This title appealed to me because of the association with Ballet. I have always wanted to learn more about this complex sport/art/science.
This audio started with the story of three sisters in 19th Century France. The story continued along predictable lines by describing the sisters' starvation, constant work at the barre and miserable boarding house living, where they were all crammed into one room with their mother. I continued to listen, waiting for the conflict, the small success or the intriguing character to enter. Short of a couple of appointments with the great artiste, Degas, nothing happened but more suffering. I tired of the constant whining, worrying and grimy encounters with men. There was no reward or romance - just more wailing about circumstances. Also, predictably one sister, working as a laundress, burned a shirt and was "docked one week's wages." Please! How obvious can you be?
I commend anyone who endeavors to write a full-length novel. The technical part - the writing - was well done in this book. Nice description and tone. However, my resources were spent and I expected a fair exchange.
I need something to grab me after the first three hours. I listed to most of the first part, then I quit.
I enjoyed this book very much. The first chapters are arresting and grabbed my attention. I loved the characters and the spirited way they interacted with each other. Narration was lively and really, quite excellent. I found myself wondering how Theo would unload that painting while I was not even listening but doing other (important) tasks.
I surprised myself by having heaps of sympathy for the Barbours. What a typical and tragic family. Donna description of each of them was artful.
The bad-ish news: the long chapters about boys getting high and doing nothing, while necessary, seemed to take up a few too many pages.
Good wrap up. And I loved multi-national Boris to pieces.
I am always searching for inspiring woman characters. Ren did not disappoint. She was lively, smart and skeptical. Just like me! The story was enticing when the boy and girl meet under contrived, yet creative circumstances and love followed. Once that was set up, the other characters were introduced and the hating started. That was ok, but after the femme-drugging, I was lost. I was distracted. I have good focus for audible books and even I stopped listening. I may start up again -- perhaps I will find myself in a mood for caricatures instead of characters.
I loved the concept of this book. I hope I can put up with the dull members of the secret society of incrementals when I decide to pick it up again.
I am looking forward to Peter's next book. This one kept me so enthralled that I continued "reading" while running errands, and I left my tri-tip roast in the Costco parking lot! This book was worth it! I hope someone enjoys a good piece of steak tonight.
After many years of reading, I find that I can predict the "next moves" in the story, based on effective plot development. That did NOT happen with "14" and I am so glad. The plot was developed well, yet there was a surprise in every turn of the page.
I did not fall in love with the main character but I consider that the author's bonus. He was flawed like the rest of us. I am so weary of the beautiful, successful, and near-perfect heroes that we find so often in modern fiction.
Bring on the next one, Peter Clines.
First, I loved the premise and the idea. Always great to delve into the minds of people who have survived such a horrible experience. Wonderful idea to have Grace time-skipping over her trial for murder and her wet ankles. I couldn't wait to read this book.
The book inspired me to write my own novel with some surprises and more exciting conflict than I found in this book. The passengers were throwing people off the lifeboat! That indeed should have caused some visceral emotions among the survivors, but not it did not, not really. I felt that the characters' reactions were, "oh gosh, there goes another one, but it wasn't me so I'm good."
Also, I would have made someone on the lifeboat the culprit. Why did the mysterious ocean liner explosion happen? No back story about the ocean liner. Perhaps the reader was supposed to assume all the Titanic background applied. But better: maybe Grace was REALLY devious and evil, as well as being just a run-of-the-mill un-unhinged woman of her time. She should have been in cahoots with some unknown person to destroy lives for her own self-centered goals. Now there's a survival story!
The book could have been set in an upscale parlor instead of a lifeboat. There was so little conflict or character development. The only thing I learned about Marianne was that she was a big whiner. I would have added 100 pages to learn more about the passengers and how they ended up on a lifeboat in the middle of nowhere. There was no explanation about how they found themselves in this dire situation.
The so-called nefarious seaman who was aboard didn't seem that horrible. He was the only character who could have and should have, been the hero! It wasn't our girl, Grace. No hero in this book where one would have been welcome.
Good first effort. I am certainly not the writer that Ms. Rogan is.
I have enjoyed all of Anchee Min's books. I love reading about Chinese culture and especially the methods women used to gain their own sort of power against, but through the men. This book never caught my attention because the narrator was so flat. She did have a nice Asian tone to her voice, but no character or life to the dialogue. I had to stop mid-way through -- something I avoid doing with vigor. Try the "sample" and if the reader resonates with you, buy the book.
Time travel is among my favorite genre. I love the idea, the design and the execution - usually. This book had no conflict. Characters were dropped 100 years into the past with no cultural challenges, no funny "fashion" mistakes, no one questioning their slightly "off" social behavior. Come on! If I were dropped into 10 years ago, people would notice. The characters just blended in with the "contemps." Unbelievable in a bad way.
The writing was so simple - 5th grade level - and I am a grown-up woman, so I turned it off. I don't read to learn about people doing household chores and waited to get back to the "drop" (home). I quit in the middle.
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