Say something about yourself!
I am a patient reader/listener, but have to admit I struggled to get into this book. Thank God I stuck with it!
This is a lovely little love story, complete with overtones of race, class, and being good enough. It is about people trying to survive in cultures not native to them. It is about finding love late in life in surprising places. And mostly, it is about Helen Simonsen's deeply crafted characters, artfully captured by a gifted narrator.
I must say that it was the narroator's spot on interpretation of the peevish, upper crust, social striving Major Pettigrew that put me off at first. But this is the mark of a fully developed character--one I am compelled to know more about, even though I don't like him much.
By the way, I loved him completely by the end, even more so because his flaws were so genuine.
If you liked "Natherland," "Let the Great World Spin," or "The Elegance of the Hedgehog," I believe you will find this a very excellent listen. If your TV viewing leans toward BBC and "The Tudors," you will love this book.
A stately English country home, its exterior a beautiful mask for dark secrets within.
A mysterious cottage perched on a cliff high above the English sea.
A secret garden, its blooms walled off from the world.
Two cousins, both beautiful, both devoted to one another.
And a four-year-old girl who appears mysteriously on the docks at an Australian port, with nothing to explain her existence but a book of fairy tales.
Indeed, fairy tales take center stage in ?The Forgotten Garden,? Kate Morton?s rapturous follow-up to ?The House at Riverton.? In fact, getting this book through Audible.com is almost a bit of fairy magic in itself, given that the hard copy is not scheduled for publication until April, 2009.
The manner in which the book leaps between 2005 Brisbane, Dickensian London, andCornwall in 1975 as well as 2005 can be a bit disconcerting at first. But as if sprinkled by magic dust, you are quickly pulled into the tale. At the center are two beautiful cousins, Rose and Eliza. One is privileged but sickly, the other poor, but spirited. Together they combine their strengths and become an indomitable pair, forever linked by their devotion to one another.
Until the ultimate promise is honored?and a secret is born that might very well destroy them--and all who follow.
?The Forgotten Garden? features characters you would find in most fairy tales?a good and noble heroine (actually several, since this story spans multiple generations), a misguided king who is overpowered by his evil queen, a good prince, a loyal handmaiden, a noble woodsman (or, in this case, gardener), and, of course, an enchanted garden.
But each character is fully realized and made modern. ?The Forgotten Garden? is a rich and rewarding read that will not be forgotten any time soon.
Well into years of marraige, I think I'm rarely bored by the routine and the sameness of it all. I find deep joy in the fact that I know my spounse's "moves" and he knows mine, that our days consist of a lot of child-centric activity, that the lawn gets mowed on Sunday, that we often fall into bed too exhausted to do much more than murmur a good-night.
It is these very things--the sameness, the absence of say, the kind of sponstaneous and thrilling sex you had in your early 20s, that many of my friends complain about.
And when I hear their frustration, I think, "Yes, but if you lost it all, every boring bit of it, I bet you would do anything to get it back."
Mary Beth Latham, the loving wife and mother in Anna Quindlen's brilliant new novel, gets the chance to experience that when an act of violence destroys everything she knows.
Qundlen draws us, with perfect language, into Mary Beth's internal diologue as she struggles to deal with the choices she made that resulted in devastating loss.
It is so beautifully narrated by Hope Davis, so exquisitely peopled with thoroughly developed characters...God, I just hated this book to end.
I loved every last word of "Every Last One."
For some reason, this is a difficult review to write partly because I don't want to include spoilers and because it is an unusual book. I finished it very quickly, as I was intrigued by both story lines, and I couldn't wait to see how the main characters' lives intersected. It was in a most unexpected way but it really worked for me. This was not an uplifting, happy read for the most part, but it did offer hope for a better future for both characters. It is a fascinating character study.
Both narrators did an excellent job of bringing their characters to life and both immensely added to the telling of a story that for me is unforgettable.
I highly recommend this book.