For me, this went from a possible 4 star book to a 3 and finally to a 2, and if it hadn’t had so much that was good, it could have ended with only 1 sFor me, this went from a possible 4 star book to a 3 and finally to a 2, and if it hadn’t had so much that was good, it could have ended with only 1 star.
I have to say as the account went on, I got very weary of humans, not for the first time.
I do love the 3 narrative voices. For the most part I could tell who was narrating by what they said, but they didn’t have voices significantly distinctive from each other. That was okay though.
I was shocked but satisfied with the violence/talk of the violence. Even though this is a novel I didn’t doubt the veracity of the type and level of violence among these people during this time. I do love that neither the whites nor Natives are idolized or vilified, at least not outright by the author.
When I was about 12 I was given a book as a gift, A Woman of the People by Benjamin Capps, and it was billed as not showing the Native Americans as either too good or too bad, and it did a fabulous job, especially for the 1960s. Here I wish everyone had been shown just a bit better than they were.
I love the idea of the Orenda, even though I don’t subscribe to any group’s spiritual beliefs. I love the one with nature idea though. But while it was mentioned early on, I was expecting to hear more of it, hoping it would be better used to tie in everything together.
I did like the chapter titles but would have appreciated chapter numbers as well, even though most of the chapters were very short.
I came to think of this as basically a war story, heavy on the actual violence, and that’s not typically my kind of book, even though I have liked many.
Everything was very brutal. For quite a while, at the beginning, I enjoyed how that was broken up by lots of humor Particularly amusing were the misunderstandings among the Natives and especially between Natives and Europeans, but for me it stopped being funny and became simply tragic.
I didn’t end up surprised by anything that happened, not really, and that was okay.
From start to finish, I was inspired to research these tribes and how they lived, including seeing pictures of what their homes objects, clothing and decorations looked like. I do find the subject fascinating.
The story ended up dragging for me, badly dragging though, and between that and the violence described in such intimate detail, I ended up not really enjoying my reading experience.
I’ve read that this author’s first two books are significantly better than this one, and the writing here is excellent, so I’m not giving up on this author.
I don’t feel like spending any more time with this book, including thinking about it, so I’m not spending a lot of time writing this review.
ETA: Reputable publisher and already published author, and my library copy had its pages upside down from the way they should have been placed into the cover. Very weird!...more
I think I’d have enjoyed reading this book no matter what but I was particularly happy to read it with my reading buddy Diane, and glad that she wanteI think I’d have enjoyed reading this book no matter what but I was particularly happy to read it with my reading buddy Diane, and glad that she wanted to read slowly through the book; it made the reading experiencing really fun, if I can use that word, and absorbing and thinking about the information more interesting.
I’ve read extensively about the Holocaust, but I learned so much from this book. I knew little of the treatment of French women Communists and other Nazi resistors. I’m fascinated with this history. I must admit as I read about what befell these women in various places at various times, I found myself thinking about the Jews, and the times, places, events, ways they were being murdered on a parallel timeline with the events in this book.
I was riveted to the account from the start, though the list of names was long and, as I predicted, I sometimes lost track of details about particular people. I resisted taking notes though, and that’s where my buddy came in handy, sometimes interjecting information such as: these two women had been friends before the war and providing the page number. I did enjoy that but was too lazy to try to remember all the details. Even without them, I feel as though I got to know these women, and particularly their friendship, which was a character itself. It’s really a book about the friendship among the group of women, how they were a unit of sorts. While I often forget connections and pre-war activities, I remained engrossed in the book and felt I got more than the gist.
I was thrilled with the two maps and all the photographs. I wised for even more. Those included really enhanced the reading experience for me.
I found myself wanting to know each of the women’s fates and my reading buddy Diane alerted me to one page in the back of the book that listed surviving women who were still alive and were interviewed or their family members interviewed for the book, and that’s when I found the complete list: those women, in alphabetical order the women who survived and then in alphabetical order the women who did not survive. I wanted to find out and to bear witness, so I pretty much stopped reading the book proper and, even though I knew I’d forget specifics and have to refer back to names as I read about them in the book, I read the lists. It was highly disturbing, even reading the fates of the survivors left me feeling extremely sad. Real life horror show! I knew how what the Nazis did have affected more than that one generation but it was powerful to see it spelled out in simple list form. It was hard to avoid using profanity when trying to absorb the facts. I’m really glad that the fates, with a bit of detail, of all the women were revealed.
