I do believe that all of us have our troubles and need help, support and a little respite at some point in our lives, so I really liked the book’s conI do believe that all of us have our troubles and need help, support and a little respite at some point in our lives, so I really liked the book’s concept of a healing, all-knowing, omnipotent sanctuary. I just wish that this heart-warming concept had been bolstered up with more substance. I found no similarity to the Jasper Fforde books (as was touted), except that they are fantasy just as bits of this are. This book, is in essence, of the same genre as Chitra Divakaruni’s “Mistress of Spices” or Laura Esquivel’s “Like Water like Chocolate”, so if you liked those books you will probably like this one too.
This book is the story of two main protagonists - Anand K. Murthy who runs his own business, and Kamala, a housemaid who works in his home. Anand is the owner of Cauvery Auto, a small factory which manufactures pressed metal sheets for car parts. He is marries to Vidya and they have two kids. Kamala works at the Murthy home. Her overarching objective in life is to educate her young son Narayan so he can have a bright future, and for that she scrimps and saves.
Both Anand and Kamala, socially and financially in very different classes, face large life-changing problems. The author touches on important struggles via Anand and Kamala's stories, and creates a very believable picture of modern Indian society. It is divided into the haves-and-the have-nots, Kamala and Anand at the ends of a very deep chasm between the two. Society seems to be losing its moral moorings. Greed knows no bounds, and a culture of kowtowing to the rich and powerful, while treading upon the weak, seems to be very much the rage.
This book seemed pleasant reading from the outset, but as it progressed it gathered heft and conviction, resulting in a very satisfying read. The author develops her characters and their settings very well and her writing is heartfelt. Her unfussy prose, descriptive detail and deft characterization make reading a pleasure. I enjoyed this book very much, and would highly recommend it. ...more
This book is about the relationship between sisters, and parents and the ties that bind family together, even in the face of raging jealousies and bigThis book is about the relationship between sisters, and parents and the ties that bind family together, even in the face of raging jealousies and big betrayals. Rosenfeld’s writing style is casual, but she etches out her characters very well and manages to make them real people we can identify with.
The book was engrossing – I breezed through it. In the first half of the book, Henry’s writing flows through the narration – she tells us all the impoThe book was engrossing – I breezed through it. In the first half of the book, Henry’s writing flows through the narration – she tells us all the important bits with a little bit of philosophy thrown in. Succinctly, no words wasted; just wonderfully constructed sentences which seemed to string me along.
This book is a good read as a romance novel. I have to say though, that while it presents a pleasant love tale, it is somewhat stilted writing, and trThis book is a good read as a romance novel. I have to say though, that while it presents a pleasant love tale, it is somewhat stilted writing, and transitions in the story are a bit jarring. We wander from one part of Cygnus Beta to another learning about the flora and fauna and the people and getting details on Grace’s side of the family. While it can be argued that these “diversions” are necessary to adequately “show” us the different facets of Grace and Dllenahkh’s personalities (and they do), I found myself itching for a quicker pace and lesser unrelated detail.
I would recommend this book for those of you who are looking for a strong story-based romance. “The Best of All Possible Worlds” might have bits of “chick-lit” in it, but they are well-entrenched in a futuristic tale of anthropology and culture.
“I’ll take what she has” is written in the first-person, two first-person accounts actually, because we get to hear from Nora and Annie. In Wilde’s un“I’ll take what she has” is written in the first-person, two first-person accounts actually, because we get to hear from Nora and Annie. In Wilde’s unfussy, at times almost lyrical prose (I’ve bookmarked quite a few of the passages in my Kindle galley) these characters come alive. The book works it’s way down the rocky road of friendship; some ups, some downs and some in-betweens. We’ve been down some of those life paths, so we understand, and we follow along engrossed. Wilde does an outstanding job of putting life’s vagaries on paper for us to muse upon.
A pleasure to read, I highly recommend “I’ll take what she has”.
As I have said above this is a long book and could have been cut down to a compact half. I enjoyed Hamilton’s imaginative prose – especially talk of tAs I have said above this is a long book and could have been cut down to a compact half. I enjoyed Hamilton’s imaginative prose – especially talk of the “smart dust”, “intelligent meshes” and life-span extension, but I found that the pace was stilted with detailed descriptions of plodding police work. Characters are strong but many and it is hard to keep the large cast straight in your head. Angela is the most interesting character of the lot and her story unfolds in a series of “flashbacks” – a technique I quite liked. However I never quite got immersed enough to root for any protagonist. Maybe it is just me, or maybe large books with many characters, such as this one, are designed to be so; seen from afar and without any emotional involvement.
