I loved the historical information here, about the foot binding, the women's chambers, the traditions and customs. The writing was great too, you real...moreI loved the historical information here, about the foot binding, the women's chambers, the traditions and customs. The writing was great too, you really felt the pain of the foot binding. The story itself though, was neh. I kept waiting for something to happen. Perhaps Lily was too lucky and there wasn't enough conflict for a good story? (copied review) In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, “old same,” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s painted a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on fans, compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together, they endure the agony of foot-binding, and reflect upon their arranged marriages, shared loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart (less)
I really like short stories, how a writer can boil down such angst in less than 20 pages, and I can try new subjects or styles without getting too tim...moreI really like short stories, how a writer can boil down such angst in less than 20 pages, and I can try new subjects or styles without getting too time-invested. Some of Joyce Carol Oates books I can give or take, but I love her short story in here!
(copied review) Chabon reaches out toward genre fiction—after all, he writes, a story's delights "all boil down to entertainment, and its suave henchman, pleasure"—but he doesn't go so far as to alienate fans of more traditional stories in the lively latest volume of this venerable series. He begins with a Little League baseball story by Tom Perotta ("The Smile on Happy Chang's Face"), arguably a character study but a rousing sports piece too, and Dennis Lehane's "Until Gwen" follows—"Your father picks you up from prison in a stolen Dodge Neon, with an 8-ball of coke in the glove compartment and a hooker named Mandy in the back seat"—to stir things up a little. Kelly Link contributes an elegant haunted house tale, and Cory Doctorow serves up a "piss-take" on Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game" with his story of online gaming, "Anda's Game." Stories by Edward P. Jones, Tim Pratt, Charles D'Ambrosio and Tom Bissell skirt genre, too, though Chabon doesn't forget such Best American stalwarts as Alice Munro, Joy Williams, Joyce Carol Oates and newer writers in the more traditional vein. In the big pile of Best Ams, this one holds its own, even if—yawn—six of the stories come from the august New Yorker. (less)
It was a fast paced book, with very short chapters, but not much depth. There's a side story about his nana's heart attack, but it was just a red herr...moreIt was a fast paced book, with very short chapters, but not much depth. There's a side story about his nana's heart attack, but it was just a red herring--I thought it meant something. I disliked how the front of the book says, "a beloved Cross family has been murdered" and it was someone they hadn't seen in decades. Since I'm not up on the series, I had no idea how the family members were connected, such as Bree, I thought they were married.
(copied review) Bestseller Patterson offers nothing new on a theme he himself has already done to death in his 16th novel featuring detective Alex Cross (after Cross Country), in which Cross takes on yet another barbaric serial killer, this one known as Zeus. Word that an estranged 24-year-old niece, Caroline Cross, has been murdered disturbs Cross's birthday party. To make that horror even worse, the killer fed Caroline's body through a wood chipper. Cross soon discovers that Caroline supported herself as a high-price escort for Washington, D.C.'s elite, and that other women who served similar clients have turned up missing. Cross's investigation soon attracts the attention of the feds, and he concludes that Zeus is better connected than most of the psychopaths he's brought to justice. A subplot centering on a health threat to another member of Cross's family adds padding. Readers expecting the killer to be identified through insightful profiling will be disappointed. (less)