PARIS, TX, United States | Member Since 2008
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.
I almost gave up on this too soon. There's quite a bit of survival journaling at the beginning, so much so that I was afraid that was all I was going to get. So I stopped reading but I was intrigued because everyone else was so wild about the book became. So I picked up again, and lo and behold the next chapter was what I've been waiting for. I'm no scientist, so I don't know if the science is right, but it sounds right. I can picture this made into a fun movie. Recommend for other science geeks out there. I enjoyed this book that taught me more than just that Mars is red and has rovers on it.
So much promise, so much potential, so spot on. Then late in the book: poof, the plot twist took me right out of it and took the book away from what the cover promised. Still, it had some great stuff on Sylvia Plath.
What a gem. Of course we'd expect no less from this supremely creative woman. The audio experience is a tour de force on its own, packed with guests and a live performance. But the reason I'll remember this book is for the very real pearls of wisdom and transparency Amy offers - followed quickly by jokes, naturally. Thanks for this treat!
This detective fiction, told from the POV of the Hispanic detective and several other Hispanics that are a part of the story, will entertain you and tug at you at the same time. Never preachy but way more to the story. Very glad I read it particularly at this time with the current immigration political wars. The author reached out to me after my review of The Book of Unknown Americans and I'm glad she did. Read it for surface level enjoyment or read it for much much more.
So disappointed about this one, another Booker Prize winner that is not for me. I was frustrated because the writing seemed to not be as tight as it should have been. Yet, the author clearly knew what she was doing. What gives? Well I looked at the reviews and information on it -- another gimmick. Each chapter half the length of the other? Not for me. In the style of Wilkie Collin's (who was Dickens' best friend and who wrote The Woman in White, which I loved), well that is for me, but not with the gimmick. Why not just write a good book? Hopefully next time.
Well written historical fiction to get lost in. A story of the resistance, a story of love, courage and family. This is the first book of 2015 to go on my 2015 favorites list. I couldn't put it down!
I do love poetry but I don't give it the time I should because I'd rather have a story. This is a story in poetry, a powerful, sometimes difficult to face, sweet, thought filled, poetic stream by a girl whose young life was a study in opposites, and who believes in opposites coming together some day. I do, too. Thank you Jaqueline with a J and a Q for inspiring me to keep on believing and for taking me through your journey with such grace.
Sometimes this read a bit like a Jane Austen novel, which was strange, because that really wasn't the Bronte style. But it was so interesting to see the whole family story and the publication story, and the love story, all in one place. I'm glad I listened.
Also, the narrator is one of my favorite narrators, which is how I found this book! Its worth it!
This was just not for me. I tried to both listen and read, I am used to Booker Prize winners being deeper, so they are hard to follow when just listening anyway. But I just didn't believe this book. It almost seemed gimmicky and trite in the end, although I know the subject matter is not. The reason I felt this way was because the loose ends were all wrapped up yet the narrative was modernist / realistic. I think you have to pick your evil and stick with it. Also, I didn't enjoy the multiple voices that came in long after I'd already committed to one voice.
However, I felt somewhat the same way about The Constellation of Vital Phenomena, so I think if you loved that book, you will love this. There are a few worthy quotes, just like in that book.
Also, I thought the narrator spoke too s l o w. So, that killed the audio for me. It was just a struggle.
I had this for awhile before I read it. Why did I wait so long? Is it the cover or the start of the book? Well don't let it put you off. This is a sneaky little surprise.
I love Brit Lit. I love the humor and the peculiar but expressive slang. But what I love more are books that have alot to say about society without cramming it down your throat. Instead, they just present the facts and push them to the brink and let the numbers add up as they may.
Meet Jess, a hard working mom of a blended family of two kids whose husband is an absentee dead beat. Meet Ed who is a Geek-illionaire who made a snap decision out of desperation that he now can't bear to share with his ailing father. Throw into the mix a goth boy, a math girl, a rescue dog, and a number of desperate situations, and you get a page turner. It is predictable, but it is also so much more, so it can be encountered on different levels and that -- plus its heart -- is why I loved it.
At the heart of the story is the famous parable of the different degrees of forgiveness. I'm not spoiling anything by telling you this, it's obvious from the beginning. What's not obvious is how it will all unfold. What was not obvious to me was how often this book would tug at my heart, and not in the just typical romantic comedy way.
Take all of this and add in a writer who knows the craft, and you get a darn good book with staying power. So get past the title and the cover and get busy reading it. You won't regret it.
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