Albany, NY, United States | Member Since 2005
Saunders' characters struggle with issues we've all faced - or will face sometime in our lifetime: sorrow and loss, wanting to give more than we have to our children, conquering our deepest fears in order to do what we know is the right thing. But the settings of his stories are weirdly futuristic, and only somewhat recognizable. Saunders is a great narrator.
The story follows a group of teenagers from one summer, spent in a performing arts camp, to adulthood. They face challenges, disappointment, and joy as they make choices and look for ways to put meaning in their adult lives. Although they call themselves "The Interestings" and some of them have lives that are more than ordinary, it's clear that they're just people trying to make their way in the world. Good writing and compelling characters. Believable.
In these collected essays, Ann Patchett writes about people and events that have informed her writing. I found them relate-able and thoroughly enjoyable. Was sorry when the book ended.
Sue Monk Kidd has finally written a great book. I hated "Mermaid's Chair" and felt annoyed at "The Secret Life of Bees" but was persuaded to give this one a try. I'm really glad I did. This is a fictionalized account of Sarah Grimke and her sister, real-life abolitionists and feminists from 19th century Charleston. Kidd really did her research - of the time period, of slavery, and of quilting. Gripping.
A woman finally realizes her dream of becoming a spy - and gets in deeper than she ever imagined. Unrealistic, a bit bloody, and a lot of fun.
Enjoyed this story of the lives of the Bronte siblings. Life before antibiotics sure was fragile.
O'Farrell writes sympathetic characters, and that's an important issue for me. I have to be able to identify with at least one in any book. Here, each one - even the unlikable, has some redeeming characteristic. A good depiction of adult family relationships just as each is reaching a crisis point in his or her life. There was only one thing I had trouble believing: One sister is illiterate. By now she's figured out how to hide it. But is it really possible that she made it all the way through her school years without anyone ever suspecting she might have a learning disability - or discovering that she never learned to read?
I bought this book because of the great reviews. And it lived up to all of them.
A YA novel about kids at a boarding school. Engaging and interesting, great characters, a tiny bit predictable.
Loved this book! Everything was great: the plot and the characters. It is funny and touching. Enjoyed it all the way through.
Banks masters the arts of character development and plot construction. Scott Shepherd's reading was spot-on.
He read each character's voice exactly the way I would imagine them speaking, with just the right difference in tone or accent to make it clear who is talking. Even the female characters (of which there aren't many).
Caught between a rock and a hard place.
I wasn't particularly drawn to reading a novel about the plight of America's convicted sex offenders but after hearing Russell Banks speak last summer, I decided to pick up the book. The story was gripping, the characters were fully drawn out, and Banks keeps the action and the suspense going until the very end.
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