This was a great medical mystery book! A mix between Robin Cook and Michael Crichton; a real pager turner!
My only complaint and the reason I could not go all the way and give it 5 stars was because it was just way too “jargony” and it lost me quite a few times along the way. There was a lot of dumbing-it-down-for-the-common-man and the author provided plenty of explanations of the medical terms and processes (so much so that it started to feel like he was showing off his research) but there was still WAY WAY too much technical detail for my liking. As soon as it started getting interesting, it got text-booky.
I also felt like I lost huge chunks of the developing story; many times I found myself thinking “How did we get to this point?” or “when did that happen?” … did I miss something crucial?
If you have a good attention span (better than mine anyway) you won’t have trouble – I on the other hand was confused for a lot of the time. Still, it was a great story and I can’t wait to dig into Book 2!
At first I thought this story would be sort of a mix between “Summer House with Swimming Pool” and “Little Big Lies”, but that would be giving this book too high a compliment.
It’s a train wreck filled to the brim with bitter characters that are just mad all the time and hate everyone including themselves. The book feels like it was written in a rage, it’s so full of anger and resentment and bitterness! Plus, I found it off-putting that all the sex was violent and aggressive.
The audio book came with a warning about foul language. I laughed at first because I’d never heard such a warning, but I quickly concluded that it must have been added following listener complaints. I found the profanity over the top… yet I suppose wretched, detestable people need potty-mouths to complete the picture.
My biggest complaint is the synopsis which promised a story with an intriguing premise. Instead, the incident felt more like a blip if you ask me, and it served as a weak tether binding all the miserable characters together.
I never tire of Holocaust Memoirs. I am riveted to the survival stories of ordinary people plunged into extra ordinary situations.
This book was no exception; very interesting.
This book was very informative!
I’ve read many books about the Titanic, and I liked this one because of the “fresh” angle it provided: The story of the Carpathia and the California.
If knew about the [miss]adventures of California before, it’s hard to imagine that I forgot all about it – it was quite shocking!
I enjoyed it until about ¾ of the way in, and then the book became too try and textbook for me – it’s as if I got all the info I wanted and then was just dragging it out to the finish; despite that, I still recommend it because I feel like I learned something new.
This was quite an entertaining caper.
Archer’s writing style is very distinctive:
• Very little dialogue.
• A lot of “showing” - No need to exercise your imagination.
• A propensity to explain plans in minute detail. Sometimes I swear he was reading off a spread sheet! I am paraphrasing here, but not exaggerating : “He owes fifty eight thousand four hundred and nine dollars and fifty two cents, and paid twenty seven thousand six hundred and seventy eight dollars and ninety seven cents, so his remaining balance is thirty thousand seven hundred and thirty dollars and fifty five cents”
• Books that feel like a collection of short stories.
• Any excuse to show off his research.
If you like his style then you’ll enjoy this adventure; it felt nostalgic to me somehow, like an 80s miniseries.
I am not a fan of gruesome serial-killer cop-dramas, but this book is a exception.
It’s not a whodunit mystery, we know who does what all the way along, but rather it’s a riveting physiological thriller.
I did find that there were a few holes in the plot, and some of the twists were a little too convenient, but none of that mattered. Just wondering what would happen next and how it would all end kept the pages turning fast!
The synopsis promised a sweeping 70-year family saga with a secret about a child put up for adoption – juicy! But it was not even close to good.
It was a series of vignettes with no point; they did not relate to each other nor back to the premise in the synopsis. Another reviewer wrote that it was “a series of short stories about naive women and their sex lives”. That made me laugh out loud! So true! Over and over I found myself thinking “here we go again!” it was so gratuitous that it was became preposterous and the author’s clear fetish for breasts was just weird.
By the time I was half way done with the book, I was fed up: yet another inane vignette, yet another pointless sex scene… and endless boobs. Boobs boobs boobs boobs boobs. It was ridiculous.
I kept going because I wanted to know what happened to the daughter that was put up for adoption, but I was listening in triple speed to get it over with. The lying synopsis said that: Josephine spends the rest of her life searching for her lost child – well if she did, that was in another book!
I should have returned this book because the fact that it was an abridged version ruined it for me.
There is a lot to be said for the pace of a story; abridging can ruin that. This story seemed very disjointed to me - it’s started off with an intriguing premise and then all of a sudden everyone is running for their lives. Huh?
Too much was missing... I could tell it was condensed.
I read this book in 2009 and gave it 2 stars, after rereading it now in 2015 I stand by that rating.
I didn’t really enjoy it that much, I found that there were too many tangents and sub-plots that made following the core narrative difficult for me. It felt too convoluted and weighed down with too many characters who all have too much baggage.
I first read this book in 2011 and only gave it 2 stars. I think that’s proof that you have to be in the right mood for a book because this time I would easily give it 4 stars if not 4 ½.
It’s all so interesting!! Not just the life of Henrietta, but the history of the Hanoverian Court, how King George I and II came to the throne, their acrimonious relationship, life in London in the early 1700s, the lifestyle of George and Caroline when they were still Prince and Princess of Wales… all of it!
It’s a very well written book; not dry or text-booky at all. I really feel like I learned something… I’m glad I decided to pick it up again.
I always enjoy reading Royal Biographies and the story of Charlotte and Leopold is yet another engaging chapter in a long long long line of interesting stories.
The more I read, the more the links come together and I can better understand how all the players interconnect. I knew Leopold was Queen Victoria's uncle, but I was never sure just how she was related to Charlotte. I knew Charlotte was a popular Princess, but I never knew why.
I first read this book back in 2012, yet I feel like I got more out of it this time. Now, I plan to reread "Henrietta Howard: King's Mistress, Queen's Servant" by Tracy Borman in the same hope of feeling like I learned something new.
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