Both are excellent. I listened first, then went and read it in order to study it and learn from a master.
Cee, she learns to stand tall and believe in herself regardless of her childhood and the wrong done to her.
Hard to pick, but three come to mind. First, the opening poem, it brings chills down the spine. Next, when Cee tells Frank that she has a right to cry. And finally, the ending poem and all its potential meanings. I'll give you the first just so you don't miss it on the audio version:
“Whose house is this?
Whose night keeps out the light
In here? Say, who owns this house?
It’s not mine. I dreamed another, sweeter, brighter
With a view of lakes crossed in painted boats;
Of fields wide as arms open for me.
This house is strange. Its shadows lie.
Say, tell me, why does its lock fit my key?”
I don't know about you, but this resonates deep within me. It's the story of growing up, of finding yourself. Of finding out that home, for good or bad, has made a lasting impression on you, and, just maybe, you can reconcile yourself with that. Perhaps, on a grander scale, it is also a reconciliation to the awareness and owning of our country, good and bad.
Finally, perhaps you can reconcile yourself with you, good and bad
I love the book for the imagery of the time that it invokes, and for the depth of each character that the author gives us. I love the use of many literary styles, and the fact that the book is still very accessible. I love the ending.
Here is the low down:
Frank is a Korean vet who was treated equally in the war but slips back into segregated America as it if it is still the norm, which is a good subtle shock for the modern reader, so far away from it. But Frank has bigger worries, mainly that he is haunted by the war. This book is the story of his quest to find his sister, and during his travels he finds himself. This is a very American theme, in the fashion of Mark Twain and Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain). Frank breaks through and speaks to the reader, and occasionally to the author; this is a highly effective, somewhat twisted, way to jar the reader out of the story itself and into deeper thought. Toni Morrison is skilled enough to pull it off.
Cee (Ycidra) is Frank's sister, who thinks that maybe she'd have learned to think for herself if Frank hadn't been there to constantly protect her. She is an accident waiting to happen, a consummate victim, although she doesn't try to be, so trouble finds her when Frank leaves for the war. She and Frank bind each other to this earth, and eventually save each other, once they learn their own self worth. Something in that reminds me of Celie in the Color Purple, and Cee's story is very much an American girl coming of age story, with the honest portrayal of the plight of the black woman.
There are other memorable characters, some snapshots, some deeper, and plenty of themes, all delivered in a punch at 160 pages on my Kindle. Morrison trueists don't like this book very much because it doesn't use the magical realism style that they all love. If that includes you, know that this is American realism fiction, and take the time to think deeper than the story. Ask yourself how the author is so talented to make us care in such a short time. Look at the wording and sentences, and see how she shows rather than tells. Search for all those little details that make the writing so good. Learn from a living legend, who makes you dissatisfied with the humdrum.
Very interesting book. I used to go to Church Camp in the New Mexico mountains, from which I garnered a pen pal from Los Alamos. I had NO idea about this place. I loved the literary style of this book -- in the collective We, which managed to show the many many experiences of the wives, the families, and even the views of the scientists -- the lives of the creators of the atomic bomb during those years. Important read, well narrated.
Via Audio. Well written, but I can't figure out the deeper meaning, and it feels like there should be one. Just another one of the many American "heartland" books written in the Cormac McCarthy western tradition with the only point being to show our inescapable violent past (which I don't necessarily argue but also don't fully buy). I'm not getting it and don't know why I keep falling for it. But that is just me, if that genre is your cup of tea, you will like this.
P.S. The audio was well narrated but I don't recommend it. It was very hard to follow because the POV switched frequently.
(Via Audio, but now I now want to read it!) Well written unique book about two young English women who become friends despite social class difference because of World War II, which took them to their destinies. The book is told through their journals, so you get to see the story unfold through different view points. I was hooked from the first couple of sentences, which, along with the title, tells all:
"I AM A COWARD
I wanted to be heroic and I pretended I was. I have always been good at pretending. I spent the first twelve years of my life at the Battle of Stirling Bridge with my five big brothers, and even though I am a girl they let me be William Wallace, who is supposed to be one of our ancestors, because I did the most rousing battle speeches."
(Now just try to put that down!) A true spy-coming of age novel, chalk full of historical and literary references. I cannot for the life of me figure out what book this is like, but I would say that if you liked "The Book Thief" and if you like intrigue, you will like this. I want to go back and read it now so that I can put together some things that are possible to catch the first time. Excellent Narrations.
I didn't love this book like everyone else did, but I do feel like I should have. I'm just not as big on the big interlocking short story book (meaning that this was a series of stories about the lives of the characters in this book, not pulling together the way they do in a big epic, but rather connected the way stars are, because we see the connection, we see the pattern even if it is random), and that is what this felt like to me. But I did love some of the thoughts that were universal, and not just applicable in war torn Chechnya, especially this one as it applies to the way we humans interweave and support each other or not: “Life: a constellation of vital phenomena—organization, irritability, movement, growth, reproduction, adaptation.” I am also glad I learned more about that conflict.
This is a very interesting dissection of an important English writer's life and works, with a good tie in to the modern reader. This is not just a review of Middlemarch, rather it is a good look at George Eliot and her life, plus the influences on the writer's life. If you love English lit, you won't want to miss this.
I kept seeing this book pop up for me so I finally went for it. At first I thought I was going to be disappointed, but then the layers kept building. The book turned out to be satisfying, with good characters who had believable dillemas, plus a fun thriller aspect. It was also a subtle inspirational book, which was a pleasant surprise.
Lydia's traumatic childhood leaves her with lasting needs, yet she is surprisingly resilient. She overcomes great odds to make a life for herself, a life with seemingly great order. Then she meets a man at work who likes to subtly throw chaos into her order, and off we go. This book explores the themes of drug abuse and addiction, redemption, love, and recovery. The historical setting makes the addiction and recovery theme safe, so that we can really experience that reality without our modern day prejudices. It also explores the human need for connecting with God and our tendency to try to do it all on our own, killing ourselves in the process. Thumbs up!
NOTE: I think there are some historical inaccuracies, but being from the south I wasn't positively sure so I was able to look past them. In the end the drug addiction theme was very well explored, and not commonly found, so I think the book is a worthy offer. Also the historical aspect is pretty minor so not terribly distracting unless maybe you live in the area.
Very cute easy listen. Picture an Aussie Sheldon /Spock who logically deduces that he should marry but hates wasting his time on incompatible women so he designs the perfect test to find the perfect wife. In walks the delightfull Rosie with a project of her own, who, if she were taking the test, would utterly flunk it. When you are in the mood for something that will make you smile, read this!
This children's story will teach you about the Horrors of WWI while making you fall in love with a boy and his horse. Excellent for kids of all ages.
If you have never fallen in love with The Iliad, please listen to this right now, and hear the story the way the ancient Greeks did. Enthralling story telling about the human experience, not just a war book. And the narrator is a master, too.
Unfortunately, I think today's woman will be utterly bored with this. I was. Not up to the rest of Wouk's offerings.
Report Inappropriate Content