Sons begins where The Good Earth ended: revolution is sweeping through China. Wang Lung is on his deathbed in the house of his fathers, and his three sons stand ready to inherit his hard-won estate. One son has taken the family's wealth for granted and become a landlord; another is a thriving merchant and moneylender; and the youngest, an ambitious general, is destined to be a leader in the country.
I liked the book a lot. I did not like it as much as The Good Earth, so I gave it 4 stars. It is very similar in style and performance and at times Sons seems a bit slow, but I didn't find myself getting bored. I didn't find myself getting overly invested either though. It was a good, solid read.
Twice in her life, college counselor Gayla Oliver fell in love at first sight. The first time was with Brian - a lean, longhaired, British bass player. Marriage followed quickly, then twins, and gradually their bohemian lifestyle gave way to busy careers in New York. Gayla's second love affair is with New Bern, Connecticut. Like Brian, the laid-back town is charming without trying too hard. It's the ideal place to buy a second home and reignite the spark in their 26-year marriage. Not that Gayla is worried. At least, not until she finds a discarded memo in which Brian admits to a past affair....
I have loved every single one of the books in this series and this was no exception. They are light reads and so enjoyable. Every time I finish one, I want to learn to quilt and find that little Connecticut town! This book does not disappoint!
Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than 20 years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders, or does she intervene?
This was my first Picoult book and I read it because I needed to read an author with the same first name as my own. I am SO glad I did. The characters in are very well written and you feel very tied to them. In some ways, it reminded me of The Help, not just because it is a book about racism but because it is written in the voice of three different characters. It is a great book and it really sends a message.
When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.
Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media: has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller's genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 A.F. (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.
I think if I had read this book on my own, without this narrator reading it to me, I would have enjoyed the book more. The narrator makes all the characters in this book sound mentally disturbed. It is very difficult to build an image in your head of the characters when he portrays them so abnormally. John, the character who was raised outside of the "Brave New World," is made to sound like a complete moron, and I don't think that is what Huxley had in mind when he wrote it. I would not recommend this book simply because of the narrator.
In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.
This was a very nice read about a young girl who had been kidnapped by "savages" and then years later, removed from her Native American family to be returned to her white family. The narration was very good and I found myself wanting to get back in the car so I could turn the book back on. If you like stories about the American West, you will probably love this book.
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office.
I can't say enough about this story. It is moving, endearing, funny... it made me think a lot about how we judge others without knowing their story and how we often write people off because they are different. This was one of those rare books that I continued to listen to after I got home at night because I couldn't wait until the next morning's commute to hear more. I highly recommend!
Winnie and Helen have kept each other's worst secrets for more than 50 years. Now, because she believes she is dying, Helen wants to expose all that has been concealed, when she decides to celebrate the Chinese New Year by unburdening herself of everybody's hidden truths - her own and Winnie's, as well as the dreadful news that Winnie's daughter, Pearl, has been keeping from her mother.
Again, Tan starts off slow with this story. Once it gets moving though, it is hard to put down. I had some issues with the performance more than anything else. While in China, the narrator gave strange accents to people. One person had the voice of a California Valley Girl. Peanut, the Winny's cousin, sounded like she might have had a brain injury (but she didn't). At times the narrator's Chinese accent seemed to slip into a British-like accent. I think she was trying to show us that people in China have different dialects just like people in the U.S., but it distracted me more than anything else. As with Tan's other books, the women in this story are strong and determined - I loved them and didn't want the story to end.
Shanghai, 1912. Violet Minturn is the privileged daughter of the American madam of the city's most exclusive courtesan house. But when the Ching dynasty is overturned, Violet is separated from her mother in a cruel act of chicanery and forced to become a "virgin courtesan." Half-Chinese and half-American, Violet grapples with her place in the worlds of East and West - until she is able to merge her two halves, empowering her to become a shrewd courtesan who excels in the business of seduction and illusion, though she still struggles to understand who she is.
When I started the book I was trying hard to pay attention, but I admit, it was difficult. However, now I realize lack of excitement was important. Tan had to make us understand the rather routine life of a young girl. It wasn't long before the story twisted and turned into a wonderful story. I found myself living vicariously though Lily. When she ached, I ached. When she felt secure, I felt secure. It was an emotional roller coaster ride and I didn't want the story to end.
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated.
I bought this book only because it was on a list of top books and I was in a hurry. What a gem! I have never read another book that was remotely like it. It is a glimpse into the early days of Hollywood and, more importantly, a glimpse into the world when falling in love with a person of the same sex was forbidden. It is such a well written book and it held my interest all the way through the end. I highly recommend it.
Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family's Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge - until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents - but they quickly realize the dark truth.
This book popped up on my recommended list, so I tried it. I am so glad I did. What a wonderful story. I had never heard about the problems with the Tennessee Home Society so I was very surprised throughout the book that something like this could have actually happened. It is a heart wrenching and heart warming story - both at the same time.
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