Given that Tramelo is this book’s main character, it is a little disconcerting to see the degree to which she is sexualized. Also unexpected and off-putting in this sci-fi tome are the sex scenes/orgies. Hamilton has his characters talk in quaint expressions : “aye”, “pet”, “crap on it” – so very not-space-agey. I’m going with a 2.5 rating on this book – for a mystery, Great North Road couldn’t quite develop the steam needed to leave the reader wanting more.
For all her gorgeous word-play, I did not think that this book was on par with her previous work, mostly because of the lack of psychological intensitFor all her gorgeous word-play, I did not think that this book was on par with her previous work, mostly because of the lack of psychological intensity. Yes, we do get haunted memories (Scorcher’s) and unnatural physical settings on the crime scene – the Spain home is set up with hastily set-up video cameras, as though to catch an intruder. Emotions factor in – jealousy, insecurity, envy, and red herrings abound. But I never truly got any insight into the Spain’s lives from a psychological point of view, something which French excelled at in her previous books. Jenny and Pat’s friends seemed a little flat and clichéd, and the reasoning for the crime just didn’t seem believable. So when the conclusion came, I was not truly convinced – something that has never happened before with a French mystery.
This is still a decent book as far as mystery-thrillers go, even if it is a let-down coming from Tana French. I still think she’s a great writer though – it is not often that mysteries can read like literature. I will look forward to her next book. If you haven’t read her yet, I recommend “The Likeness” and “Faithful Place”....more
The book developed as a love story initially with great swathes devoted to Jane’s handling of Dorie’s magical powerOriginally posted at my blog, here.
The book developed as a love story initially with great swathes devoted to Jane’s handling of Dorie’s magical powers. The romance angle is threadbare though; Jane and Rochart meet precious few times, and there didn’t seem any palpable chemistry between them. I liked Jane, but Rochart seemed a tad cowardly. For all his talk and worry about Dorie he seemed to spend little time with her; his character was sketched a little thin. Dorie was the character I had the most sympathy for.
The characters could have used more development and the plot had some logical loopholes. I like the premise of the “fey” intermingled with the real world, but it needed more details; it was like I’d missed the memo on “fey” culture. In books which refer to a different culture or world, the “rules” of that world are generally shown to us before or while events take place. Here, and I consider this the book’s greatest problem, we are thrust into an unseen war between the humans and the fey, but fey-ish details are flimsy and thus lack heft.
I read this at a brisk pace. Inspite of the above problems, the first half did keep me interested. It was only in the later half of the book that things unraveled, with Jane dashing hither and thither without sound reasoning. I normally do not read fantasy but this book’s premise drew in. While it was not all I’d hoped for , it might be a good pick for lovers of the fantasy genre....more
This book is about domestic violence and Rice's description of situations which foster abuse kept me reading. She describes such situations realisticaThis book is about domestic violence and Rice's description of situations which foster abuse kept me reading. She describes such situations realistically - it is not only physical violence that is damaging, it is also verbal insinuations and mental coercions that make life hell. Her description of Anne and Frederik's life from Anne's diary truly show how abusive relationships can look normal to a casual passer-by but cause the vicitims to remain on tenterhooks awaiting the next outburst of violence. Besides that, truly heartbreaking are the effects of all this on the children. Anne's kids, Grit and Gilly, helpless witnesses to domestic violence, receive bad treatment not only from abusive Frederik but also from Anne.
The novel takes some time getting to the crux of the problem. Even though Grit moves in with her aunt she takes her time spilling the beans, and I was a little taken aback with the restraint shown by Clare as she goes about bird-watching instead if demanding answers of Grit about Anne, the sister she has been longing for all these years. Clare also seemed frail and vulnerable and living life at a distance afraid to commit, which seemed a realistic portrayal. Grit character was well-sketched; her spying habits and her lies tied in well with her tortured character.
I did find certain things in the book a little clichéd. Also, I understand that Rice tries to give us a clearer picture, but some backstory telling seemed exactly that - more tell and less show, which takes away from the novel. Clare's character seemed quite forgiving towards her sister given that it was Anne's false testimony that helped put Clare in jail. She seems to absolve Anne of all responsibility - a little too saintly and hard to take, and something which might be food for thought post-read.
I would recommend this novel to all my readers. It is a thought-provoking book, and well-worth the read, and I read it very quickly, almost in one sitting. The book has a gorgeous cover, which Rice tweets (in response to mine) is of Poet's Walk in Central Park....more
Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow are two of my favorite sci-fi books. Although I haven’t been able to move further iOriginally posted at my blog, here.
Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow are two of my favorite sci-fi books. Although I haven’t been able to move further into the series because I didn’t like where they were going, I do think that Orson Scott Card is one of the best sci-fi writers around today. In Ender’s Game we know that earth is fighting the war against the buggers, and the Formic wars are mentioned, but other than that we don’t get much backstory. Earth Unaware is the 1st book of the Formic Wars, a new series which forms a prequel to Ender’s Game, so this was a must-read for me.
I quite liked this book, for the detail, the descriptions and the engaging storyline. Vintage Orson Scott Card. Victor is a great protagonist – young enough for nascent romance, brave enough to stand upto an invincible foe, and selfless enough to sacrifice his welfare for the greater good. The only chink in the armor, as I said, was the MOP angle which seemed to dither too long on unimportant details.
This was a great read; I look forward to reading the next book of this prequel series....more
I’m a Jane Austen fan and Pride and Prejudice is one my of all time favorites. However the resemblance to Pride and Prejudice seemed superficial; whilI’m a Jane Austen fan and Pride and Prejudice is one my of all time favorites. However the resemblance to Pride and Prejudice seemed superficial; while the Harcourts are in number and gender similar to the Bennett family, and Forsythia with all her prim-and-properness , might be a direct descendant of Mrs. Bennett, Bliss was not what I’d expected out of a Lizzie-like heroine. For all her talk on feminism, women’s issues and empowerment, Bliss seemed way too focused on counting the days of her celibacy, and having wet dreams about her ex-husband . She seemed confused about her romantic decisions and could not break her attachment to her ex, although he seems a cad.
Because the story hinges on a reality television show I expected some description of what passes for television these days, but the book went into it further than that. The shooting of “The Virgin” takes centre stage with Bliss either a spectator, nodding in disbelief at the lengths her mother and sister will stoop too or joining them as they visit foreign countries. The story-line then got repetitious with one shoot following the other. On the plus side, I did like the cover – thought it very well-done. Also, it is interesting that the author brings in issues of race; Forsythia is from Jamaica and married to a Caucasian British professor. Thus the daughters are mulatto. Bliss’s research topic is about the treatment of slave children, specificall y those that Thomas Jefferson has with his slave vs. those of a French planter’s.
The writing goes into great detail with descriptions, which is nice, but is also rife with pop-culture references, and could have used some editing. I had expected a fun-filled romp of a book, with the premise, but given that I couldn’t root for Bliss herself, this book didn’t quite work for me. This is a standard romantic storyline where the heroine must find a mate; here she also has three suitors to choose from – each more handsome than the next. It is pure chick-lit, where the heroine’s ideal man is not only sensitive and caring but has the physique of a body-builder, so this might fit the bill if a quick, easy beach read is what you are looking for....more
It’s a dystopian world out there. And there are few survivors, most of the world’s population and wildlife having sOriginally posted at my blog, here.
It’s a dystopian world out there. And there are few survivors, most of the world’s population and wildlife having succumbed to a fatal flu. Those that remain, remain only because they are hardy and resourceful, or because they have “the blood” and nobody can come near them for risk of infection. Our hero is Big Hig, who has lost wife and unborn child to the flu. He survives because he has combined forces with terse neighbor Bruce Bangley, to keep the predators at bay.
One day, after one more unexpected loss, Hig, in desperation, decides to fly out (in his Cessna) beyond the Point of No Return – the point at which he would not have enough fuel to get back – to find other survivors . . .
Hig’s story, because that is what “Dog Stars” is, boils down to one main idea – that of hope. Even after devastating loss, in dire desolation and faced with lonely reality, hope survives. Hig must chance the one thing left to him – his life – to justify that emotion.
This is a magnificent novel and an uplifting read. Highly recommended....more
This was a very entertaining book. I found Chet’s “voice” amusing, perceptive and very well-done, because it gave us all the details of the story withThis was a very entertaining book. I found Chet’s “voice” amusing, perceptive and very well-done, because it gave us all the details of the story without drowning them in “pet” sentimentality. Even the emotional bits, like the one where Bernie and Suzie face imminent physical separation are narrated well. Chet is Bernie’s greatest fan, and he extols Bernie’s virtues, while maintain his doggie demeanor.
This book worked very well as a standalone mystery novel, although this is part of a series. Past references (and there are a few) are either explained in adequate detail or mentioned in flippant memories (Chet’s), so they don’t really interfere with the enjoyment of this book. A juicy mystery combined with good characterizations and easy-to-root-for characters, I would highly recommend “A Fistful of Collars”.