....The narrator, Samantha Eggar, was perfect for the story. It's sad what happens to Alice Liddell in the things that occur to make the Alice in Wonderland story come about and her life is very unhappy and sad because of these situations.
She is a darling and precocious little girl.....full of life and struggles with the restrictions of being a proper Victorian girl. She befriends a man 20 years older than her, Mr. Dodson aka Lewis Carroll, and she ends up with a HUGE little girl crush on him. A certain event happens during this time that is never fully divulged until the very end of the book. While this was VERY frustrating, at times, because there was so much going on with Alice as she aged and the repercussions of this event caused her much grief.....and the author would NEVER let you know exactly what happened.....only bits and pieces. On the other hand.....the novel could not have been what it is without keeping the event vague until the very end. One of those "OH....now I really see why all this happened the way it did" moments that is actually quite fulfilling when reading a great story.
This is not a happy, light novel and there were several times where I was just so heartbroken for Alice......but there is hope in the fact that she does come to find happiness at the end of her life....it just takes her a long time to realize what she really had during her lifetime and how she didn't appreciate it when she did have it.....which I think we all do during periods of our lives.
All in all......I really did enjoy this novel and I think the one thing I got from it was that you should be careful for what you wish for because it might not be what you really need or want for you to live your life the way you want to or hope to.
Antonia.....what a beautiful name.....and what a lovely and wonderful character for this dear little book. I just adored Antonia and how lively and bright she was throughout the entire book. Although she suffered great and grand hardships along the way of life....she never let her stop from seeing the 'silver lining' in every piece of her life. She was a beautiful girl who grew into a battered old woman by the end of the book but because of her beautiful soul.....she still continued to shine and give so much to those around her. Antonia's own children were just darling and they loved and adored her so much. They were always by her side and often begged her to tell them stories of her life as a young girl and woman.
Jim was her best friend from the time they met as young children through adulthood and even though they had been separated by years of being in different places in their lives......they found that when they met again.....they had never stopped loving each other and would always be best friends.
This is a sweet little book that gives you a glimpse into the lives of immigrant pioneers and the difficult times they had in trying to live in a world that was so different from their homelands...and Antonia is the center of this world and she brings all the people around her together to enjoy her love of life and desire to succeed. I had the best time reading this book and am so glad I just happened to find it by accident.
I have read quite a few science fiction books lately and so I was hoping this one would be a bit different from the others and that I would feel okay about the ending and book in general.
Well....this book didn't let me down.
I enjoyed The Grays because it had a very human side to it and you felt for the characters both alien and human....there were times when I was actually a bit afraid to go on...not wanting to know what would happen next but not being able to stop listening. There were a couple of slow parts which I just daydreamed through but overall I was particularly enthralled with this book and the idea of the human race being saved by a little boy. I couldn't help but wonder what would it be like to be his mother and how would I react to all the craziness that came my way. I was particularly happy with the ending for most of the science fiction books I have read lately have been such a downer.....but this book gave me hope and was filled with hope in the midst of danger....and I felt relief in finding a book that would end on a high note.
Thanks to this little novel my hope in science fiction reads has been restored again.
This is short story about the friendship between a widow and her dead husband's best friend. The characters are fleshed out as well as they can be in a short story and the tension between them is believable. I found myself tearing up a bit here and there with a few laughs in between. Just another one of your average will they or won't they romance stories during the Christmas holiday. It was a fun quick read and a good way to spend a couple of hours of free time.
The title of this book does not really describe the book....it has a little bit of a plot line about a ghost in love but otherwise it is a book about humans taking charge of their lives and not dying when their time has come.
It was actually a very funny book with a bunch of fleeting bizarre characters that were each very quirky and entertaining. Ben and German are very likable characters, and Pilot the dog is wonderful...
It is a pretty complex story so you really should pay attention but you will be rewarded with snarky comments and remarks that will tend to make you chuckle......the story will also get you caught up in thinking about what exactly was the most prolific and important moment in your life....the one you favor the most....then deciding if you would actually want to stay in that moment forever.
If you are looking for a story about a ghost that is in love or a paranormal romance....this really isn't that type of book. If you are looking for some very funny moments with some crazy people and animals.....then this is the book for you. I ended up enjoying this book much more than I thought I would and the narrator did a great job of switching between quite a few characters.
I really wanted to love this book.......it had such an intriguing storyline....but in the end I found it just okay with never much excitement or punch to it.
I liked the fact that the book was written from an 11 year old girl's perspective....it's not often you get that kind of insight.....and there was a bit of foreshadowing that would cause you to want to hurry and find out what was going to happen.....but I always found that the answer was slightly dull and boring.
It was not a happy book....which is to be expected because of the subject matter......but I just felt it dragged along and the ending was probably the best part of the entire book. I guess I am just one of those in the minority who wasn't blown away by this book.....and that's okay by me. :)
Upon finishing The Windup Girl I realized that I liked the book much better towards the end than I did when I started it. I felt the book was very dull and dry.....full of mean-spirited characters. Then, along came 'The Windup Girl' Emiko.....and she made the book a much better story to read. I found myself being intrigued and interested in all that she said and did. She was so human-like and I wanted her to really be human because she was so much a better person than those living in the book.
