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Greaders please review any of the Sept-Nov books

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 7 Nov 2012 09:26

Extra review added 19 Nov. Please review any of the books read in the last 6 weeks.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 7 Nov 2012 09:27

From Perse

Ordered...The Snow Child and Patchwork Marriage straight away but it
seems to be a slow moving list..

So read a couple of other books and then thought well better give
Poisonwood Bible a go..

Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver:

Have had this in my possession since it first came out. I have mixed
feelings about it and have not finished it; yet feel I should read it
... a best selling novel ... one of Oprah's recommended etc and all I
used to hear were favourable reviews of it.. Maybe I am not keen on
books that are about preaching religion to the poorer nations. The
father Nathan Price (an evangelical priest) takes his family of four
daughters to the Belgian Congo. The book is divided into seven
chapters the first one being Genesis ( I am still in this chapter) and
the chapter is broken up into each daughter's feelings and account of
what is going on, the primitiveness of the situation etc. None of them
are prepared for the trip, what they bring with them is useless here
in the Congo. One does take a shine to one of the daughters, Adah ..
who talks very little (she is a twin) and was diagnosed as brain dead
but is the brightest of the lot of them. The father does everything
in the belief that his way is the right way and the rest of the family
tend to suffer because of it. He doesn't have his own chapters so we
only get to read it from the daughter's points of view. I have had to
make myself read a few pages at a time.. so unlike the next book it
may take me some time to read it before I can formulate a complete
opinion of it.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

What a wonderful book.. it was at the library for me to pick up on the
29th of October and I had read it (devoured it) by the end of the
30th... The books is inspired by a Russian Folk tale... the imagery in
it was absolutely wonderful... it was just such a beautiful novel from
start to end. The characters are so real you can almost feel the
rawness/bleakness of them living in Alaska and coping with the
struggles of life. The fact that they lived on moose meat and
potatoes for months at a time but managed to dolly it up with pickles
etc. Mabel had alienated herself from the world and then she strikes
up the most unlikely friendship with her neighbour who is as messy as
she is clean and tidy. You watch her come alive and change from
someone who was suicidal at the beginning over the loss of her baby to
one that is strong and caring of others.. The story transforms the two
main characters and all because of the Snow Child. I would give it
five stars...

Still waiting for Patchwork Marriage.. I was number 40 something then
32 and then overnight went down to 17th in the list.... but it has
stopped there. just looked in and now I am 15 so I will review it for
next time.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 7 Nov 2012 12:18

Me before you by Jo Jo Moyes
This was a love story but at times I found it so sad that it was difficult to read on. JJM has obviously researched the subject of elected suicide and Dignatas very deeply, almost as though she has personal associations with it. She does say that she has 2 relatives facing life in care homes, one who she is sure would have chosen any alternative.
She described will’s life as a quadriplegic so well that I could actually see how somebody in his position would choose death over life.
I did like Lou as a character and almost grew to like Will’s mother too. What on earth would any mother do in those circumstances?
This is a very controversial subject which was written about with great sensitivity.
This book actually dragged me down and lifted me up again. I cried and laughed with Lou and Will, wanted to slap Patrick and hug Nathan. I longed for a happy ending but knew I wasn’t going to get one. How strong you have to be to make the decision that Will did.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 7 Nov 2012 12:18

Patchwork marriage by Jane Green Oct 12
Andi, married to Ethan and stepmother to Sophie and a reluctant Emily who is a troubled and troublesome teen. Emily has always been a Daddy’s girl and she resents Andi.
I was not keen on the actual style of writing of this book as I found the constant jumping from first to 3rd person disjointed.
All in all it was a readable story about relationships and selfishness. None of the characters except maybe Sophie, seemed able to put their own needs second.
I felt the father/husband, Ethan was a very weak character.
I don’t think I have read any of her books before and would choose another, particularly for holiday reading which is where I read this one.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 7 Nov 2012 12:19