Even though I wasn’t willing to create it, in addition to the lists of women at the end, I wouldn’t have minded lists at the beginning, showing why the women were arrested, who knew who before capture, etc.
I know in some cases it wasn’t possible to tell more of certain women because of the lack of information and for those women I’m grateful their existence was noted, but for those women who had a lot known about them, I longed for more detailed information about their pre-war and post-war lives. However; the entity of them as a group, of the friendship as the main character was powerful. The juxtaposition of how different people and groups dealt with Nazi occupation was told effectively and I find the subject fascinating.
I was amazed at how brave most of these women were. Because they were not Jewish (known Jews) almost all could have avoided concentration camps, and once they were imprisoned I was so impressed with the big, unexpected, all kinds of kindnesses, often at their own peril and/or deprivation, and often even at risk of saving their own lives. Talk about true friendship!
Whenever reading about the Nazis I always admired the resistors but this time around I kept wondering if mothers of young children really should have been so boldly participating. I am in awe of what they did but a part of me wanted anyone who could stay safe (and hopefully still do some good) to do so.
These French women went through a lot of the almost unimaginable suffering that the targeted groups (Jews, Gypsies, mentally ill, developmentally disabled, homosexual, etc.) did. I’m still glad that at the end, when summing up, the Jews were mentioned and the reader saw how they fared re return rate, and re France’s collaboration and the prevalent anti-Semitism, re overall how they fared worse, and given how these women fared, that was very, very badly. I respect this account even more for all it tried to cover.
I felt so sad to read the fates of the women, not only those who didn’t survive, but also those who did survive. I kept wondering what if they’d had modern day post traumatic stress treatments in 1945 whether some could have greatly benefited, even though I have no illusions that they would be anything other than horribly damaged in many ways. So horrifying what humans can do to others!
I really enjoyed this book but I was left profoundly sad, and also profoundly impressed, and very angry about what happened to these women. I think it’s an important story and I’m very glad that it’s now down on paper. I might have given it 5 stars had I gotten to know at least some of the women better than I did.
These sorts of accounts always have me soul searching about just how brave I’d be, just how altruistic I’d be, just how ethically I’d behave given similar dire circumstances....more
This is a tough book for me to rate. At a time when I’m finding it difficult to get through most books, it completely held my attention and I thoroughThis is a tough book for me to rate. At a time when I’m finding it difficult to get through most books, it completely held my attention and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. If it weren’t for a couple issues I might have given it 5 stars, but because of those issues I almost downgraded it to 3 stars.
It’s a beautifully written book. There are many memorable and lovely lines, so much insight in just a few words. I love the voice of the main character narrator, June. She is so engaging and interesting, and she’s a good storyteller. She is a believable 14 year old girl. I also really like some of the complexity of the other characters, even though the revelations never took me by surprise; in fact, the sister character I suspected what unfolded, but the way things were unveiled was well done. I appreciated how the sister-friend rivalry transpired, even though it was predictable, and even though it definitely veered into what I consider to be severe bullying, but I know that can happen in families. New York City and the 1980s were done to perfection and I had fun reliving certain things, even though at that time I was much older than the narrator, and even though one of the things was sad.
Some of what happened in the various relationships (and with the painting, etc. etc.) were awfully heavy handed with the symbolism but I forgave that. Everything was wrapped up a little too neatly, especially at the end, but I can forgive that too.
A couple things almost ruined the book for me though.
(view spoiler)[ The cigarettes Toby gave to June when she was only 14, not only even just once but regularly, left me not liking Toby as much as I would have otherwise, or as much as I think the author intended for her readers. It drove me crazy. But hey, I’d have been angry at Toby for simply smoking around June and exposing her to secondhand smoke. The constant cigarette dispensing had me infuriated. The alcohol didn’t bother me as much, but it coming from the other kids disturbed me much less than the alcohol that came from the adult, an adult who was supposed to be watching out for her.
