I just could not get into *Goldengrove*. I'm not fond of novels that start off with a death and having to read hoAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
I just could not get into *Goldengrove*. I'm not fond of novels that start off with a death and having to read how everyone around has to deal with it. It's almost always depressing and *Goldengrove* is no exception.
Margaret and Nico are close sisters. Margaret is dating Aaron, despite the fact that her parents think he has a loose screw. Adamant to see Aaron, Nico gets involved to lie for her sister and enjoys it.
On this particular day, Nico and Margaret are bonding out on the lake. Margaret takes a dive and drowns. The world is no longer the same. The mother has been popping pills. The father is busy working on a book at a bookstore he owns. Nico just tries to live day by day. She also hangs out with Aaron, behinds everyone's backs.
And that is basically it. Everyone is dealing with Margaret's death and trying to move on. Nico's hang-outs with Aaron becomes gradually odd. Nonetheless, I found *Goldengrove* to be depressing. ...more
I really tried to like this book since it was written by Julia Glass. I've heard so much about Glass and "The ThrAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
I really tried to like this book since it was written by Julia Glass. I've heard so much about Glass and "The Three Junes". However, I just could not connect to this story.
*I See You Everywhere* is about 2 sisters, who have grown apart through the years. Yet, they remain in touch or even visit, especially during tragic events. Louisa, the elder sister, is the stable one with a rooted job and a consistent love interest. Chem, the other one, travels the world, as a biologist, studying and saving the animals. She goes through men like underwear.
The sisters' perspectives are tag-teamed throughout the book...that is, until one of them dies. And the story should have stopped there because it was already dead before then. Unfortunately, Glass continues the story and it was just pointless.
Basically, this story is just about sisters picking on each other on why they aren't like the other (being stable vs. being free). They only band together when it comes to their parents. ...more
I'm not sure why I got Cassella's *Oxygen* because the synopsis in the back made me hesitant. But something justAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
I'm not sure why I got Cassella's *Oxygen* because the synopsis in the back made me hesitant. But something just told me to get it. Boy, am I glad. I was hooked from the first page to the end.
Dr. Marie Heaton is an anesthesiologist at a top Seattle hospital. She's living the usual life of a doctor, working shifts here and there. She really enjoys her job as she also comforts patients, knowing that they entrust their lives in her hands.
Meanwhile, in her personal life, she keeps regular contact with her sister, Lori, who lives in Fort Worth. They both keep tabs on their widowed father, who is gradually losing his vision. She also has a close telephonic relationship with her neice, Elsa, because she just cannot get along with her mother.
Overall, life is grand for Marie...until that one life-changing event. An eight-year-old girl dies in the middle of an operation. The blame falls on Dr. Heaton, despite the fact that she did try to save her life. Almost immediately, the hospital and the lawyers get together with Dr. Heaton to prevent this from becoming public.
Dr. Heaton is no stranger to death. However, this was her first death that involved a child. Thus, her nightmare has only begun. She has to tell the mother, who has no other family. She has to fill out paperwork. She has to wait for the autopsy, which could make or break her. She has to attend millions of meetings, with the insurance company, with the hospital administrators and, of course, with the lawyers.
Cassella does a great job, drawing us into Dr. Marie Heaton's personal thoughts and feelings. Guilt and remorse are constant throughout, despite the fact that she did her best in this situation. At the same time, Cassella provides an element of frustration. Marie is "thrown to the dogs" as the hospital thinks of their reputation and leaves her to fend for herself. So much for the comfort that she did her best in the girl's surgery.
Seeking solace, Marie reconnects with a colleague, who was once her lover. And she also takes off to Texas to be with her family. While waiting for the verdict, all she can do is take a breather.
Wonderful novel of one's reflective journey through tribulation. ...more
For me, *The Poisonwood Bible* could have been on top of my personal list as an all-time classic. Alas! It does nAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
For me, *The Poisonwood Bible* could have been on top of my personal list as an all-time classic. Alas! It does not.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of this novel. In 1959, Nathan Price, a fire-and-brimstone Baptist envangelist/missionary, uprooted his Georgian family and takes them halfway around the world to the Belgian Congo. Including him, his wife (Orleanna) and his 4 daughters (Rachel, Leah, Adah and Ruth May) were totally unprepared for life in the Congo. I mean, they had packed boxes of Betty Crocker cake mixes.
Though not one to give up, the Price women did their best to mingle and play with the natives. More often than not, they've had to "make do" while still holding on to some semblance of an American life on foreign land. Meanwhile, through frustration and bitterness, Nathan cannot understand why he cannot lead the native souls to salvation. The natives have explained why as well as their worldview. In simplicity, Nathan just had to modify to the natives' interests. However, remaining adamant to his style of belief and salvation, Nathan began to develop a personality that's similar to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This transformation alienates him from the natives and even his family.
All this change when a tragic event occurred. The Price women had enough and returned home in Georgia.
At this point, it would have been great...along with a short story of what happens to everyone in the aftermath. But no, Kingsolver doesn't stop here. She continues the story well into the girls' adulthood, which they're the polar opposite than what they were as kids. And it just doesn't make sense, which made me scream out in frustration. Simply put, the second half killed my interest/liking of the novel. ...more
*We Disappear* is a haunting novel about a mother and her grown son poring over missing children cases.