Review The Light behind the window by Lucinda Roley
I picked up this book by chance one day as the story looked intriguing. I was not disappointed. I thought it was a great read, entertaining and informative with the past being set amongst the resistance movement, and the Occupation of Paris.
In the story of the present, Emilie, who had a mixed relationship with her mother, is left a French chateau when her mother dies. She finds a notebook containing poems written by Sophie and sets out to unravel her story. Emilie meets Sebastian whose Grandmother had links to Emilie’s father in Paris
The story is told through flash backs and talks with an old man who was employed in the family’s vineyard.
The story of the past is of Emilie’s father and his sister Sophia, and of Constance, a resistance worker in Paris.
The book is very well written and I found all the characters believable. The relationships are complex and I found it quite tense at times during the episodes is Paris in the German occupation.
A great book, I am sorry nobody voted for it as I am sure I would not be the only one to enjoy it. It reminded me of books by Kate Morton. I shall look out for other books by this author.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 7 Nov 2012 12:46

And this is one that I have read that was not on the list at all.

A family cursed by Elaine Crowley

The story starts in 1850 in a small Irish town. The McCarthys and the Obrien’s aim is to make their family’s fortunes, by marrying the Mccarthy son to the O’Brien daughter. They buy a house for the couple off a local landowner which then makes the only tenant on that land homeless, this is the Cronin family. Meg Cronin puts a curse on the whole of the McCarthy family.
The story is a family saga telling of first the young couple and then their family but it is mainly about Michael McCarthy’s family and how Michael’s belief and his Mother’s belief in the curse is self perpetuating. At first the curse is laughed off, but as Michael’s daughters suffer lives lost and blighted, Michael himself succumbs to tragedy and through his son seems to carry the curse into the next generation.
At first I wasn’t keen on the book but as I read on I got hooked on the story and realised how well written it was. It is not a great book, but it is a good read. And it was actually quite informative about Ireland and the Irish way of life in the 19th and 20th century.

Pammy51

Pammy51 Report 7 Nov 2012 13:48

I have only managed to read one of the books (I don't know where the time went!)

Where the Shadows Lie by Michael Ridpath

The contrast between the busy, congested life in Boston with seemingly a murder round every corner and the quiet, life in Iceland where everybody appeared to know everyone else but murder was very rare made this book feel different from the start. I liked Magnus – the flawed hero. I was also intrigued by the link with Tolkein. I suppose because the films were made there you tend to link the Lord of the Rings with New Zealand, but of course the countryside in Iceland fits in with Mordar much better. Although Tolkein never went to Iceland one assumes that he would be familiar with photos (he did lecture in ancient Icelandic). Ridpath very cleverly introduces the reader to Icelandic customs and history without making it boring and, although I had begun to guess the killer before the end I was not sure. He has written two more Icelandic books (66 North and Meltwater) and I shall be trying to read those.

Jill in France

Jill in France Report 7 Nov 2012 17:24

Will add asap xx

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 8 Nov 2012 17:46

Nudge for Jan

Greenfingers

Greenfingers Report 8 Nov 2012 18:12

sorry Ann looked for this and it was not there ...cannot explain that one !!!

I found The Patchwork marriage quite good, I understand that Jane Green was one of the first authors to catch on to the chick lit area, but I confess never read her before. The story is topical for many families have divorced and remarried amongst them and it isn't always easy, (I know from personal experience as my son in law, has an ex diabolical is her name !!) It seems the nemesis of the story is the manipulating but like her mother she has a secret. Overall it had all the right ingredients for a good read

Lunch in Paris is a memoir of a New Yorker living in France, with a French husband and all those differences in culture. There is pathos as she tells the reader about her father in laws illness, and her support of her husband. Honest and charm ooze and you feel as if you are listening to a friend. The recipes are just a bonus to a jolly good read.

Jan
























TessAkaBridgetTheFidget

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 9 Nov 2012 22:45

Will try to get back on Sunday. Off to bed now. Only just found this thread.

Tess

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 11 Nov 2012 22:14

From Helen with my apologies because I forgot to post it.
The Poisonwood Bible

I thoroughly enjoyed this. The narration of the story by Orleanna, the mother, and by each of her four children, meant I sometimes had to check who was writing, but the unfolding descriptions of the Congo and its people were very interesting. I didn’t know, for example, that saying words in a different pitch gave them different meanings, which led to many misunderstandings. The minister wanting to baptise children in the river and the parents refusing because of crocodiles, something that didn’t occur to the American family; also the planting of the vegetable garden in a western fashion that could not survive Congolese weather, these are examples of how a well-meaning man fails to understand his new environment and how unhappiness results.
I thought the children were charming, even Rachel who was desperate to leave. As the story moved on and the children grew I was interested in their experiences as the Congo became independent and in their lives once they left and found new homes.
Well worth reading.

