After the disappointing experience of reading her latest book, this was just what I needed to remind me of the brilliance that is Atwood. I'm not realAfter the disappointing experience of reading her latest book, this was just what I needed to remind me of the brilliance that is Atwood. I'm not really sure what to call this collection -- short stories or a disjointed novel? Each chapter is a short story, but they are all centered on a main character, Nell. So you get this strange but effective piecemeal telling of Nell's life that felt kind of like a novel, but each chapter was such a short window into one particular time that you never get the complete story.
There were a couple chapters/stories that didn't grab me as much as others and thus the 4-star rating. But overall, this was a very enjoyable read. ...more
Let me explain my 3-star rating...this is a no-brainer easy read and that genre, very rarely, will receive more than a 3 star rating from me (but theyLet me explain my 3-star rating...this is a no-brainer easy read and that genre, very rarely, will receive more than a 3 star rating from me (but they can certainly get much lower). I like to reserve my 4s and 5s for extraordinary (in my opinion) books.
So a 3 here means that for this class of book, I really enjoyed it and it was a nice break from what I have been reading. There were some annoying characters, but ultimately the book felt very 'real' to me. I think the author injected humor in but he didn't go over the top or try to manipulate his readers. And he didn't take the easy way out in the end...it was, in my opinion, still a happy ending but a real ending. In particular, the two things that I loved about the humor were 1) his one-liner references to 90s trends/movies etc that may be missed by a lot of folks (those types of lines in Gilmore Girls is one of the reasons I love that show so much), and 2) the squirrels -- oh my god, the squirrels! Paintball covered squirrels really was an original, hilarious addition and every time they were brought up, I laughed out loud (though I admit the first time, I didn't know what the heck was going on and it really startled me!).
As a note -- I got this book as a free, first of the month Kindle offering. I keep downloading those books but not reading them and so I challenged myself to get at least one read before I continue to take advantage of that offer (no need to hoard a bunch of books I'll never read even if they are free and take up no physical space). ...more
This was such a beautifully written book with an intriguing story line and fascinating characters. That s4.5 stars probably but I'm rounding up to 5.
This was such a beautifully written book with an intriguing story line and fascinating characters. That said, it took awhile for me to really get into it...the first half was fairly slow. But by the end, I couldn't put it down. And yet, as others, I felt the ending was so unsatisfactory. I think I knew before I started that it would be...the setting of this story is WWII and one of the main characters is German and the other is French. One shouldn't expect a happily ever after... And in fact, given the historical back-drop, I may have been more disappointed if the ending were different.
Others have complained about the constant shifting in time to tell the story. My husband read it before I did and that was his biggest complaint as well. For me, I think the author pulled it off quite well and I think that the technique really set up the last 20% of the book extremely well...when the past converged with the present. In my opinion, I'm not sure the story would have had the same impact if it had been written chronologically. ...more