Also, a second thing, the whole being in love with the uncle and then being sort of in love with the uncle’s widower boyfriend seemed weird to me, not that a girl could have sexual/romantic feelings for an unattainable adult, as that happens all the time, but just the way it was written, for me, there were some false notes. (hide spoiler)]
I’d had this book on my to read list and wanted to read it. I got to it because my real world book club is reading it. A couple friends have told me that they cried at the end. I didn’t; I was moved but not to the point of shedding tears. I did frequently smile at many points in the story. Overall, I really liked the book.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Why on earth was this the book I could quickly sail through, when I’m struggling with so many other books?! It literally gave me nightmares. Thank gooWhy on earth was this the book I could quickly sail through, when I’m struggling with so many other books?! It literally gave me nightmares. Thank goodness it has some comic relief and family aspects in the narrative. I felt horrified (I guess I was supposed to) and I could never work there, at least not on a similar unit. The place seems to have changed so much. I was there as a student 3 decades ago, and while there were some forensic psych patents there, more on the adolescent unit than the adult unit of the units to which I was assigned, it was nothing like what this author describes.
I have really mixed feeling about the author and this book. It was able to hold my attention but some connection was missing for me. I did take away, yet again, that we have a broken system, in so many ways....more
Gorgeous hardcover book with lovely photos, though not of every recipe. 4 stars. star off because it was an inspired idea but then a lot of countrieGorgeous hardcover book with lovely photos, though not of every recipe. 4 ½ stars. ½ star off because it was an inspired idea but then a lot of countries were missing and there were so few recipes for each country and region, and I found myself wanting more. The sampler format did work though. I got in some armchair traveling with not only the recipes but also the text info that accompanied each of the recipes and at the beginning of each section. I still wish that Canada and many missing European countries had been included.
I like that the recipes have various designations, such as quick and easy, gluten free/option, soy free/option, no oil, low oil, etc. There is a glossary, some suggested menus, a list of online resources, basic and global pantry lists, and the index seems okay.
For me, overall, there was too much vinegar, cooking alcohol, vegan dairy substitutes, coconut, and too much sugar in both savory and sweet dishes. But I’ve always loved this author’s recipes and that was mostly also true in this book.
The recipes that most intrigued me are: From the Europe section, from Italy: Trofie alla Pesto with Green Beans and Potatoes; Polenta Rustica with Kale and Bean Ragout; Sicilian-Style Cauliflower, and from France: Pissaladere; Roasted Ratatouille with Basil Pistou; Basil Pistou; Mousse au Chocolat, and from Spain and Portugal: Vegetable Paella; Eggplant Piri-piri, and from Greece: Spankakipita Tart, and from Eastern Europe: Halushki, and from the British Isles: Cottage Pie; Cauliflower Colcannon; Portobello Pasties; Lemon Posset, and from the Americas, from the United States: Blue Ribbon Chocolate Layer Cake; Brown Bread with Walnuts and Raisins, and from Mexico: Avocado and Tomato Salsa Verrines; Black Bean and Butternut Tortilla Bake; Black Bean Caldillo; Chipotle Corn-Stuffed Peppers, and from the Caribbean: Spicy Plantain Fritters with Mango-Papaya Relish; Roasted Corn Chowder; Red Bean Stew with Mango, and from South America: Bolivian Quinoa Pilaf. and from Africa: Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup; Black-Eyed Pea Fritters (Akara); Injera; Vegetable Tangine, and from the Middle East: Kale-Stuffed Phyllo “Pens”; Sleek-Stuffed Eggplant with Pomegranate Sauce; Zaatar Roasted Cauliflower, and from India: Manchurian Cauliflower; Kofta Curry; Vegetable Momos; Cardamom Chickpea Cookies, and from Asia: from China: Almond Cookies, from Thailand: Eggplant Satays, and from Japan: Temple Soup; Sesame-Spinach Donburi, and from Korea: Sweet Potato Dessert, and from Vietnam: Pho Chay; Sizzling Saigon Crepes, and from the Southeast Asia Islands: Singapore Mei Fun; Eggplant Rempeh.
