Fletcher, VT, US | Member Since 2005
This books begins with Sage Singer's life. She chooses to be a baker working alone at night she says, to hide her scar(s). She tells us "I leave the dough alone. It's silly to anthropomorphize bread......it needs to sit quietly, to retreat from touch and noise and drama in order to evolve and so do I". Sage is evolving; she rejects her religious heritage; she is an atheist.
She finds herself befriending a very old German man with a past that is perhaps entwined with her family somehow. She is faced with her Jewish roots. Sage must make choices that cause her to question her most basic beliefs.
I usually stay way from detailed stories about the Holocaust, I just find it too horrific. This author does go there. So just know to expect a detailed first person account of many atrocities.
I liked that the author is very serious and addresses these issues head on. And then at times Ms. Picoult made me giggle, she writes,“....tutoring a four year old to get into an exclusive preschool made as much sense as hiring a swim coach for a guppy......”
I liked this book because it held my interest throughout. Although at times, for me, Ms. Picoult's writing lacks something, it was easy for me to overlook because I was really hooked in the plot.
Overall this is a solid good book.
This is my first Russell Banks book. In this book of short stories Mr. Banks seems to use almost a formula or a common methodology in each of these stories.
I was fully engaged in the plot and characters. The prose rich, the plots detailed and interesting.
A few of the stories: Connie is a former Marine who raised his three sons by himself after his wife left the family. He is now unemployed and possibly broke after a lifetime of hard work. He sees himself as Father and Marine and has taught his sons to do the right thing. Each of his sons work in law enforcement and the problem is that Connie is desperate. He refuses to be dependent on his sons; he resorts to the unthinkable.
Another story is about a couple with two daughters who divorce and share custody, their old beloved dog becomes the glue that holds them all together still.
And in another story set in Miami a woman is caught and terrorized by an angry guard dog in a used car lot after hours.
In "Snowbirds", one of my favorite stories in the book, a friend comes down south to console and help her newly widowed best friend. The two women begin to question the status quo of their lives.
I've outlined only a few of the stories, each left me somewhat empty, wondering.This in and of itself may not be bad, but I needed/wanted something else or more.
I want to give both 5 stars and 2 stars, because in many ways each story was really good. So therefore I'm sorry that I cannot write a more concise review, obviously this book has left me conflicted.
I look forward to other reviews
Yes I'm in the minority, I just did not find anything redeeming about this book. The pace was too slow, the characters annoying, the plot uninteresting and none of it worth the wait. The indulgent author going on and on about the food just got on my last nerve. I not only want my credit back, but I wish I could have my time returned too. Ugh.
I decided to listen to this book because recently I was introduced to an individual who seemed to be unable to express even a speck of empathy or compassion for her sick child. I was perplexed by this person and wondered if I was in the presence of a sociopath. In listening to this book Ms. Stout asserts that indeed I was right, this person fits the bill.
I found this book to be mostly interesting, and a bit more than discouraging to learn that according to this author, one in twenty four people in our culture are sociopaths.
Ms. Stout makes it fairly easy to determine who fits this profile and why.
The reader/listener learns that it is not only the murders and child rapists who are sociopaths but yes it's also our neighbors and co-workers, people leading "normal" lives.
This book may be very helpful for those of us who work with others, helping us to remember things are not always as they appear.
Ms. Stout does meander quite a bit in this book. I think it would have been a much better book if she edited out several chapters of "fluff" and stayed on topic more.
Overall I'm glad I listened. .
Everything about this book was perfect.... the pace, in depth character development, engaging plot, perfect narration, it all just works. This is a driveway book....I was sitting in the driveway not wanting to get out of the car, I just had to finish the chapter. This book is about family, race relations, money, alcohol, cancer, a courtroom trial, all set in the deep south. Y'all will just love this book; promise!
We Are Water is the story of family, marriage, parenting, love, homosexuality, suicide, death, murder, racism---overt and subtle, wealth and poverty, anger, violence, secrets, ghosts, atheists, religion, the power of prayer, classism, drowning in a flood, physical abuse, pedophilia, disabilities, theft, art, alcoholism, politics---liberal and conservative, trauma, and community.
Each character in this book has her or his own voice in this story. The voices are braided together making this important novel unique and so special. The author narrates the voice of Orion Oh the patriarch in the book. Unlike some other authors, Mr. Lambs contribution to the narration is perfection.