There was a lot of horrible and disgusting abuse towards Emiko....especially a very savage rape scene that left me shuddering and sickened by it. It is interesting how human nature responds to something that is seen as less than the beings that we are......how we can abuse and use something or someone that we feel is trash or way beneath us.
I felt that the way the story was written.....all the characters were hard to discern if they were good or bad....each had good qualities that shined at times and then very poor qualities that would make the reader disappointed in their choices.
Overall......the book was confusing at times and you could never keep track of who was winning the war because the sides changed so much...it gave you an image of a world full of despair and people who would basically do almost anything to stay alive in it. I thought the book was dry at first but did pick up speed halfway through...but it really wasn't my favorite type of read.
the book was better than the movie....and Yes....they both made me cry....BUT probably not for the reason you might be thinking.
John's father is autistic and such a sweet soul in his gentle way. At the end of John's first leave....when he has just left Savannah after saying a heartbreaking goodbye...John is sitting in the kitchen with his dad and his so very sad and hurting and his dad comes over and does something that I have done so many times in my life when my children have been hurting...His dad put a gentle hand on his back and just stood there saying nothing but feeling everything....just wanting to take all the pain away thru his touch.....to save his child from such heartbreak. I cried and cried and cried.......such a beautiful and tender moment. Nicholas Sparks can write something so simple and make it touch you in a HUGE way.
This was a good book......and it does pull at the ole heartstrings a few times and causes you to reflect on your own life and the times when you were dealing with a broken heart and loving someone you can't have. Listening to this book was great for the narrator did a fabulous job of making the characters all come to life with their own personalities and voices.
I thought that Annie was really rude and snotty.....a total beotch. But THEN......as I started getting further into the story I realized there was a HUGE reason why she was so nasty while at her sessions. What this poor woman had to go thru was insane and so intense! I can't imagine being kidnapped and basically mentally and physically tortured and raped and ruined for a year...only to have one specific moment in time give you the window of time you need to escape and then after returning home.....never feeling safe again.
What a haunting and thought provoking book....it is admirable how Annie fights to bring herself back from the hell she endured and how much she has been changed by the events. There are so many things that happen to her that just made me cringe...it made me think of how amazing the human spirit is when faced with such deplorable situations...how resilient a human being can be even when the situation is the worst possible scenario you could imagine for someone to go through.
There is a bit of a twist to the ending and I was pretty angry with the people involved in ruining Annie's life....but then I realized that Annie was damaged but she was not ruined....she would go on and be stronger everyday. This was such an intense but very good book to listen to and I would recommend it to anyone who isn't afraid of a bit of cringe-worthy story-telling.
This was my first Joyce Carol Oates novel to read and I was really excited to read it. The premise was intriguing....a story evolving around the mysteries of Niagara Falls....it sounded like a wonderful book to read.
I actually listened to this book and the narrator had a horrid reading voice and all her male characters sounded the same. Ariah was one of the most annoying and unlikeable characters that I have ever been introduced to in a book. I felt no sympathy for her because she was just freaking insane....all over the place with her emotions and ideas. I just wanted to slap her and knock some kind of sense into her. The first part of the book was so slow and was hard to sit through....nothing happened except for Ariah's first husband jumping into the falls......and then thousands of meaningless words that just dragged on and on.
I still can't figure out what Dirk Burnaby ever saw in Ariah and why such a brilliant and powerful man would fall for such a whiny mousy woman. The story started getting better once the Love Canal story appeared. Once Dirk was gone....I just really didn't care about the book anymore and even the grown children and their lives didn't make the book any better. Once you start a book that has an annoying main character that never does end up with any endearing qualities......it makes it hard to find anything to like about the book.
Will I give Joyce Carol Oates another chance?.....probably.....but I'm going to wait awhile before I try to read something of hers again.
....and romance was to be found eventually between Anna and Edward....it was really hard to empathize or even sympathize with Anna because she was (to put it bluntly) a whiny snotty beotch....
Anna was never completely satisfied with anything and all she did was complain and find fault with everything in her life. She had a great studio apartment with a concert pianist (Edward) living downstairs from her and basically giving her free concerts every single day. She had some really great friends who really cared about her and wanted her to succeed in her 'mystic' career and her family was also supportive. She had a wonderful mentor for the spiritual side of life but she was just so negative all the time...she could never really enjoy all that she had.
Edward was an adorable and passionate piano geek with crazy red hair....he never seemed to notice or be bothered by Anna's negative streak which caused me to have a hard time believing in the romance between the two. What guy is going to put up with 'bitchiness' 24/7...???
Mozart's ghost was a pretty rude yet entertaining and funny fellow....it would have been fun to have him spend more time in the story causing all kinds of trouble with his silly antics but the author chose to keep him to a minimum even though the book is named after him and his ghost.
All in all....there were some humorous parts and some romance......but the spark was just not there for me. I expected more from this book but I was left with my expectations lacking.
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