Who spends a handful of pages writing about a decision to wash clothes? Tartt. A few detailed chapters on being sick and even more chapters on being high? Tartt. I almost pulled my hair out trying to finish this book. Most chapters were unnecessary or could have been consolidated into a few paragraphs. I can only appreciate (at the most) the first quarter of the book, before Theo moves to Vegas. After that, it's just drugs, drugs, and more drugs.
While I enjoyed some characters (like Hobie), I I found myself extremely frustrated with the main character, Theo at times because he had a tendency to ramble on and make no solid decisions. I don't know if he was ever sure of anything ... well ... he was sure that he loved Pippa but that's about it. Also, you would think that after 20 hours, Tartt would have written an ending that had some real closure, not just Theo found some peace with himself. Did Boris eventually kill himself off in a booze and drug laced orgy? Did Pippa ever move back to New York? What happened with Theo's engagement? It was so wrong of Tartt to just leave their relationship dangling. And what about Hobie? This book didn't end well and I felt cheated out of a good ending ... whether tragic or not.
If you're reading this review and haven't purchased the book yet, then don't. Don't purchase this book unless you've got a lot of free time ahead of you and are perfectly okay reading a story at a snail's pace.
I would love an alternative ending.
My reaction: What?!?!? I didn't like the ending of this novel because the ending was so slow to come. When it finally did come, the ending was rather ambiguous! I can't speculate out loud or say much without ruining it for other readers, so I won't. But you'll know what I'm talking about after you've read the novel!
Whelan and Heyborne gave the character more rawness and emotion ... which is very important in this novel.
Nope. I've wasted 18 out of the 19 hours this audio book took to finish.
The novel has a fantastic beginning story line and an awesome climax but I felt the author met me down at the end of the novel...like the story kind of just lost its steam.
Oh, the story line was such a disappointment! I hung on until the end hoping these characters would find some peace but peace hardly comes. No one wins at the end of this book. Questions go unanswered, people are never found, and bad memories never fade out. Instead, the main characters, even at the very end of their lives remain stuck in the past.
I listened to "The Headmaster's Wife" while I was working on something else or while I was driving. I'm glad I didn't waste any actual time listening to this story because the story is dragged on at times.
The most interesting: The characters remembering the same events very differently. The least interesting: When Arthur elaborates on his fixation with Betsy. I felt like I was hearing the whispers of an aging pervert going through a mid-life crisis.
There were parts of the book that made me want to just forward to the very end. The only reason I stuck through the entire book was just so I'd reach the end. The book is split up into three parts; 1) Arthur and Betsy (Arthur's version); 2) Betsy and Arthur (Betsy's version) and 3) the present.
The narrator's performance could have been better but he's not the reason I didn't enjoy the book very much.
This is a sad book. Don't read this book if you're depressed. This book did not make me feel any better about aging. If anything, the author only highlighted the insecurities felt by aging people.
I really enjoy novels with historical context. While the story line is a bit slow in the first half of the book, reflecting back now on the wave of events, I suspect Monk was building up her characters and giving readers historical contexts of the early 1800's in Charleston, NC. I have to say, Monk did a great job with the historical facts.
"She'll outlive the last cockroach."
The sentence above is my favorite in 'The Invention of Wings." Every time I hear this line, I crack up. You just have to be there in the moment to understand.
I purchased Monk's novel mainly because I've become a fan of Jenna Lamia's and have enjoyed listening to a books she's narrated in the past.
You can tell that Monk spent a lot of time researching the Grimke sisters, Sarah in particular. I thought Monk succeeded in bringing the Grimke sisters back to life by giving them a voice again. Also, I thought Monk did a great job blending Handful and Sarah's lives together to the point where you realize that the two characters don't have very different struggles in their lives.
I have listened to the second half of Monk's audible book a few times since I finished the entire book (just to make sure I didn't miss anything) and have thoroughly enjoyed Monk's writing. I would recommend this book to my friends who enjoy American history.
Finally, a love story that doesn’t end happily or tragically. Horan is able to portray Louis Stevenson and his wife, Fannie as they really are, human. They both make mistakes, act impulsively and drift apart, which really happens to couples. It wasn’t love at first sight and happily ever after. I really began to under Fannie and her moods towards the end when Louis had his revelation when she was ill. It takes a lot for person to step back and see the situation for what it really is and how they got there. Louis was accountable for his part in their hectic lives and was big enough to own it and tell Fannie so. A part of me hopes that Louis really did understand how much work Fannie put into keeping him alive and what a toll it took on her and her children. As far as Fannie, I understand how other viewers may say that Fannie is all about herself and to a certain extent that’s true but who isn’t? I think Fannie was a woman before her time, a woman willing to do whatever it took to get the job done.
Overall, I enjoyed the audio book very much. I thought the narrator did a fantastic job differentiating the characters and their accents. I was very sorry that the book ended sooner than I felt like I knew each of the main characters so well by then. Even though the two parts of the audio book total about 16 hours, it sure didn’t seem that long. However, if I had read the book, I can’t say for sure that I would have finished the book eagerly. I have to admit there were chapters during the book that I thought the author could have hurried through.
Calling Me Home is by far one of my favorite books this year. The story line is heartbreaking, gut wrenching but so so possibly true. The social reality revealed in Calling Me Home really helped me open my eyes to what it mean to be a minority during early American times.
Favorite: When Isabelle was tending to the rose bush outside her home and Robert showed up. My least favorite: When Isabelle's mother did the unthinkable. Ugh, that woman. Still gets me mad just thinking about what she did.
I loved the contrast of their voices in the audio book. Both readers read so well.
Robert. Who doesn't want a man like Robert?
I was disappointed that Robert and Isabelle didn't get to spend but fragments of their lives together ... that Isabelle never knew Pearl existed.
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