Recommended for cooks and cookbook readers who want recipes from a variety of ethnic cuisines. It’s a beautiful, gift worthy cookbook. ...more
Well, this one was different. There is extreme profanity throughout; it’s part of the book’s concept, weaving its way through the entire text. It’s goWell, this one was different. There is extreme profanity throughout; it’s part of the book’s concept, weaving its way through the entire text. It’s going to fill a niche market, I suppose, reaching people who might not otherwise reach for a vegan cookbook, or certain vegans who think the presentation is the best thing ever. Unfortunately, it’s going to completely turn off some cookbook readers/users, and that’s a shame because the recipes are really good and worth reading, making and eating. I knew what to expect and I was amused, and I found it somewhat entertaining for while but then, for me, all the swearing got tiresome and I was just trying to read the recipes and the extra helpful information that’s included. I was expecting many obscenities but I guess I wasn’t truly prepared for their volume. However, the recipes are excellent, and I welcome many kinds of vegan cookbooks so as to appeal to the widest range of cookbook readers who are vegan or vegan interested or simply looking for some good recipes.
There are many recipes that appealed to me. I really appreciate that most recipes seem easy to make, that many times whole grains are used, and I also loved the pages with ideas for putting together dishes such as how to build a salad and how to build a bowl and how to roast garlic, etc. There are some good photos of the food (though not for every recipe) and other photos too.
From the breakfast section I’m especially interested in: quinoa oatmeal; mixed veggie and tofu chilaquiles; basic maple granola with add in ideas; tofu scramble tacos; brown rice bowl with edamame and tamari scallion sauce; whole wheat banana pancakes; oat flour griddle cakes with blueberry sauce; baked okra and potato hash.
From the salads, sammies, and mini meals section these looked particularly good: roasted broccoli and millet pilaf; braised winter cabbage and potatoes; sweet corn and green chilis baked flautas; smoky black-eyed peas with roasted sweet potatoes and collards; baked Spanish rice; and some of the baked tofu marinades.
From the soups and stews section, these recipes: vegetable noodle soup with ginger miso broth; pozole rojo; corn and basil chowder; potato leek soup; pumpkin chili (Yes!, #1 on my list! Though perhaps I could say the same about a dozen other recipes in this book. There are so many appealing ones!); tortilla soup; chickpeas and dumplings; wedding soup with white bean balls and kale.
From the salsas, sips, and the snack life section: cumin-spiked pinto bean dip; creamy black bean and cilantro dip; mid-summer salsa; salsa verde; and peach-mint sun tea.
From the burritos, bowls, and other bomb-ass meals, these looked best to me: (these first two vying for recipe #1 with the soup recipe in that section!!): creamy ravioli with house marinara; mixed mushroom and spinach lasagna; and also sweet potat0, squash, and black bean enchiladas; cauliflower cream pasta with fresh herbs; roasted chickpea and broccoli burritos; white bean and red lentil burgers; and root veggie fries.
And from the baked goods and mother fucking desserts section: chocolate fudge pops; crispy millet and peanut butter buckeyes; maple-oat banana bread; carrot cake cookies; and chocolate chip and almond butter cookies all looked delicious.
The above recipes don’t necessarily represent the scope of all the recipe variety in the book; they’re simply the ones that personally most appealed to me.
I recommend the book going in knowing what to expect, for the excellent mostly healthy, reasonably easy to make, and delicious looking recipes....more
I’ve wanted to go to the Vedge restaurant since it opened and I still do.
One negative here for me re the dishes is how many use ingredients I (a pickyI’ve wanted to go to the Vedge restaurant since it opened and I still do.
One negative here for me re the dishes is how many use ingredients I (a picky eater) don’t like: vinegar, capers, mustard, cooking and drinking alcohol, vegan sour cream, vegan cream cheese, vegan mayo, and coconut.
