This one wasn't on my radar until my friend Carrie recommended it. Wow! It pulled me in and pretty much wouldn't let go until the very end.
Catherine RaThis one wasn't on my radar until my friend Carrie recommended it. Wow! It pulled me in and pretty much wouldn't let go until the very end.
Catherine Ravenscroft and her husband, Robert, have moved into a smaller house now that their troubled son has moved out. Most of the boxes are unpacked. Catherine is having trouble sleeping, and picks up a book that was on her bedside table. She doesn't remember buying it, but with everything going on, that's not too surprising. What is surprising is that the female protagonist is her. Not her name, but her description. And the plot is about an incident she's kept secret for decades.
There's a lot going on here, and I won't spoil it for anyone else. It's about grief, family, relationships, secrets and assumptions. And how each of those things can skew how we see each other....more
I have to say I had some trouble getting into this play at the beginning. Nora is such feather-brained character her husband even calls her "the littlI have to say I had some trouble getting into this play at the beginning. Nora is such feather-brained character her husband even calls her "the little lark" and "my squirrel." But by the end I was cheering for her. Nicely done, Mr. Ibsen. ...more
The first Serge & Coleman adventure in the series. The pair find themselves on a tour of Florida that starts in Tampa. David and Sean, another paiThe first Serge & Coleman adventure in the series. The pair find themselves on a tour of Florida that starts in Tampa. David and Sean, another pair of friends, also start out from Tampa on a Florida road trip. Several other characters cross paths with the two pairs. The story involves corporate corruption, insurance scams, murder, extortion, sex, The World Series, retirement communities, drugs, the Space Program and Key West.
This is a 3.5 star review rounded to 4. I enjoyed the book, laughing out loud on a few occasions. But the structure of the book worked both for and against it. The author jumps from one situation or group of characters to another. Often after just one paragraph. The jumps helped heighten the mystery of how all these incidents are going to come together to a satisfying conclusion. The frequent breaks made it easy to set down. And I ended up putting it down twice to read other books.
Therefore, 3.5 stars. But I will probably read the next one....more
I don't usually take this long to review an Atwood book. The problem is that I read a bunch of reviews before the book came out, and I had those rattlI don't usually take this long to review an Atwood book. The problem is that I read a bunch of reviews before the book came out, and I had those rattling around while I read it. I had some trouble reconciling what a lot of these reviews said with my take. Finally, I realized I didn't have to.
Charmaine and Stan have lost pretty much everything except each other and their car when the story opens. Some big economic event has taken place and thrown most of the country--or at least certain regions of the country--out of work. Then they're offered the opportunity to join a new community built around a prison. One month they'll live in a nice home and work at good jobs. The next they'll spend in prison, working at different jobs while another couple occupies their home. The prison is always at full capacity and the community has a steady, interchangeable, workforce. Win-win. Of course nothing is ever that simple in life or a Margaret Atwood book.
Most of the reviews I read focused on "the sex." "OMG, there's so much sex in this book!" "I can't believe all the sex!" Yada, yada, yada. Yep, people have sex. But it's not Fifty Shades of Atwood. It all happens off stage. The characters remember sex or fantasize about sex, but never in great detail. Most middle of the road romance novels go into much, much greater detail than this book.
And Ms. Atwood's books all involve some degree of sex. She writes about relationships. About how people connect or don't. Yes, there are dystopian futures in some. But, at heart, I think all of her stories, and poems for that matter, are about the human condition. And, believe it or not, part of that condition involves sex.
The humor seems to have been missed by most of these negative reviewers as well. I had the great honor of meeting Margaret Atwood a few years ago and then getting to hear her speak. This amazingly talented and intelligent woman has a wicked sense of humor. Sometimes playful and sometimes biting. In some scenes it almost drips off the page.
So, four and a half stars from me. The half star is because of character motivation. I won't give anything away, but while not unrealistic, it wasn't satisfying for me....more
I'm not generally a fan of zombie stories. But when two of my friends recommended this book to me with "It's not a typical zombie story", I thought I'I'm not generally a fan of zombie stories. But when two of my friends recommended this book to me with "It's not a typical zombie story", I thought I'd give it a chance. I'm so glad I did.
Melanie is a 10-year-old with a genius level IQ. She goes to school with other students like herself. All bright, curious and potentially deadly. Any time outside of their cells is spent restrained in wheelchairs. Teachers rotate in and out of the classroom. Melanie's favorite is Miss Justineau.
There are soldiers, scientists, teachers, rogue humans known as Junkers and the Hungries (i.e., zombies). And it seems everyone has an agenda, often at odds with what others want.
I rushed through the book until I hit the point where I thought something bad had to happen. I only hesitated a little while, though. I had to know the end. So satisfying.
If you're not a fan of zombies, don't let that stop you from reading this book. If you are a fan, then this should still be a treat for you, too.