Monday, May 9, 2016

March and April Book Reviews

I waited a long time to get this on my Kindle through the library Overdrive app! I have to say, I really enjoyed it, and it was totally worth the wait. Kate Morton writes long multi-generational stories with a mystery at the heart of each story. Her settings are a beautiful escape.  This was a book that pulled me in right away, and kept me reading and as happy as one could be during a bout of the stomach flu! If I had one critique, it would be that the story ended too tidily; however, I think being captivated for almost 600 pages makes up for it.
Recommended to me by my fellow English teaching buddy, this is a must read. A Lithuanian mother and children are pulled from their homes and sent to a Siberian work camp during the Stalin reign. The writing and the story are good. The content can be horrific, but only because it's reflecting the cruelty of the time period. You should read this book because if you're like me you can't count the number of books you've read about Hitler and the Nazis, but you don't know much about Stalin, eastern Europe and Russia during this time period. It's a fascinating part of history. Has anyone read any of Sepetys' other books?

I loved Diffenbaugh's The Language of Flowers, so when I learned about her new book, I had to read it.  It read a bit like a YA novel, because of the teenage love story. However, I loved the spirit and grit that resonated through this book, a mother who suddenly has to figure out how to be a mother, how to really fight for her kids and who has to navigate through her past and tread her way into an unknown future.  This book pulled me in right away, and though you're sure this book might end in tragedy, hope and love prevails.  I still loved Language of Flowers more, but this is a good one.

Have you seen the movie, Brooklyn?
Well, instead of an Irish girl navigating early 20th century New York City, The Boston Girl is about a Jewish girl navigating early 20th century Boston. Lots of heart, great setting, very character driven. (In other words, not a lot of plot!) But a good read.

Next on my read list was Go Set a Watchman. I was dreading reading it, because of all the controversy surrounding it, and I had heard a lot of people hating it... so, I needed some brain fluff to read so I could put off reading "Watchman" for awhile! Mistakenly Married  was written by a Nebraska author and a friend of a friend, plus it was "free" for me on Kindle Unlimited. It's in the "clean romance" genre. It's a predictable Chic-flic on paper; however, it was indulgent and enjoyable. The characters were very like-able, and their romance was sweet and cute and fun to see people from two very different worlds fall in love. There were some plot problems and things that just weren't realistic, but if you let that go and just enjoy the characters, it was a fun, quick read. She actually has a couple others in this "married" series... all on Kindle Unlimited.

Oh man, where to start. So much has already been said about this book, so I will keep it brief.

 I was worried about it tainting my love for To Kill a Mockingbird,
 but reading Go Set a Watchman has only added to it.
Yes, it made me think of Atticus' character in a new way,
and no it wasn't the way I wanted to remember him.
Harper Lee's characterization is spot on.
Jean Louise Finch as an adult, is perfectly in line with her character as a child.
The flashback "scenes" of Jean Louise's childhood were delightful and read like short stories within the novel.  Lee really shines is in telling the stories from Scout's perspective as a child. If the story is really true that Go Set a Watchman was a "first draft" of Mockingbird and her editor encouraged her to rewrite it from a childhood perspective, that was really terrific advice. Go Set a Watchman would never have received the acclaim that To Kill a Mockingbird did.

1 comment:

Joyce said...

Loved your reviews.... now I want to read them all.. Maybe my book club would like one of these..?