if you are, or have ever been a mother, if you're pregnant, or even thinking about having a baby, you will be able to relate to the characters and situations in this book. Even though much of it is cliched, the story is so heartwarming and humorous it just grabbed me!
I'm in my 50's, so it's been quite a while since I went through what the 4 women in this story are dealing with, but this brought all the memories back to me in color.
But more than entertainment, there is a lot of subtle wisdom imparted here. I smiled and winced as the characters messed up their lives and their relationships. The author manages to create sympathy not only for her 4 female protagonists, but also for their partners and families. There were times I saw myself or someone I knew, and in the meddling mother-in-law, someone I don't want to be now that I have grandchildren.
A thoroughly enjoyable read!
This book was a best-seller in 1927, when it created a furor and was apparently banned in several cities. I got it on a whim, because it was on sale and i had vaguely heard of it, but it turned out to be a whopper of a book. Billed as a satire of organized religion, it tells the story of a ruthless, narcissistic evangelist. Only i didn't find it particularly satirical; the story rings far too true-to-life to me, as a non-believer and ex-Christian. Really sad, tho, that it was written almost 90 years ago, and yet nothing has changed. It foretells the Moral Majority decades early, and Gantry could be almost any televangelist or mega-church pastor today. It's a long book, and there are times when the story does bog down a bit, but overall it's a very entertaining and biting look at our society. The narrator is excellent, giving the characters just the right amount of attitude without overdoing it.
if you studied English and loved poetry, you're in luck with this book. The story centers around a poet and there are frequent quotations from the poems of Rupert Brook. I almost gave up on it during the first couple of chapters, because English was decidedly NOT my favorite class in school, and I abhor artsy poetry in particular. I stuck it out only because once I find an author I like, I always read his or her books in sequence.
I'm glad i didn't give up on this. The plot became more interesting as the story wore on. Around the middle of the book there is another death, and suddenly it became a page-turner. In addition, it contains essential background info concerning Kincaid's personal life, which I would have missed if I had given up and skipped to the next book in the series.
The author has mastered the disdainful upper-class drawl of the cultured English snob.
If this is supposed to generate sympathy for 'mercy killing' or 'euthanasia', it's a poor example. First of all, no credible person advocates for true euthanasia, the deliberate killing of someone not capable of requesting it and giving informed consent. What many of of do support is 'medically assisted death', which is now legal in several US states and European countries, but that operates under very strict ethical rules, which limit it to people who are already actively dying from terminal diseases, request it of their own volition, give informed consent, and are too sick/physically weak to complete the act on their own. In this novel, while Jamie does kill his wife supposedly at her own request, he does so while she is still well enough to jitterbug the evening before; despite her cancer, no jurisdiction would support him killing her at this stage, and especially while she was clearly still strong enough to have taken her own life. While I did find myself sympathizing with Jamie's motives, the plot was just a little too bizarre to be believable.
Actually, a lot of this novel is beyond belief. Suspend everything you know about police procedure and medical examiners, and transport yourself into the town of Brigadoon. What sort of employer would hire an unknown assistant right off the street without knowing anything about her? That's what Allie does. I kept wanting to know more about Mia's background and motivation throughout the novel, but she left as abruptly as she appeared and I never found out. And don't get me started on Cam's flaky mother. The characters in this book are all just weird.
I didn't give up on it, and toward the end I did get a little more into it, but overall not one of the author's best.
The author didn't pull any punches in depicting the brutality of life during the time period of this book. Her website says that she lives in the area and toured a local plantation, read slave narratives, visited the Black History Museum, interviewed the descendants of slaves, etc., and I believe it.
The narrators are perfect for the voices; one slightly Irish accent, one African-American. I immediately recognized Turpin's voice from House Girl and The Help. It took me 2 tries to get into the story; the first time I gave up after half an hour, rewound, and started again. There are just so many characters and situations introduced at the start, I had to sort them out in my head before I could proceed.
But by the second hour of listening, I was hooked on the story with a morbid curiosity. It's a little like 'Upstairs, Downstairs' crossed with 'Gone with the Wind'. The tragic events tumble after one another like a train wreck, yet I can hardly put it down.
I'm about three quarters of the way through now, and not holding out much hope for a happy ending. But I can't wait to find out.
I really liked this story, and I wish I could give it a higher rating. I'm glad that it's not the first book I listened to by this author. But the main reason I didn't rate it higher is that it's very confusing trying to follow the story because it is written in reverse sequence of events. Maybe my old high school English teacher would be able to give reasons why an author would do that, but I'm not in school any more and I just want to listen to a good story.
In the first few chapters I almost gave up on this book. All of a sudden the characters were talking about the death of someone who had not even been previously introduced into the story. I turned off my player to check the track, thinking that perhaps I had jumped a chapter or downloaded incorrectly, but no, so I struggled to keep going. After a while I caught on. I think that the character's death would have made more of an impact if the story had been told in the correct order so that he died at the end; as it was, I knew what was coming all along and so the ending felt spoiled.
Once I figured out the weird system of telling the story, I was able to follow along so it got easier, sort of like learning to count backward. So overall, it was a great story, just told in a strange way. If you like Picoult's novels, go for it and stick with it. If you're not already a fan, I'd give it a pass and try another one.
no nasty blood and gore or CSI in this novel. It's reminiscent of Agatha Christie. Suspicious death in an English town with a closed cast of characters, and a detective who solves the mystery with his little grey cells after interviewing all the suspects. The author is good at creating a lot of red herrings to keep the reader guessing til the end. An easy and enjoyable read.
I have read all of Cook's novels over the years, and thoroughly enjoyed almost all of them, but in a couple of his most recent ones he has seemed off form. I almost didn't bother with this one, but i'm glad i did. Cook is back to his classic style of having medical students discovering something underhanded and battling the evil establishment.
The story was compelling all the way through. He lost me a bit in the financial stuff, but i could follow the gist of it. I liked the young med students but was glad he brought back Jack and Laurie further on.
George Guidell is synonymous with Robin Cook to me. As soon as i hear his voice it's like an old friend.
The only reason i didn't give this book 5 stars is because I agree with the reviewers who said it ended rather abruptly and implausibly. I think the wrap-up could have been done better.
well this was free, so i gave it a try. not my type of story at all. predictable formulaic chick flick stuff. the narrator sounded very girlish. i gave up after half an hour and switched to another book.
this book is long. It is an experience meant to be enjoyed and savored all the way along. If you like excitement and fast-paced action, this is not the book for you.
Kate Morton's strength is her ability to transport readers to another place and time and envelop them in the story. Her descriptions are vivid and detailed, her characters complex.
As in her previous novels the Hidden Garden and The Shifting Fog, the suspense builds slowly. It took me some time to 'get into' the story, but once I did, i ended up racing to find time to listen to the last few hours, when the plot threads start to come together and I tried to figure them out. If you think you have solved the mystery before the end, don't be too sure, things are not what they seem. Morton deliberately leads the reader down several false paths before revealing the truth.
Since this is the third of Morton's novels read by Caroline Lee, i simply cannot imagine another reader. She personifies the style of Morton's novels, and does the characters' accents so well.
I can't wait to read the Secret Keeper.
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