All of us have heard of Bridget Jones, if not the book but definitely the movies. What motivated me to read the book was the fact it was called the "mAll of us have heard of Bridget Jones, if not the book but definitely the movies. What motivated me to read the book was the fact it was called the "mother of all chick-lits". Well, I don't read much chick lits but I had to read this. Mainly I wanted to watch the movies which had Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth in it , both of whom I love. I had also seen it being described as the modern version of "Pride and Prejudice"..so of course I had to read it!
Written as a personal diary, Bridget Jones is the account of a single working woman living in London.She is afraid she will be single all her life. The thought of dying alone terrifies her. Bridget is obsessed with her weight, has a negative self-image and can be really silly at times. But that makes her so lovable and believable..the fact that she is flawed makes us relate to her.
Bridget Jones' Diary is a hilarious and charming novel. There were several laugh-out loud moments. Every woman can relate to and see herself in Bridget - in her doubts and her insecurities. Even though Bridget is flawed , sometimes silly and childish ...she very relatable. She can be a social disaster at times, she can be dumb , she is clumsy and always does and says the wrong thing. Bridget is unhappy about her body and her personality. A chain smoker and a drinker, she is trying to get over these addictions, very unsuccessfully . You feel annoyed at Bridget at times, wanting to shake her. Yet in so many ways, we are her. Like all humans, Bridget has her imperfections. We can all identify with her in some ways.
Bridget Jones' Diary is quirky and witty. Its not the most intelligent novel around but is still so close to life in some ways. Its fun and enjoyable. All the while I read the novel, I had many "Oh My God! That's me!" moment..which shows Bridget is so close to real life.
Why is it that books that you love the most are the hardest to describe? I sat in front of my laptop for more than a hour , after I had finished readiWhy is it that books that you love the most are the hardest to describe? I sat in front of my laptop for more than a hour , after I had finished reading the book and yet was unable to formulate a word other than "WOW!".
Kate Morton is one of my top 5 favorite authors. I loved her other 2 books and I devoured the 600 plus pages of this book in less than one day.I was incapable of sleeping - the story and the characters pulled me in so deep that sleep was really the last thought I had.
I had been awaiting this book more than any other book this year. The wait has been more than worth it.
There is such a haunting quality to this book which makes it one that you cannot forget easily.There were sentences and whole paragraphs that still resonate in my ears.Kate Morton's beautiful writing is one of the major reasons why I am such a big fan of hers.Her lyrical prose will stay with you. I can actually quote lines from this book (something I thought I was not capable of)- such was the writing.
The setting , a gothic castle, is a character in itself. Such is the author's writing that the castle seems as alive as its occupants.In its veins, runs the secrets from long ago.Kate Morton's breathtaking description of the castle will make you feel as if you are there.Her descriptions are so evocative, so beautiful that it leaves you wanting for more.
Entwined with the suspense element is a heart-wrenching story of three sisters that won't fail to move you.The sisters and their story will break your heart. I felt their pain, their fears . Imagine being a prisoner in your own home with no dreams or hope for a future. I could feel the castle walls binding them, suffocating them.
Throughout the book, I tried to prepare myself for the final shocking conclusion -as the secrets are revealed.Yet I was completely taken aback by the ending which was a disquieting one.
The story's movement between the past and the present is smooth and beautifully done.As each chapter unfolds, we get to know more about the past. Slowly, we are able to piece together the parts to form a complete picture. As secret after secret unravels, years of secrets,betrayal, heartbreaks, tragedies, will shock you. This dark and haunting story will unnerve you and yet won't fail to touch you.
There are certain chilling moments, I shuddered at some points. Its not something very in your face..its something lying just beneath the surface..something not visible.. that creeps you out.
Even after an astounding ending ,I still felt as if there were still things left to the reader to decipher and interpret - the castle had still not revealed all its secrets.
The castle, the sisters, their tragic story - they will linger with you , long after you have read the last page.
The Distant Hours is a perfect read for a rainy night. It has all the makings of a prefect gothic novel- family secrets, an old castle, mysterious deaths, a letter from long ago and madness running through a family .
Even though this is a huge book , I wanted more pages to miraculously appear. Its one of those books which made me want to read on and on.
I think I am a Kate Morton fanatic for life now. This masterpiece of a book has made me very sure that no matter how much I have to wait for her next book, it will be definitely worth it.Its beacause of books like these that I love reading.
Favorite Quote: There were so many , but if I have to choose one, it would be- "The ancient walls sing the distant hours.." Somehow this one sentence affected me a lot. It made me think of the past memories. It was so suited for this story. Every old house has its memories-painful and happy.Maybe when you are quiet, you can hear the voices of the people from the past-people who have lived and loved and died. This quote also made me think of something menacing lurking beneath the memories - I guess this was what the author wanted.When the author described the castle, I almost felt all the grief, the happiness, hidden in the castle walls and yet found it so hard to completely penetrate the secrets of the hours gone by.
