I love when authors interweave stories of various characters, and Sarah Waters does a great job of this. The lives of the four main characters (as well as some side characters) end up fitting together in ways you would never expect, giving you insight into a single story line that ties them all together. However, I was still somewhat unsatisfied at the end. The connection that brings everything together just doesn't seem significant or worthy enough. I keep wondering if I missed something.
The Power of One is the story of a strong willed orphan with everything going against her in Dickensian England except her cunning and amazing ability with an abacus. But behind her rise to success is the equally cunning, but also unscrupulous and miserly Jewish fencer of stolen goods and leader of the underworld, the only one willing to give her a chance. And thus Mary, while pure of heart, must compromise herself to get ahead.
The intricate story line and depth of characters made for a great read, and Bower's reading captured the author's voice and those of the characters.
Perhaps I've read too many Holocaust stories, but this one was just another to add to the list. Sara Tuvel is an amazing human being with an exceptional strength of character, and it is amazing that she survived to tell her story and live a fulfilling life thereafter, as many of the few who survived. The reading, however, was not exceptional. McCaddon's accent was unconvincing and became rather annoying.
This was a fun story to read. There was nothing particularly deep or intricate, but the writing was fun and carefree, which made for a pleasant listen. I almost finished it in one sitting.
An interesting soul searching "adventure," but the middle of the book dragged on a bit.
The different stories, each written from the perspective of a different character and time period, made for an interesting read. Also, Hattie and her children lived fascinating lives with clear connections to the history and culture of the time. However, the story line did not draw me in sufficiently.
It was fascinating to hear the truth from a real live modern war veteran who served in what appeared to be the lowest ranks of our marines. Still, the different scenes did not tie together all that well, and his jumping around in time did not help.
Collins definitely sold out to the crowd appealing action scenes in this sequel, leaving very little to think more deeply about. I even had to skip ahead in order to keep my interest.
Collins seems to have had a harder time filling up the pages in this sequel. The ratio of plain action scenes to thought-provoking moments rose significantly. Disappointing after such a decent start.
I'm usually not a fan of adventure, but Collins' gory killing scenes did not scare me away, and the underlying criticisms of our society kept my brain working. Still, I am not completely convinced that all the fighting scenes quite fit with the rest of the story. Some were a bit over the top and frankly out of sync with an otherwise extremely well-crafted saga. I wonder if Collins sacrificed some of the thought-provoking elements of her story, to pander to an audience mesmerized by blood and guts.
I guess I should have expected a collection of short stories to lack plots, but it made it hard to finish the entire collection. Lahiri has a wonderful way with words and she has great insight into the particulars of people's lives that are often overlooked, but I need a little more plot to each story to satisfy me.
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