I am actually surprised at how much I enjoyed this book, third in the Louisa Clark series. I vividly remember the first book, but the second not so muI am actually surprised at how much I enjoyed this book, third in the Louisa Clark series. I vividly remember the first book, but the second not so much. Yet this one hit the spot, perhaps because however implausible it might be that Louisa has landed in NY City, once the story got going, I was hooked. I was also impressed by how real the city setting and milieu was portrayed. Jojo Moyes writes with heart and makes me care deeply about her characters....more
For some reason, I’ve always wondered what it is like to be in a classical music quartet, not that I play an instrument. Whenever I have had the pleasFor some reason, I’ve always wondered what it is like to be in a classical music quartet, not that I play an instrument. Whenever I have had the pleasure of seeing a quartet play together, I’ve been a bit envious of the intimate co-creation going on. To be deep in that beautiful music together!
And this novel really goes deep into the group dynamics, giving each of the four characters separate chapters that are not separate at all because of all the physical, mental and musical closeness among them, the sibling-like ups and downs, not to mention the romance between two of musicians, etc. More than two decades go by and the group hits their stride, achieving much success. What was shocking, though, and seems true to life, is the physical wear and tear the quartet members experience, tendinitis, posture problems, dents in their necks, all due to their constant musicianship.
I truly enjoyed this novel and even wrote down the titles of a few pieces of music the ensemble played that I intend to listen to soon....more
From page 136, a paragraph in the chapter called “Interlude” that particularly struck me:
“We are Indians and Native Americans, American Indians and NaFrom page 136, a paragraph in the chapter called “Interlude” that particularly struck me:
“We are Indians and Native Americans, American Indians and Native American Indians, North American Indians, Natives, NDNs and Ind’ins, Status Indians and Non-Status Indians, First Nations Indians and Indians so Indian we either think about the fact of it every single day or we never think about it at all. We are Urban Indians and Indigenous Indians, Rez Indians and Indians from Mexico and Central and South America. We are Alaskan Native Indians, Native Hawaiians, and European expatriate Indians, Indians from eight different tribes with quarter-blood quantum requirements and so not federally recognized kinds of Indians. We are enrolled members of tribes and disenrolled members, ineligible members and tribal council members. We are full-blood, half-breed, quadroon, eights, sixteenths, thirty-seconds. Undoable math. Insignificant remainders.”
This book was so melancholy that sometimes I had to put it down and take a break. It was a powder keg, full of folks ready to blow. It hit me over the head with a sense of all the injustices all the categories of Native Americans listed above have had to suffer through in the good old USA. Not news to me at all, but I am so glad Tommy Orange appeared with his literary talent for gut level storytelling making us even more aware of our culture’s sins against all the First Nation human beings. And I wonder what can be done now to make things better and forge a path towards the good Red Road.
My reverence for Native American wisdom began back in the early 70s with Black Elk Speaks and now tends towards books by Jamie Sams. Although I had some trouble keeping all the characters in There, There straight, I am glad I struggled through. There were no happy endings. I noticed my tendency towards wishing there were more answers. I can only hope Tommy Orange continues to heighten our awareness of his people’s points of views. May it be so....more
A difficult read, of course, not only because of the ALS so thoroughly depicted, but also because it is a portrait of a marriage gone wrong. Yes, theA difficult read, of course, not only because of the ALS so thoroughly depicted, but also because it is a portrait of a marriage gone wrong. Yes, the plot takes place about a year past their divorce, but both are still mired in sadness related to their relationship, especially because of lies and deceptions. I wasn’t sure I liked or cared about either of these folks. At times, I almost wanted to give up on the book or skip to the end. But there is ultimately some healing at work when ex-wife Karina makes the surprising decision to care for Richard, her arrogant concert pianist ex-husband. In respect for Geneva’s higher purpose in writing this book and educating us about ALS, I gave it 4 stars. It would have felt rude, uncaring and cold to give it a lower rating. A very mixed reaction on my part.......more
I picked this up quickly at the library because none of my reserved books had come in. I knew it would be a beach read for me... And at first it seemeI picked this up quickly at the library because none of my reserved books had come in. I knew it would be a beach read for me... And at first it seemed a bit formulaic and I thought I could guess where it was going, but what do you know -- not so. The author put in some twists to the tale, and ultimately the novel was satisfying and made me think a bit about my own life list. As always with books I find satisfying, I came to care for main character, Brett and was happy and sad for her by turns throughout the book....more
If you have a poetic soul, or love Celtic literature and/or have a penchant for stories about orphans as I do, I hope you find time to settle down witIf you have a poetic soul, or love Celtic literature and/or have a penchant for stories about orphans as I do, I hope you find time to settle down with GIRL ON THE LEESIDE by Kathleen Anne Kenney.
Siobhan Doyle is the girl in question. Orphaned at the age of two under dramatic circumstances, she counts herself lucky to have been taken in by her Uncle Kee. They live in rural western Ireland, near a long narrow bay which lends Siobhan respite from her work at the family pub, the Leeside.
Now age twenty-seven, Siobhan left school at sixteen. She had no interest in college. Yet being an autodidactic, and echoing her uncle’s devotion to studying Celtic literature, Siobhan is well-read. She also secretly writes epic poetry. What a reclusive waif Siobhan is, almost fairylike and dainty. Sometimes her shyness swells up and swallows her.
When a literature professor from America comes to the Leeside to interview Uncle Kee, he soon realizes Siobhan is also a person of literary substance. She wants to show him her poems. She finds talking to the professor to be soul-stirring, and yet her feelings for him upset her. A stranger from her mother’s past also shows up at the Leeside. Both of these men come to matter greatly to Siobhan.
Thank goodness Siobhan seeks out the company of women in order to understand her growing pains. Her best friend Maura gives her wise counsel, as does a grandmotherly traveler who visits the Leeside yearly in her brightly painted caravan. Siobhan also finds new respect for Katie, her uncle’s girlfriend who she used to dislike.
I enjoyed the stanzas of poetry the author added to the beginning of each chapter. The author’s ability to create sensitive, caring characters is impressive. I cared deeply for Siobhan and held my breath every time she teetered on the edge of life-altering choices. Watching her bloom was a privilege. For me, this was an altogether enchanting novel!