-story". true, the number of characters increased almost in regular intervals as vida winter laid down the history of the angelfields. but they were introductions that never muddled the story, and definitely it was quite easy to keep track of them and the sometimes prevalent, though, more often than not, subtle, threadbare connections each had on the other characters (certainly i had an easier time here than in Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind, easier, but no less enjoyed, mind). and the revelations were, indeed, just that. i often found myself pretending to one-up the author and presume: "aha! so she was actually the one who...", before i could read the actual revelation--but then the vida winter and the angelfields would prove my musings wrong. and the twists laid bare the grounds for the revelations of other twists.
i guess that was one of the things that i really liked about this novel. i literally couldnt put it down. although setterfield did not deign to turn verbose as some "novels" are wont to do, nor steer her protagonist in lengthy bouts of self-contemplation to give it a heavy feeling of "personal emotional struggle", she nevertheless managed to keep my attention on the stories and the vividly rich characters that seem to shift in expression and behavior with each telling. it's a novel too intricate in essence to be haphazardly classified as a light read, and yet...AND YET it's easy to be lost in its narrative and find yourself with an inexplicable need to turn just one more page if only to find out what happens next.
unexpectedly, i found that it impressed upon me mixed feelings of morbid fascination, surprise, sadness, and, in some cases, disbelief (i found the "twinness" of adeline & emmeline and margaret & moira a little too weird--[of course i really have no right to comment on what i obviously can't experience]). some, though, may feel entirely different, and be left skeptical. some may find it absurd and be dissatisfied. but for me, it was an enjoyable read. not on par with literature heavyweights, but deserving still, surely, of acclaim.(less)
since my inherent proclivities lie in the romance genre, i have to admit that i was a bit frustrated with the scant attention given on the relationshi...moresince my inherent proclivities lie in the romance genre, i have to admit that i was a bit frustrated with the scant attention given on the relationship between Max and the heroine [whose name, now that i think about it (duh), was never made known.] but that aside, this novel was a compelling story as the pervading menace and darkness that surrounded Manderley comes to life. from the first page and literally to the last, the author still has the reader in her grasp, and you just can't shake off the feeling that something sinister has yet to come.
the author masterfully unfolded the pieces of the details surrounding Rebecca's life and death, making the novel nothing less than a page-turner in a reader's morbid desire to know the truth. through it all, Daphne du Maurier showed why her name remains a veritable force in the literary world as she invokes malevolence and fear brought forth by deadly secrets, and the destruction that encroaches on the soul and spreads to everything around you. provocative and memorable, Rebecca remains a true classic. (less)
Lest I get carried away with verbose praise, I just want to say that this is superb storytelling by Donn...moreOne of the most engrossing fictions I've read…
Lest I get carried away with verbose praise, I just want to say that this is superb storytelling by Donnelly. Admittedly, I had no knowledge of the real murder of a Grace Brown. And though her letters were indeed heartbreaking, and at turns, horrific to read, I was more fascinated with the lives of Mattie and Weaver – two of the strongest characters I've ever encountered. After reading this novel, I found myself grateful that I, as yet, have not gone through the kind of back-breaking, and, dare I say it, near soul-defeating hardships the people in this novel had. But it takes masterful narration like that of Donnelly's to infuse hope, laughter, and spirit in the stories of those living in Eagle Bay.
Mattie is as real a person as one could get – loves her family so much yet still aware of all of their flaws, including her own, torn between making right by her loved ones as well as yearning to break free of a suffocating way of life, so young still in so many ways yet mature enough to realize the kind of dreams she can have. And Weaver makes me envious as well for his fearlessness and strength.
A Northern Light will take you to heights of teasing glimpses of a happy-ending for all, as well as to the downs of heartrending drama and seemingly endless trials in a small, simple town. Very provocative. Intensely memorable. A must read for all.(less)