After having read Sarum, I was excited to jump into New York and I enjoyed it very much… just not as much as Sarum; I think it’s because the novelty for the style wore off. After being immediately impressed by a captivating start, I had to eventually downgrade it from “5-star-favourite” to “4-star-terrific”. Still high praise.
If you’ve read any books in the series you know it’s essentially a collection of interconnected short stories about a family spanning hundreds of years (or thousands in Sarum), but I didn’t find them all as interesting or compelling this time. I LOVED the start (New Amsterdam in 1664) and I was completely engrossed by the story of Dirk Van Dyck and his secret daughter Pale Feather, then as the story continued though the eyes of their slave Quash, I was equality riveted. But after that it went from ‘fantastic’ to ‘very good’ to ‘ good’ to ‘maybe the next part will be great’… although I did perk up again with the story of Sarah and Charlie that started in the 1950s.
I wished the Wampum Belt would have made an appearance more often because I liked the way it reminded you of the connectivity to past generations. I would sometimes forget how the current protagonist was related to the previous one, so a little extra exposition every now and then would have been very helpful for me. I also would have enjoyed some blurbs following the construction of the Statue of Liberty – nothing long and detailed, more like an occasion mention in the background.
In addition, I felt that the end of the book was a little rushed; as if he has expended all his good ideas up front and just wanted to hurry up and finish he book so he could start writing a new one.
Still, overall, I am a fan. Can’t say I will read all his books but I will definitely read Paris and I can’t wait for its release in April… I already pre ordered it!
Molly Murphy Books have turned into default reads for me, which is good and bad.
Good – well, because the stories are good! I know in advance I will like them and can reach for the next installment of the series with confidence knowing I won’t be disappointed.
Bad – because I am running out of available titles!! This was Book 10 so I only have 11, 12 and 13 left (which I will blow through in no time) and then I will have to wait until the titles are released before reading more. Book 14 is only due out in 2015.
This is also how I felt when I finished all the titles in Sue Grafton’s alphabet series: going from a new title whenever the mood strikes, to waiting years between installment.
I like having a dependable “go-to series”; you’re never at a loss for something good to read!
I am a sucker for a good idea and I was so interested in this one that is was easy to overlook the book’s short comings. It’s too long and many of the scenes are too drawn out; a good editing would have helped! Still, I found the story so novel and original that I was hooked from the start.
I can see how if you are of a certain age (under 25) many of the 80s references would sail right over your head, I was born in the early 70s so I am the perfect age for the target audience. In addition to being a unique story, it was an extremely entertaining walk down memory lane.
This book felt like a comedy to me (a boring comedy by the end) and I am not entirely sure it was supposed to. I was not really taken by any of the characters and therefore my interest was not captivated as the story plotted along.
I just read it because it was on sale and there is a movie coming out; I’m in for seeing the movie because Helen Mirren is excellent in everything she does so I know I will be entertained. I suspect most of the movie will center around the part of the story when Hassan and his family moved in across the street from Madame Mallory; the rest of the book doesn’t have as much meat so I can’t imagine an entire movie!
The narration was a “fail” for me. I’ve said this a million times, but my biggest audio-book pet peeve is a narrator who doesn’t have a handle on foreign languages. While I am in no position to comment on his Indian (sounded plausible to me) I can unequivocally say the French was terrible. I have zero tolerance anymore for that kind of thing.
There just isn’t an answer... and I think that’s part of what makes it such an intriguing subject to learn about. It just boggles the mind. It’s scary to think that something like this is possible – still possible; call me a cynic but I don’t think humanity is immune from a repeat.
Paraphrasing myself from another book review: Institutionalized racism is insidious. What starts off as a guideline (often times misguided) for the alleged benefit of the community can quickly devolve into an us versus them mentally, pitting people against each other and stirring up violence and hatred and intolerance. It scares me how people don’t see a slippery slope when it’s staring them in the face. Charter of Values in Quebec anyone?
This book presents a lot of interesting ideas of how culture and history mixed over the years to create the right conditions for the Holocaust, and it does puts forward some very plausible causes, but in the end I think it’s the ultimate unanswerable question.
I only bought it because it was on sale for 2$ and I got my money’s worth. If you like pop-astronomy you’ll be interested; if you don’t, you won’t.
Over all it was dry, but because it was short it wasn’t so bad. Some boring parts, some interesting factoids….
I don’t have a whole lot to say on this one!
I love this series, obviously since I am up to Book 9!
I understand that a huge part of the subplot in the series is the relationship between Molly and Daniel, and I get that if they got married in Book 2 it would have been too soon, but I am getting tired of the “my wife won’t work” part of Daniel’s character so I am looking forward to getting that all resolved.
Time to move on! Keep working, get hitched and have those babies already!! There’ll be lots of good stories to tell around that and I am looking forward to them all!
I was so bored with the beginning of the book that I almost gave up. I’m glad I didn’t however because it got better and better as it went along; it picked up enough to hold my interest and when it did, I didn’t put it down again until the end. I found it to be a very interesting story and educational too! I like learning about what life was like in other times and that’s what kept me hooked through the book. Great story.
As slow as I found the start, I felt the end just whizzed by. The entire last third of the book felt like an epilogue, as if when the main story was over the author wanted to keep developing the characters but hadn’t really developed a plot – I felt like after the summer of 1922 in New York City, it was the next 50 years of their lives in fast forward point form.
The narration was good, but it took me a while to get used to “Lady Cora Grantham” narrating a story about another Cora! Ha!
These types of books are my favourite; I always gets sucked into WW2 era stories because I find them so compelling and I found this story even more riveting than many others because of the added legal-thriller-courtroom-drama aspect.
Although I found it was an excellent story, some things did bother me a little:
•In the beginning when Ben wanted to tell his tale to Catherine, the whole “lawyer wants to hurry up / Ben wants to slow things down” thing was very tedious. I felt like it was being drilled into me – it was borderline drinking game. “get to the point Ben” “I’m getting there Catherine” enough!
•Too much interjection of the present punctuated into the recollections of the past. I’ve read many books where the main narrative is told as a recollection, but the interjection of only a sentence or two from the current time line (like a question from Catherine) broke the mood. Explaining to me how Catherine was reacting to Ben’s story or going into detail about how she felt about what she was hearing interrupted the flow and rhythm.
•The romance between Catherine and Liam – why bother? Such an unnecessary thread. That entire thing could have been cut out in my opinion along with ALL of Catherine’s personal-life threads. Pointless.
Despite those complaints, I really enjoyed it overall. Good book!
I’m only two thirds of the way done, but my opinion won’t change by the time I reach the end.
There is a fine line between good witty sarcastic humour and just being a wise@$$. I can’t decide on which side of that line John Corey belongs, but he likes to linger on the low-side and I’m fed up.
There is only so much chauvinistic inner dialogue I can take. Perhaps it was intentional, but now it’s just getting on my nerves.
I don’t think I can make it through another adventure, so I think book 1 in this series will be my last.
This book could have been dismissed as a huge joke if it wasn’t so well written. I was hooked almost from the start and by the time I was about a third of the way in, I found it hard to put down.
I loved the story of this impossibly dysfunctional family, and the characters were surprisingly so believable even after one over-the-top-preposterous-plot-twist after another!
I can’t possibly describe this story in any way that does not make it sound crazy and ridiculous so I won’t – just trust me; it was great!
Report Inappropriate Content