Overall: Haunting, engrossing and shocking! I wish there was a stronger word to describe how much I love this book. After almost a year, this is a new addition to my list of favorite books.
Recommended? YES ! A thousand times yes! No matter what genre you read, do give Kate Morton's books a try. Though there are many talented young authors today, Kate Morton is still my favorite.
Similar Books: The House at Riverton-Kate Morton The Forgotten Garden-Kate Morton Arcadia Falls - Carol Goodman
I don't have to enunciate the sheer brilliance that is Sarah Waters. Those who have read her already know it. Those who haven't need to get acquaintedI don't have to enunciate the sheer brilliance that is Sarah Waters. Those who have read her already know it. Those who haven't need to get acquainted with her books which, I believe, are among the greatest literary works. The Little Stranger is my second favourite Sarah Waters novel after Fingersmith. In this book, the author deviates a lot from her previous works. Yet, her ability to awe remains the same.
Now imagine a huge gothic mansion, a possibly haunted mansion.Then imagine something walking up the stairs of the mansion , the pitter- patter of feet which are not very human... I dare you to read this book and be able to sleep without lights on. Honestly, I could not!
The Little Stranger is narrated by Dr. Faraday, a local doctor in a small village of England around the 1940s. His mother was a nursery maid in Hundreds Hall, a huge mansion in the village. As a child, he was fascinated by the mansion and has fond memories of it. "With his death, Hundreds hall withdrew even further from the world. The gates of the park were kept almost permanently closed. The solid brown stone boundary wall, though not especially high, was high enough to forbidding. And for all that the house was such a grand one, there was no spot, on any of the lanes in that part of Warwickshie, from which it could be glimpsed. I sometimes thought of it, tucked away in there, as I passed the wall on my rounds- picturing it always as it had seemed to me that day in 1919, with its handsome brick faces, and its cool marble passages, each one filled with marvellous things.'"
When he is called to Hundreds Hall to see a patient, he is shocked to see the extent of deterioration of the house. The Ayers- the owners of the Hundreds Halls were once a powerful and rich family. But they have now fallen into poverty and have barely enough money to maintain what was once a stately mansion.
"Hundreds Hall had been made and maintained, I thought, by the very people they were laughing at now. After two hundred years, those people had begun to withdraw their labour, their belief in the house; and the house was collapsing, like a pyramid of cards. Meanwhile, here the family sat, still playing gaily at gentry life, with the chipped stucco on their walls, and their Turkey carpets worn to the weave, and their riveted china..."
The Ayers family consists of the middle-aged widow, Mrs Ayers, her 27-year old daughter, Caroline, who has resigned herself to a life as a spinster and a 24-year old son, Roderick, who is now the reluctant owner of Hundreds Hall.
As Dr. Faraday becomes more closely acquainted with the family, he finds out that there are supposedly strange happenings in the house. Being a man of science, he is naturally sceptical. But things take a sinister turn, as slowly Roderick starts to lose his sanity as claims to hear and see thing that can't be explained by anything that's "natural". Strange spots appear, supposedly accidental fires, a child's voice, footsteps- as things go worse, Dr Faraday comes face to face with the reality of the horror unfolding at Hundreds Hall.
The Little Strangers is a mixture of genres. It is a psychological thriller entwined with gothic suspense/horror. Sarah Waters knows how to play with words. she creates an entire atmosphere of suspense, terror, dark secrets and malevolence that sucks you right in. I tried to tell myself that this is just a book, calm down! It didn't work. Such is the talent of this very eloquent author, that it all seemed so terrifyingly real to me, like something like this can really happen in real life. She caught my eye and said quietly, 'Do you feel it? The house is still at last. Whatever it was that was here, it has taken everything that it wanted. And do you know what the worst thing is? The thing I shan't forgive it for? It made me help it.'
Though it may seem like a gothic horror story, The Little Stranger deals with so much more- a once wealthy family that is struggling to cling to its way of life and the complexity of relationships (between siblings and between parent-child). Kudos to Sarah Waters for scaring the living daylights out of me! The author knows how to spin a tale that guarantees that you are hooked to the book.
Like I said, The Little Stranger is completely different from any other Sarah Waters books. What remains the same is the beautiful writing, an atmospheric setting and characters that continue to haunt the reader. The Little Stranger ends with many questions. Every person will have a different perspective to what really happened at Hundreds Hall. There is no "end" as such. It's left to the readers imagination. Hundreds Hall will linger in your mind long after you have read the last page.
Overall: Compelling, haunting and highly entertaining
Recommended? Yes, to fans of Sarah Waters and to people who just like a suspenseful, gripping story.
Similar Books: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson The Seance by John Harwood Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon Grange House by Sarah Blake Blood Harvest by S.J. Bolton The House at Midnight by Lucie Whitehouse
Not similar but highly recommended: Fingersmith by Sarah Waters Affinity by Sarah Waters Night Watch by Sarah Waters...more