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We Love You, Charlie Freeman
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2017 TOB -The Books > We Love You, Charlie Freeman

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Drew (drewlynn) | 416 comments I just finished this yesterday and was rather disappointed. I usually enjoy books that move around between time periods and protagonists but this one ended up as more of a mess than a coherent whole. Can someone help me put the pieces together? It just seemed like the author tried to cram too much into this book. (Sort of like The Nix except that one was more successful for me.


Bryn (Plus Others) (brynplusplus) | 94 comments I loved this while I was reading it; there was such a visceral sense of tension and anxiety, and I kept waiting for the moment when all the perspectives would come together and deliver the some kind of revelatory catastrophe. But instead it just sort of dissolved into pieces, which I found frustrating. The book is bringing up a lot of important issues around race and identity and power, and I don't think it needs to answer any of those questions, but I expected more structure to it, more of a sense that everything was there for a reason.


Drew (drewlynn) | 416 comments Bryn wrote: "I expected more structure to it, more of a sense that everything was there for a reason. "

Ditto. For a while I felt like it was all coming together and then - no.


message 5: by Drew (last edited Feb 11, 2017 04:17PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Drew (drewlynn) | 416 comments I also was irritated that the author described Charlie interchangeably as a chimpanzee and a monkey. (Perhaps this should have been matched with Mister Monkey, whose author also seemed to have this issue.) And didn't she mention at least once or twice that Charlie had a tail?!

I was most interested in the parts that dealt with the Stars of the Morning (I don't have the book in hand so if I didn't get that name right, please let me know). I'm now reading The Mothers and seeing some similarity between the Mothers and the Stars.

One thing I really appreciated was the choice of Dr. Gardner's name. Allen and Beatrix Gardner were the scientists who ran the Washoe Project at the University of Nevada Reno, teaching Washoe (and other chimps) to communicate in sign language.


message 6: by jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

jo | 429 comments don't have time right now for more, but i think this book is pretty amazing. there, i've said it. very cool, very cool stuff.


Ruthiella | 329 comments I just finished this one and unfortunately I agree Drew and Bryn above. It seemed to me as if there were at least two or three books crammed into this one and none of the storylines had the room necessary to expand the characters fully. I liked it, I particularly liked Nymphadora and it was a page turning read but definitely left me wanting more explanation.


Teresa (teresakayep) | 17 comments I really enjoyed reading this, but I had some of the same concerns about the ending, which didn't come together as well as I'd hoped. But the rest of it was so good that I almost don't mind.


message 9: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 23, 2017 09:26AM) (new)

Drew wrote: "I also was irritated that the author described Charlie interchangeably as a chimpanzee and a monkey..."

I listened to the Audible version, so I missed a few details. I didn't catch any references to Charlie having a tail. That would have irritated me a lot! I do remember Charlie being called a monkey a few times. I thought that was an intentional error meant to show that the research study was not valid, and those conducting it were ignorant about primates. In contrast, the constant mislabeling in Mister Monkey seemed to be laziness and/or indifference, which put me off the book.

I expected this book to be in a bracket against Mister Monkey, but I don't think it matters, as neither one is likely to advance past the opening round.


Gayla Bassham (sophronisba) | 156 comments It's been almost a year since I read this, but I really loved it. It's a little bit messy, but I admired Greenidge's ambition and I really enjoyed both Charlotte and Nymphadora.


message 11: by jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

jo | 429 comments Gayla wrote: "It's been almost a year since I read this, but I really loved it. It's a little bit messy, but I admired Greenidge's ambition and I really enjoyed both Charlotte and Nymphadora."

agree with everything.


Alison Hardtmann (ridgewaygirl) | 444 comments I just finished this book and it's been an up and down ride for me. I don't like stories about primates living with people. I just think they should be living in the wild, and the story of their adjustment into an alien society (ours) feels necessarily tinged with cruelty. So I put this one off and after reading the first chapter, I set it aside and read Moonglow instead.

And a little over a third of the way through this book gripped me despite my reservations and I thought Greenidge nailed a rising sense of dread about what was happening, both in the present and in the past.

And then she pulled her punches with the ending and it felt soft-pedaled. I liked this book and how it examined our attitude toward those we consider "other" but it falls toward the back of the pack for me.


message 13: by Neighbors (last edited Feb 25, 2017 06:54PM) (new)

Neighbors (neighbors73) | 69 comments I was not going to read this one because --people living with animals-- is not my genre AT ALL. But I'm glad I did. This novel is packed full of super interesting ideas, and although I agree it didn't really stick the landing, I think it will be interesting to talk about.

I will definitely read future books by this author. This was a strong debut. I think the "packed full of ideas" problem is common in debut novels, so I tried to just roll with that.


Alison Hardtmann (ridgewaygirl) | 444 comments Yes, I definitely agree that Greenidge is a writer to watch.


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