Lunch in Paris

I couldn’t decide if this was a cookbook or a romance, probably the former. It was a sweet tale (no pun intended) of an American woman finding love in Paris, both a new husband and the ability to cook! Gwendal’s family were interesting although a bit shadowy, probably because the real stars are the recipes. I liked the way they were inserted throughout the narrative and if I had to complain it would be that there were too many cakes and puddings because I rarely eat these!! The savoury recipes are great and I can’t wait to try some of them.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 11 Nov 2012 22:19

We seem to be a couple short posting reviews. If you have been unable to obtain or read the books for any reason could you please add to the review thread to say so.

I have said that i will only stay as long as it is understood that I won't always read the book that comes first as I have so many books here waiting to be read. But I will always read at least one of those on the list.

These were the books that won the vote last time:

So the winner is
Lunch in Paris

Tied second are:
The Snow Child
Where Shadows Lie
Me before you
The patchwork marriage.

I assume that those who didn't read lunch in Paris were not able to get hold of it.

Berona I see there isn't a review from you, was this the month you were unable to get hold of the books?
Jill will you be posting a review when you come back to us?

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 14 Nov 2012 17:14

Not very successful in getting the required books this time however, did manage to get -
The Patchwork Marriage by Jane Green.

At first Andi rather grated on me. she seemed to be saying "I'm such a nice person, But Emily is so mean to me"
I think that I was unsympathetic because Andi had put herself in that position and Emily had had it thrust upon her.

I slowly warmed to Andi though as I realised (partly from Emily's story) that Andi had done the best she could.


I liked that different parts of the book were from the point of view of different people.
Thought this this gave us a fuller picture of the family dynamic.

I was cuaght up in the story about little Cal and was more concerned about what would happen to him both physically and emotionally, more than being worried about any one else.

Did of course wish for a happy ending for all of them (including the first wife)

Would recommend this book to others, and will reag more books by Jane Green.

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 14 Nov 2012 17:24

Also read "Me and My Sisters" by Sinead Moriarty

Another story about family relationships. Three sisters who have taken on certain roles in the family and seem to be trying to live up to them.

As things change for each of the three sisters, they look at each other (and each others lives) with open eyes.

Sometimes rather funny and at others sad. I really enjoyed this book. It is rather "Chic Lit" but a good read too.

Don't remember reading any Sinead Moriarty books before but was pleased that I read this one and will (try to) get some more from thr Library.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 14 Nov 2012 17:34

Thank you Tess. Do you realise how many of the books we read are about family relationships, or relationships with several people involved?

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 19 Nov 2012 17:11

I have just finished reading one of the books I suggested for this time but which was not chosen. If anyone is interested I will put the review of it up. I am sure some of you would enjoy it:


Greaders review
The Day you saved my life By Louise Candlish
Holly has been suffering from Post Natal depression badly. She and her Mum take Holly’s toddler to Paris for a break. A tragic accident and a dramatic rescue changes Holly’s life.
Beautifully written, quite tense, all the time waiting for something to happen. A really hard to put down book, as the story unfolds you want to know what happens next. Four quite strong characters and the story is told through the eyes of each. Even the character of baby Mickey is well written and believable.
A book I happily recommend you read.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 21 Nov 2012 16:26

Not sure if anyone saw the extra review I put on here.

Jill in France

Jill in France Report 21 Nov 2012 20:29

The Snow Child

I really enjoyed this, Alaska is on my list of places to visit :-)
The hardness of the life after Living in what seemed to be a middle class life in Pennsylvania was well written and seeing Mabel coming out of herself and the friendship with their nearest neighbours kept me riveted to the book.
Even though I had guessed how it would end , it still kept me interested. I have now passed my copy on as a friend is reading it for a local book club.

Sorry only time for the one book.

xx Jill

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 21 Nov 2012 20:38

Thanks Jill. Perse will be glad to see that somebody else revised that one.