Admittedly, it was the film preview that made me want to know what happened next and thus I picked up the book. I enjoyed Gone Girl (the film; never rAdmittedly, it was the film preview that made me want to know what happened next and thus I picked up the book. I enjoyed Gone Girl (the film; never read the book) and generally prefer books to films anyway, so it seemed like a fair bet. It felt like the film was ramping up to be "the next" Gone Girl, so I went for it.
I wouldn't say it was necessarily as much of a page turner as many other people say; what kept me wanting to know more was more hype than actual interest. (view spoiler)[ 2/3 narrators are unreliable, and on top of that, characters literally just abandon their apparent core principles whenever it suits the author in a way that makes the revelations at the end feel unsatisfying. I have a hard time believing that, if Tom was as abusive during his and Rachel's marriage as we're eventually told, he would have been as reasonable in dealing with her from afar throughout the book. I also don't really believe he would have been able to act like the perfect husband to Anna. (Particularly whilst cheating on her; if he was unhappy with his marriage, I feel she should have seen hints of it, not that she would have thought their marriage was as perfect as ever.) So is it really only a drunk Rachel that brings it out in him? I don't know. As far as female characters in this story go, Anna is the most stable, as he's lost it with both Rachel and Megan, but, I mean, they also have a toddler in the midst of a fussy stage. I can't buy that he wouldn't have gone off the handle before now.
Once that element of his character is revealed, he really just seems like a slightly distorted version of Scott. Two abusive husbands, and three wives (or ex-wives), all of whom are (or would be) happy to be the Other Woman. There's not a lot of variety, really; the three women deal with their issues quite differently (Rachel, pathetic and desperate; Anna, moody and kind of useless; Megan, volatile and spontaneous), so there's that, but none of them, as many others have said, are likable. Maybe sneering at the characters whilst simultaneously pitying them is part of the fun, but I'm not really on board. Whilst I could get swept up in wondering what would unfold next, I never felt real concern for any of them. Maybe Kamal. He seemed interesting. I'd have liked to have known more about him, but he really was swept aside. He was like a good idea with a lot of potential that eventually was just forgotten about. Poor fellow.
I don't know that a "twist" is always necessary in a story like this - but they are certainly fun. A lot of people have pointed out that they "saw it coming early on," but that's not surprising with Rachel's character's particular unreliability. Missing large fragments of memory and all, opens up some interesting doors, but not necessarily many of those doors. As it is, Tom as he was presented and the Tom we were eventually given don't really jive for me.
Additionally, I found it a little frustrating that Rachel seemed quite glad that Megan was dead at a certain point; she really seemed she would have been happy to do it herself. She didn't feel sorry one bit for the woman. Yet, at the end, she says she's glad Megan is resting peacefully (or something to that effect), that she'd endured enough. Is that Rachel cleaning up her act talking? Were those earlier feelings just the bitter drunk coming out? Is this evidence of her character developing at last? Can Rachel's entire character development be summed up so succinctly to "getting sober and it turns her life and values around?" If so, it's underwhelming. I didn't feel like I watched any of these women really develop in any meaningful way beyond Rachel getting off booze. Anna and Megan both remained true to their original issues, and Rachel only overcame anything when she realised she hadn't been missing anything meaningful. But it's not like she realised that because she could move past it on her own finally - she realised that she'd been abused and simply didn't want that for herself anymore. (And, really, she does point out that if Tom had been honest about who he was all those years, she probably still would have loved him.) (hide spoiler)] An interesting romp overall, fun to rubberneck on the rubbernecker, but overall it didn't live up to the hype, I think. That's always a huge risk with hyped books or movies, but I often find out, at least with this kind of genre, I can get into it. It was fun, but not as satisfying as I'd imagined it might be. I wouldn't re-read it, but I'd loosely recommend it. Not with gushing enthusiasm, but as an "entertaining distraction if you have some time to kill." ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Perhaps not the longest in the way of cook books, but enough to get your imagination running a bit wild and to absolutely whet your appetite, Hope andPerhaps not the longest in the way of cook books, but enough to get your imagination running a bit wild and to absolutely whet your appetite, Hope and Greenwood's cook books are some of my favourites. With lavish photographs to inspire and witty commentary to delight and amuse, theirs are the kinds of cookbooks you can read just for fun, with no intention of taking on any of the challenges anytime soon, and still derive full - or near full - enjoyment from them. After all, full enjoyment would be an accompaniment of chocolates, marshmallows and fudge.