Annie and Orion Oh are married and they have three children Ariane, Andrew, and Marissa. Annie is first struggling, then becomes a successful artist. Orion is a psychologist who cannot heal his own family. Annie's traumatic childhood and time in foster care and Orion never knowing his father impacts both parents and their children in profound ways. After over 20 years of marriage they divorce; Annie leaves Orion for a woman.
The backdrop of this story is the narrative of the short life of Josephus Jones and his brother. These black men are ostracized from and suffer abuse from their Connecticut community. Josephus's brother lives with a Dutch white woman. Josephus is a painter of "outsider art" never receiving recognition for his art until after his violent death. The story of the artist, his death and his art are woven throughout the book.
Another voice in this book is Kent, Annie's cousin who is a pedophile. This part, hearing Kent's voice and of Annie's abuse is very difficult but is an integral part of this book. I think it very brave of this author to include this peek into the persona and psyche of this man. Fortunately in the afterword the author explains his reasons for including Kent's voice.
This book touched me in a way few books do. I loved everything about this book; thank you Wally Lamb.
Yes this book is a bit of a disappointment. I really like this author, his previous books: Limitations, Innocent , Presumed Innocent , Reversible Errors, and Burden of Proof... well I've given them reviews of 4 or 5 stars.
This time however Mr. Turow misses the mark. The story gets bogged down with too many unnecessary and uninteresting characters. The plot if executed better would have been very engaging. But this time the author spends so much time with family feuds and character quirks, he loses momentum and the reader/listener gets lost in the details that are frankly just not that interesting. By the time the "good part" happened I kind of lost focus and just didn't care that much any more. Next book I hope Mr. Turow gets back on track!
Ok here's what I think worked in this book..... The novellas/ short stories/novel held my interest throughout. The authors desire to delve into the emotions and messiness of romantic relationships was apparent from beginning to end, making the story/stories interesting and somewhat insightful. And many of the characters were well developed and interestng.
Ok......so what I think didn't work so well was this author again decided to narrate his own book. Mr Dubus'111 narration this time, in attempt I believe to avoid the monotone issue of his narration in his memoir Townie, Dubus111 narrates this book in a sing song style that for me is reminiscent of the style of slam poets. I found this narration style distracting and unfortunately not a positive asset to this book.
Also what is going on with so many authors recent works? The endings are non-endings. The "endings"seem to be from the "figure it out for yourself" school of thought. Is it just my imagination that more and more authors now are choosing to end their books this way?
So if I could I'd give this book a solid 3.5. Good, not great.
Two brothers born 15 months apart, inseparable boys growing up in Naxalbari, a half submerged swamp besotted with refuse and water hyacinths. The beauty and the wasteland feel of the swampy area echos the essence and the life choices of the two brothers. One brother is involved in the underground of the Naxalite movement of West Bengal in the late 1960s. The other brother is headed off to teach college in Rhode Island.
The two brothers share their lives in a unique fashion, more than either expected.
This author has a creative voice and although not exactly the happy ending feel good book so many prefer, overall the book held my interest and was worthwhile.
This is the third book I've now read/listened to by this author and so far I've found every one of his books to be so very interesting and engaging. This story revolves around the questions and secrets surrounding a young girl's murder and a young boy's (who as an adult becomes the small town physician) unrequited love for the girl. This book has mystery and meat. The small town politics and antics that often populate Mr Cook's stories serve as a backdrop for this book. It is the old south that I recognize from my past with it's often white-washed issues of class and racism ( no pun intended) and the dark underbelly of it all. This book confronts these issues in a multifaceted story that will hold your interest throughout. Good good good ! I'll be reviewing more of Mr Cook's books soon I bet!
In King's afterword the author says he relishes "telling a kick-ass story" . In this audio version, King and Patton do just that. Other reviewers have told of the plot so I'll just say that SK does his magic here once again. This book has the coolest scary characters in conflict with a most humble, kind, imperfect hero the reader/ listener just can't help but caring for deeply. The plot is engaging, so much so that we worry for the well being of the characters. The struggles hero Danny has with alcoholism and anger are the backdrop and foundation of the story. It all blends together with a near perfect pace; this listener just didn't want to put the book down. I'm not sure now which book to read/listen to next as this one will be a hard act to follow. Peace out SK and thanks!
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