One story told from the point of view of 6 people from the Haitian town of Ville Rose, Haiti. Wonderfully engaging characters including Claire of the...moreOne story told from the point of view of 6 people from the Haitian town of Ville Rose, Haiti. Wonderfully engaging characters including Claire of the sea light, the daughter of Nosias, a poor fisherman. Claire's mother died at her birth and now her father feels he must give her away to be raised by a more wealthy person, even though they love each other. Other characters include the fabric shop owner, who has lost both her husband and her daughter; the principal of the local school and his son. Louise, a local writer and radio host, Bernard, a poor teenager who wants to start of "controversial news" program on the radio, but is then shot. All this is set against the vibrant backdrop of Haiti, it's desecrated landscape, it's corrupt government, its resilient people.(less)
**spoiler alert** Amazing psychological novel told by an aging Korean man raised in Japan and now living in suburban U.S. Although the story is told f...more**spoiler alert** Amazing psychological novel told by an aging Korean man raised in Japan and now living in suburban U.S. Although the story is told from one point of view and inside one man's head, it is a page turner. As he struggles to raise an adopted daughter and form a relationship with an attractive, vivacious widow, gradually the layers are peeled away and we become aware of his past life. As a Japanese soldier serving in the Imperial army in Indonesia, his failure of character in a relationship with a Korean "comfort woman" is the crucible of his character. His failure as a parent almost dooms him to a sad and lonely old age. His daughter, Sunny, reappears with her illegitimate son. Gradually he earns the privilege to spend time with this little boy, and meaning and true happiness starts to gradually creep back into his life. (less)
Although I am a diehard Commissario Brunetti fan this book was not as good as many of the other titles in the series. It began with the signature desc...moreAlthough I am a diehard Commissario Brunetti fan this book was not as good as many of the other titles in the series. It began with the signature descriptions of Venice, Italian food, and the Brunetti family. Some where into the middle of the book, the plot became extremely complex, and the atmosphere and charming characters lost their luster. The story revolves around an illegal scheme to "sell babies" to Italians suffering from infertility. (less)
I found this book spellbinding. Amelia is an obstetrician who is being sued for malpractice. Her story is told from the point of view of her therapist...moreI found this book spellbinding. Amelia is an obstetrician who is being sued for malpractice. Her story is told from the point of view of her therapist who specializes in treating physicians and is also a cancer survivor and a parent. The despair and trauma that leads Amelia to the brink of suicide, hospitalization, and eventual recovery is vividly portrayed. I also appreciated hearing the therapist's point of view as the psychotherapeutic process unfolds. The author writes with great honesty and sensitivity. (less)
This is a page turner in the "James Bond" style starring a Vietnam veteran, Tom Brenner, now a retired investigator for the Army's Criminal Investigat...moreThis is a page turner in the "James Bond" style starring a Vietnam veteran, Tom Brenner, now a retired investigator for the Army's Criminal Investigation Unit. Brenner is persuaded to return to Vietnam to help solve a murder that occurred decades earlier during the Tet Offensive. He meets and partners with a young American woman, Susan Weber, who appears to be a business executive for an American company with investments in Vietnam. Pursing them from Brenner's arrival in Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon) onward, is Colonel Mane of the Vietnamese Internal Security Agency.
The duo travels to the most isolated, mountainous northern border of Vietnam in search of the only witness to the murder under investigation. The style is brisk and always in scene and I often found myself reading way past my bedtime. However, there is more here than the usual best seller, formulaic tale of espionage. Recollections of the Vietnam war haunt these pages and are related from the perspectives of American, South Vietnamese and North Vietnamese veterans. This tapestry of suffering, and violence is always a backdrop to the characters' narrow escapes and nail biting adventures. Names resonate with readers like me who were young at the time and keenly aware of that conflict: Da Nang, Camron Bay, Hue, Quen Tre, Hanoi, trigger memories, emotions and images from that war. While you won't find the depth of books like, The Things They Carried, it is well worth the read. (less)
A great scientific thriller set in the depths or our ocean, this is a book that taught me a great deal about the science of what is happening to life...moreA great scientific thriller set in the depths or our ocean, this is a book that taught me a great deal about the science of what is happening to life in the ocean as man changes the earths environment.It also provides a tale of intrigue, exploration, new technologies and clashing personalities and cultures. Set in a time shortly in the future, man has pushed the limits of what the creatures living in the oceans can tolerate. They marine creatures work as a "swarm", a biological community, complete with a terrorist element, to defeat man's efforts and restore biological balance to the seas. At times the explainations of the science behind what is happening can be frustrating, but the reader with perseverance will be rewarded by this combination of education and entertainment. (Also note that the English translation, done by a British writer, can be a bit puzzling to the American reader. The humans characters come from all over the globe and represent a diverse variety of viewpoints, from Leon Anawak, a Canadian of the "first people", to the Swedish scientist, Johansson, who loves wine, women and his lakeside vacation house. Tsunamis, rampaging whales, giant squid and swarms of jelly fish act together in an effort to stop man's depredations. The United States military and oil corporations are the ultimate "bad guys" but, in their arrogance, even they are no match for the swarm. At 850+ pages, you will be reading this book for a while, but it is well worth the effort. You will never look at the ocean in the same way again.(less)