Kitty's detailed instructions on what to do - and what to definitely avoid doing! - make her books a great introductory course to any home cook who has never dabbled in the dangerously sticky world of candy making. If you haven't got one already, I'd suggest picking up a candy thermometer when you grab this book, because you're going to want to dive in asap!...more
I loved reading about the rise of Improv Everywhere - and about many of their most insane stunts! This book is absolutely a fun romp that will leave yI loved reading about the rise of Improv Everywhere - and about many of their most insane stunts! This book is absolutely a fun romp that will leave you grinning, and maybe cringing a bit at some of the reactions they've gotten. The only flaw I could say is that it doesn't have a huge amount of re-readability. It's great to borrow from the library or from a friend, but to hang onto in my bookshelf may be a little bit more love than I can give it. I ended up passing it along as a gift to someone who I knew would also enjoy it, so it's still been loved, however. ...more
The Christmas section addition really is what makes this book come to life, for me. I'm one of those fans of the show who loves to watch the team takeThe Christmas section addition really is what makes this book come to life, for me. I'm one of those fans of the show who loves to watch the team take on the challenges of the farm, but when it comes down to what I want to read about, it's daily life and the recipes and how they have changed over the years - in other words, one might say the more Ruth-centric stuff.
The Christmas section delivers on exactly that, including period crafts and recipes (and explaining the whole "meat" part of mincemeat, since what we have today is so lacking in just that), and settling in to read it feels like the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit without sinking into the contemporary focus on gift-buying. Keep in mind, the new Christmas section is only about 27 pages, including several full-page photos. So that boils down to 20 pages of text, and 7 of photos.
Then, you have the rest of the book, which is, as far as I can tell, the exact same volume as the initial "Victorian Farm" book. Well, sort of. I've read from people who bought the original and then bought the Christmas edition that other than the added chapter on Christmas, they are the exact same, yet Amazon tells me both books have 304 pages. So was something removed from the original version to make room for the Christmas section? I don't know.
As my introduction to preserving, this book has been a straight-forward, easy to follow and understand guide that has allowed me to finally wrap my heAs my introduction to preserving, this book has been a straight-forward, easy to follow and understand guide that has allowed me to finally wrap my head around just how to make preserves and to can them properly. Something I honestly was quite daunted by, unsure if I could ever do, and now find incredibly easy, relatively quick, and quite relaxing. The guidelines for elevation adjustment on head space for jar-canning was particularly useful when I was living on the 9th floor of an apartment building - and not something I think I would have known about had I simply tried to follow any old guide online.
There are plenty of recipes you can follow or simply get inspired by, and simple variations on staples are a great way to put a unique spin on something that might otherwise seem easy to find at the local shop. (Vanilla-strawberry jam? Never would have thought of it. Or banana. Or daiquiri.) In fact, my new favourite go-to is a variation on the book's Rumtopf (which itself sounds like quite the foray from what a traditional Rumtopf might involve, and can be made in an afternoon rather than the whole year).
Apart from delicious jams, it also includes all sorts of pickles and condiments, which really makes this a fantastic volume, as it's not just jams and jellies, but an assortment of creations to keep you inspired.
Pretty sure I got this one as part of a buy-one-get-one-free at the Canadian Baking and Sweets Show, and I'm quite pleased with the purchase. Absolutely great for beginners like me who had no idea what they were up to!...more