Took a stab at what I hoped would be something light. I discovered, that I'm not the audience for this kind of predictable, superficial romance. Must be me, though. Steel's been around for a very long time.
This book is brilliantly written. Truly magnificent. However, for me, the book that started with the story of the family of a religious zealot, quickly became a verbose account of Congolese politics. It seemed clear mid way through, that the political message was the prime agenda. This was not the billing I'd signed on for. As a result, I think the story line suffered. Perhaps the abridged version is a better bet.
If everyone had a "Sugar" in their pocket, a go-to guru, sister, mother, confidante like Cheryl ... what a wonderful resource that would be for those of us that don't. Sugar digs deep to deliver heartfelt, soul-searching advice. No flip "quippy" designed for print answers here.. Sugar responds with painstaking detail, honesty and compassion to questions of all magnitudes. I envision her agonizing for days and weeks over responses, as we see so many of her advice seekers capture her heart. Sugar, will you be my confidante?
I was hopeful based on the subject matter. Unfortunately, this was a wasted opportunity to explore the deeper side of an issue ... obesity. There is ZERO glimpse into the why of this compulsive over eater's mind. Simply the effects on the oh so superficial family members. There is not a likable character in this book, mostly because there's no character development or depth of story line. I'd pass.
What a disappointment. Great concept for a story line and character possibilities that just never went anywhere. I found myself not caring about a single character in this book, where there was so much possibility for more.
I was not that crazy about this story line, characters or length of this novel, yet I could not stop listening. Franzen writes beautifully. Every word artfully selected in a succinct non-flowery manner that I loved. These characters could describe any dysfunctional Millennial American family, and I do believe this will become a classic cultural period reference in years to come. Franzen captures the era's budding technology, 9/11, entitled youth and dysfunctional familial traits that capture the essence of many current day relationships we all know . For me, the political and nature conservancy issues were a bit overdone. I found myself hoping for more drama in the story line, but suppose the lack thereof was the point. Love this writer!
While beautifully written, and exceptionally performed ... this novel could have been written in 1/2 to 1/3 the time. Go for the abridged version, if available.
My headline says it all. This book changed the way I look at everything.
Credibility was lost somewhat for me, after mention of Jerry & Esther's $2M bus. The message is compelling, but the entire book is merely a regurgitation of the same premise in different sentence structures. I got the feeling that the many repetitions of the same theme throughout many of the Hicks' teachings is merely a way to re-brand the same content for money. I hope I'm wrong. There's also an affect to Esther's voice, that gnaws at me, which is why I typically seek other teachers on similar topics.
Incomprehensible circumstances, managed with an iron will, and commitment to one another's welfare. I found myself praying for Sara at the end of the book, blessing the strength of her spirit she mustered, and all she did for those around her. This story underscores the reality that no man or woman is and island. No one can do it alone. The women in this story were buoyed by one another. If not for that, I wonder if the outcome would've been the same.
I enjoyed much of the narrative, as the author's use of words and descriptions were very succinct, yet beautifully phrased without overkill. This story line lacked depth, answers and ended leaving me thinking my download was incomplete.
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