Barbara O'Neal takes a romance and steps it up a notch with interesting characters and an unusual story line. It is also refreshing to see characters that are humanly flawed, yet still likable. I found the narrator a bit annoying as she ended each sentence with the same upbeat tone.
Guzeman's writing was lyrical, Cassandra Campbell's narration was lovely, and the plot was interesting. But this novel was very depressing...a treatise on how one woman's evil destroyed the lives around her. There was great inconsistency and naivete in the actions of the characters which made the story seem less believable. I think a better editor could have taken this novel to the next level.
I probably wouldn't keep reading these books but for the fact I've been reading them for decades. And, I'm curious how the series will end. In W is for Wasted, Kinsey is much more emotional than in Grafton's other novels. Her relationship phobias are a bit more pronounced and you get the sense that she is becoming more lonely. The mystery part of the story was Ok, maybe a little predictable, but always entertaining. And, Judy Kaye's narration as always, was stellar. I would have given it a 3.5 if I could.
This book was so many things...epic, sad, funny, educational, weird, creepy, and gruesome. A strange description for the life of a wealthy, mostly spinster, botanist spanning the 19th century. Elizabeth Gilbert certainly has an incredible imagination and a beautiful way with words. And, the narrator for the audiobook, Juliet Stevenson, was spot on. The main character was an intriguing mix of brilliance and innocence with real human flaws. And, yet, I just didn't form a bond with her. In addition, I found the communication issues with all the various players, which lead to devastating life choices, frustrating. This is what kept this sweeping and unusual novel from being a 5 star book, for me.
I have very much enjoyed Dara Horn's other books and even attended a writing conference where she spoke and so I was really looking forward to this novel. I plowed through it, hoping that my opinion would change, but it did not. I could not connect with any of the characters and did not feel that the Josie/Judy saga ended with the spiritual insight of the Joseph story. Instead, it seemed more like an outlandish soap opera. In addition, the three parallel plots did not meld well together and moving from one to the other felt jarring. I was really interested in Maimonides and the Guide for the Perplexed, but was disappointed that this was not explored with greater depth (ie: Josie toying with these philosophical concepts at greater length). I suspect a better editor would have helped to make this a more powerful piece of writing. I usually like Carrington MacDuffie, but I think she was miscast for this book.
If I could, I would give this book a 3.5. It was a unique premise - searching for the origin of the noodle along the silk road. And, I really got a sense of "place" as the author moved west in her travels. I did feel that the last two stops - Greece and Italy got less attention. And, the "personal journey" of the author could have been explored in a bit more depth. I enjoyed the travelogue more than the actual cooking experiences. AUDIBLE ALERT: The reader mispronounces the spice "cumin" throughout the book.
Certainly not the greatest of literature, but what can I say, I love Lauren Graham. It was so nice to hear the Lorelei voice of the Gilmore Girls come through as opposed to her character on Parenthood. This was a sweet, entertaining story about a young actress trying to get that big break. I would love to know how much of it was autobiographical and how much was made up. I will miss Graham's voice on my IPhone now that the story is over!
I really wanted to love this book as I totally enjoyed Wolitzer's The Ten Year Nap. But, I just kept reading and hoping, but it just didn't happen. The premise was easily accessible for me: gifted, Jewish, arty kids, who meet at overnight camp and become lifelong friends. But, the flipping back and forth in time and the constant changing of narrators was dizzying. I felt like a lot of story lines were introduced, but then just not thoroughly explored. And, the ending, well lets just say it was very abrupt. P.S. I thought Jen Tullock's narration was great...the speed seemed like a typical NY accent to me.
I had never read Molly Harper and was looking for something light after a slew of heavy books. Though the story was somewhat basic and a bit predictable, the writing was sharp, engaging and witty. And, the characters were all quirky and interesting. Amanda Ronconi's narration was spot on. Perfect chick lit!
In this unusual novel, the main character, Ursula, dies and is re-born dozens of times. Upon each re-birth she enters the same life again and again. And, each time, through pure instinct and déjà vu, she tries to fix previous mistakes that led to her death and to the death of friends and family.
The premise of Life After Life, led me to think about our opportunities for remedying mistakes in the life we are currently living. Surely, we can’t go back in time and prevent things from occurring, but, on the other hand, might we somehow shift our memories and the memories of others?
Great writing and a really unique premise. I would have given it 5 stars overall, but I thought the author concentrated on repeating Ursula's lives during WWII way too much.
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