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.
At first I rated this really low. Then, I thought about it and listened to it again and I changed my mind. Understand that this doesn't teach you to dance. You already need to be working on that yourself. Rather, this helps you face a performance, and work on polishing those tricky moves that you seem to have trouble with, or the ones that make your nervous, or any part of the dance you want to concentrate on. If you approach it that way (and the program does tell you that, but I missed it the first go around), you'll be amazed at the progress you can make. I've been using it to prepare for a performance that is a bit out of my comfort zone. I had a step that was giving me trouble. I worked on it with this, and boom next practice, I nailed it. Also, there is a particular element to this (I don't want to give it away) that is really helpful for the performance part of dance. So, now you know as much as I can tell you. Buy if this fits. Don't buy if you are seeking instruction -- go pay for lessons instead.
I love these series. I love hearing about the works and life, while hearing the works. However, I don't think enough of the famous ones were worked in here. Why not?
At first I was very drawn into this, then it became a chore. Am I alone? I don't buy the characters, or the mystery, and I didn't care about them in the end. That's fatal for me.
Having just come out of a season of loss, this book was a real life saver. Thank you Robin for writing it, and for sharing some of your (and family) philosophies. Its so true -- everyone's got something, so dust it off and keep after it. Pray, love and be true. That is all that matters.
I had the strange feeling of all of a sudden understanding how my husband feels when I give him a book, saying: you have GOT to read this -- forgetting that the plot is more geared to women than men. There is a certain point in the novel that I think many women will say -- ok, enough already, I get it, and men/boys will say: Huzzah! At a boy and keep at it! I complained of the part to my husband and son (I turned my son on to this series after he had serious Harry Potter withdrawal, who insisted that my husband read it), and they both protested in the extreme -- "But it is PIVOTAL to the plot." Quite. Ehem.
Also, I did feel like the book was an exercise in the splitting the mind practice. We go off on one quest, and another, and another, and another. Etc.
Still, all considered. Good, very well written, low fantasy. I will read / listen to the next one. What will happen???
I keep wondering if this book appealed to as others the way it did to me. Well plotted, well characterized, very interesting story about people who just end up --right--there--in--the--middle-- of it. A reluctant book seller and a baby -- and a bit of a mystery, drawing in a cop who starts a successful bookclub. What more could you ask for?
This book really makes you think. I loved the POV from a blind character, and a sympathetic boy Nazi. What would you do for light and love?
Loved this book, it was well worth the wait. There was a definite "-OMG,-you-did-not-do-that- Diana!!-Yes-yay-you-did!!- moment that I loved. And just good character stories mixed with plenty of history, fantasy, war and politics, about this family that seems so real to me. How does she do this?
This book was alright, but I really expected more on the Indian part based upon the prologue. Still, the title does say Short, so I should have expected what I got, I guess. Not a bad intro, and I did learn somethings, particularly about Washington.
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.
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