A young boy has gone missing, which Scott gets a call from his mother, Donna, asking him to come down to Kansas from Manhattan to solve this crime together. Addicted to meth, Scott relents and because his mother is sick with cancer.
However, he soon discovers, after his arrival, that his mother was once a victim of abduction as a child but was safely returned. For years, this "safe" abduction has bothered Donna. When she becomes too sick to carry on, Scott and her best friend, Dolores, continue to piece together this vague recollection of the abduction.
While she's sick and deemed delusional (of the alleged abduction), Scott doesn't realize that she has crafted a way to draw out her son from the world of meth.
I really enjoyed this haunting novel of a mother and son bonding over a hobby, an addiction and a past. ...more
For his 50th birthday, Joseph Licht is making special recipes for one big dinner for his sons. However, Joseph haAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
For his 50th birthday, Joseph Licht is making special recipes for one big dinner for his sons. However, Joseph has an ulterior motive and that is to ask his sons for forgiveness for what happened 20 years earlier.
20 years earlier, Joseph, a literature professor, meets Rabbi Yoel Rosenznweig, who is something of a genius/prodigy of the Torah. Something connects between the two of them. Almost without a second thought, Joseph abandons his faithful wife and 5 sons...only to discover that Yoel has committed suicide.
I felt that *Light Fell* was a frustrating book because Joseph works hard in preparing the arrival of his sons. His sons are spoiled, judgmental and unappreciative. In addition, Fallenberg doesn't give the sons any depths as he has given to Joseph. Perhaps if we knew more about the sons' views, we might be able to understand their position with their father. ...more
Wow! I'm not sure if I'm supposed to like the book because of the style of writing and the bold approach of a topAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
Wow! I'm not sure if I'm supposed to like the book because of the style of writing and the bold approach of a topic or if I'm supposed to hate it because of a sensitive topic. I can say one thing...that Erian didn't hold back her creative juices. It's so good I thought that it was actually a memoir.
Feeling threatened by her daughter, especially when her boyfriend spills a revelation, thirteen-year-old Jasira is sent to live with her Lebanese father in Houston. Prior to this, Jasira's relationship with her father was practically non-existent. Both father and daughter try to make the best of the new living situation.
*Towelhead* is a book of contraditions, especially Jasira. Jasira, as a young girl, is naive to the things of the world and the desires of men. At the same time, Jasira knows what she wants, which is love and acceptance and she'll get it from anyone, whether it be from her father, her hunky married neighbor, her boyfriend or her other neighbor who is pregnant.
Confused yet eager, she choses to seek the company and attention of her hunky neighbor. This is where readers may be turned off and stop reading or cautiously continue. I can say that this is not easy reading not only because of the sexual nature but because of the eventual eruption of emotions and reactions to this incident.
You'll not only read their emotions but you'll feel emotional. You'll be angry at Jasira's mom for her ultimatums and blind devotion to her boyfriends. You'll react in shock to her father's discpline. You'll bite your nails while Jasira's boyfriend pressures her to do things. You'll want to slap the neighbor's kid and his "get-away-with-murder" antics.
*The Last Witchfinder* is one of the best historical fiction novels that I've read in recent years.
Jennet Stearne is furious because her father, the Witchfinder General Walter Sterne, had no choice to investigate the accusations that her aunt, Isobel Mowbray, educated and wise, is a witch. With plenty of witnesses, the Witchfinder has no choice but to burn her at the stake. This act has disgraced the Witchfinder and the Sterne family has no choice but to move from England to Massachusetts. The father is able to convince the government that a witchfinder is needed and is employed.
Not long after settling in Massachusetts, Jennet is abducted by the natives, which she marries and bears a child. Years later, she is rescued by the Americans, which she then marries a postmaster.
Somewhere along the lines, she learns that her brother has since become the next witchfinder. In addition, she's accused by her brother and his wife in dabbling with witchcraft. Jennet must now convince the court that she is innocent or she'll suffer the fate as her aunt.
This novel is filled with interesting characters, whom Jennet meets throughout her life. She meets Sir Isaac Newton, whom she carried a life-long grudge. She also has romantic trysts with Benjamin Franklin. She remains friends with a man who collects jars of deformed children and embryoes, who appears in her life at the oddest times.
Witchfinding is a practice that Jennet abhors ever since her aunt was erroneously accused and burned at the stake. Educated and brilliant like her aunt, Jennet, throughout her life, sought to convince the English Parliament and the American Puritan government to put an end to the witch hunts.
Wonderful novel of historical fiction that captured my attention from the first page of the book until the last page. ...more
Tom is a gay professor at a college in New York City. He reconnects with an old childhood friend, Ritchie. RitchiAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
Tom is a gay professor at a college in New York City. He reconnects with an old childhood friend, Ritchie. Ritchie, then, begs him to join him as he has set up an upcoming date with an Internet friend.
Meanwhile, Tom has a platonic relationship with a "bi" student, whom he guides through about life using a series of poetry.
Between Ritchie and his student, Tom flashes back in his life to his younger days with Ritchie and a dear friend, Zach, who has since died from AIDS.
Contemplation and redemption is constant throughout the novel. Simply, a yawn. ...more