On a positive note, I’d find it easy to leave out a lot of the above, and most of the recipes look remarkably easy and relatively quick to make given that they come from a gourmet vegan restaurant. Also, I really appreciate that vegetables take center stage here, and ironically that’s relatively rare in many vegan recipes.
This is a beautiful book, and it has a lovely back story. And, yes, I can see why the restaurant has received so many accolades.
The stocks look really delicious and the spice blends look really interesting.
There are many, many more recipes I’d like to try, with some tweaking.
As is, I didn’t find anything in the small bites and small plates section that interested me personally, but I expect most eaters and cooks would disagree with me.
In the soups and stews section I’d like to try these: saffron cauliflower soup with persillade; peas and carrots with Jamaican curry; posole with chayote and poblano peppers; lentil mulligatawny with cilantro-onion salad; Peruvian squash and giant lima bean stew.
In the dirt list section these appealed to me the most: nebrodini mushrooms as fazoletti; roasted kabocha squash with black trumpet mushrooms and Madeira; baby scarlet turnips and their greens with garlic jus; grilled broccolini with pistachio, cured olive, and preserved lemon.
In the plates (aka mains) section these looked particularly delicious: zucchini, tomato, and olive tart; Thanksgiving root stew; roasted baby turnips with maitake “Champignons au Vin”; fazzoletti with peas and morels; winter vegetable cassoulet.
In the desserts and baked goods section these stood out for me: chocolate stuffed beignets; cranberry jelly doughnuts with hot cider; nine-seed rye bread; pumpernickel bread; warthog bread.
All the drinks in the cocktails section were based on various alcoholic beverages so did not appeal to me but they did look creative and intriguing. ...more
Once again, I’m all caught up with Patricia Polacco books! I’ve read them all. I hope there will be many more in the future.
In the vein of Mr. LincolnOnce again, I’m all caught up with Patricia Polacco books! I’ve read them all. I hope there will be many more in the future.
In the vein of Mr. Lincoln’s Way (about a school principal who brilliantly deals with bullying), Thank You, Mr. Falker (a teacher who helped Polacco with her learning differences in learning to read) and The Art of Miss Chew (an inspiring art teacher the author had who nurtured what would become her passion), and The Junkyard Wonders (with a special education teacher who knows how to let her special ed students soar), this is another story about a wonderful drama teacher, one who helps Polacco overcome her fear of public speaking.
Actually, at first, this account seemed a bit too miraculous to be believed, and I even wondered if it was really true, until the final lines that is, and then it seemed completely credible.
I really appreciate Polacco’s stories of supportive and inspiring teachers. In addition to the drama teacher in this book, there is also the English teacher that sees her struggle to speak to a group and introduces her to the drama teacher.
This is another emotionally touching Patricia Polacco book. As she often does, she writes about her family’s background. In this story, she focuses onThis is another emotionally touching Patricia Polacco book. As she often does, she writes about her family’s background. In this story, she focuses on her great-great-grandmother Fiona, her early years first in Glen Kerry, near Limerick, Ireland and then in Chicago, United States.
Highly recommended for those interested in Irish and American history, lace making, stories about strong girls, family stories including accounts of multi-generational family ties, the Great Chicago Fire, Irish immigration to America, and immigration stories in general, and anyone who’s enjoyed other Patricia Polacco books.
I love how Fiona’s lace changed Fiona’s life and the lives of her family members at the time, and how Polacco and her relatives keep and sometimes use pieces of Fiona’s lace.
There must be some historical fiction aspects to this account, but it’s presented as non-fiction and I assume it’s mostly factual, so I have it shelved as non-fiction.
I know Polacco considers herself first an artist, but I always enjoy her stories even more than her art. However, the art here, as in most of her books, is an huge asset to the story. The early paintings showing Ireland are particularly lovely, and I appreciated the detail in all the illustrations. Not only do the paintings fit the story well, but I enjoyed many of them on their own.
This is one of Polacco’s (many) special books, with a good companion book being The Keeping Quilt....more