To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Review this product
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I purchased this book in part because it was supposed to be part "thriller". In fact, there is no mystery and no thriller. The crime happens early in the story, and thereafter pretty much disappears. It is not what the book is about. That would have been OK if the story was a strong one. But, as other reviewers have mentioned, there is really no emotional depth to any of the characters, including Dannie. There is no exploration of what makes any of the characters behave the way they do, and so the dissolution of Dannie's marriage has about as much feeling to it as a decision to go out to dinner. I was also dumbfounded by Dannie's observation that her daughter's new boyfriend must have a blue-collar background, because of his large hands. Dannie could not be that dumb. Finally, the title of the book -- "Trophy House"- actually has little to do with the story. The house is in the story, but is not particularly important.
Reviewed in the United States on September 14, 2005
My personal rating system for films often gets me to a negative number based on ticket price--for example, an $8 film can get a rating from $8 to minus $8. I gave this novel a high negative number. I review nonfiction, mostly business books, so when I read fiction it is for enjoyment. This novel puzzled me...nothing to it, who are these people and who cares? It seems like it was a series of short stories, disconnected and unfinished. I was miffed at myself for reading to the bitter end, but as I was closing the book I thought of two words: vapid and insipid. I looked up the meaning of those words to be sure they described my sense of this book. Yup, they do. So all is not lost. It took me half a day to learn a couple new words.
I thought this book was superficial and not very well written. There was virtually no emotion shown by the characters. They divorced and remarried in record time, and with nothing more than a vague nod to feelings. The back story of vandalism was ridiculously underdeveloped, as was virtually everything else in this book. I'd pass.
I got it mostly because Anne Bernays (the recent widow of a wonderful guy named Kaplan is interesting. However, the book was boring. I'll put it in my Good Will box. Thanks for sending it, however. It's not your fault it was a dud or that I don't think well of it.
If I hadn't been stuck on a five hour flight I never would have finished this ....There was no reason for her political rantings and the plot was silly...so much for book reviews, reader reviews are always better...
I did not buy this book from Amazon but found it at the ReUse Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for 50 cents. What a waste of a half dollar! This book is one of the worst that I have ever read. The characters are one dimensional. The pace is slow. The plot is nonexistent. The two main characters who go through a divorce seem completely unaffected by it. The author needs to take some courses on proper English punctuation. She overuses dashes and semicolons. It was very difficult to read because the author interrupts nearly every sentence to insert side remarks. The biography of the author states that she teaches at Harvard's Nieman Foundation, which is unbelievable. If I had submitted a book like this for a term project, I would have flunked the class.
It is good to see that, so far, a majority of readers saw through this paper thin piece of writing. The protagonist's mental perambulations are so self-absorbed, that I found myself talking to the book out loud, i.e. "Oh! Please! Give me a break!" I just love her angry reaction to Husband Tom's announcement that he's moving in with the Girlfriend. And I also love how the author makes both Mom and Daughter equal in their selfish egoism. You can't really feel sorry for good old Dad who remained with this woman for 30 years and appears to have a personality like Antique White, but ya gotta love his nerve to leave.
And one more very irritating element in this novel - by book's end, even the most casual reader can see the rampant elitism that reinforces that Cape Cod image - as though Dannie and her friends are in possession of the only really beautiful spot on earth, which is annually marred by vapid tourists! In the last few pages Bernays verifies her own elitism by the comment on Beth's police boyfriend who Mom thinks might be a good catch in spite of his blue collar background. PUL-LEEZE!
"So," you ask, "why didn't you put the book down?" Well - I guess it's like watching a forthcoming train wreck - you just can't avert your eyes!
3.0 out of 5 stars"The ends of the circle are no longer meeting."
Reviewed in the United States on October 5, 2005
"Trophy House," by Anne Bernays, is yet another story about the dissolution of a marriage. Dannie Faber and her husband, Tom, are a couple in their fifties whose relationship, on the surface, appears to be solid. Tom is an anthropology professor at M. I. T. and Dannie is a children's book illustrator. Dannie adores nature and lives in her beach house in Truro from April to November. Tom spends part of the summer in Cape Cod with Dannie, but the two are often apart.
Dannie's need to live in Truro goes to the very core of her being. She is fond of gazing at "the sky as blue as a Delft plate, and almost cloudless except for a few wisps near the horizon." She and her environmentally minded friends are irate when a wealthy hotel magnate named Mitch Brenner builds a monstrous house in Truro. Dannie is also perturbed when her daughter, Beth, takes time off from work to visit her; Beth is disconsolate after breaking up with her boyfriend, Andy. Dannie's life becomes still more complicated when she becomes romantically involved with her editor, David Lipsett. The Fabers are about to undergo some painful changes and no one will emerge completely unscathed.
Anne Bernays examines the well-worn theme of middle-aged angst and she throws in some random comments about religious prejudice, 9/11, and politics. "Trophy House" is an unfocused novel in which the author fails to adequately explore the minds and hearts of her characters. Although she captures the idyllic beauty of Cape Cod with some fine descriptive writing, Bernays does less well when she depicts the decision to end a marriage as being just another lifestyle choice. Ultimately, it is difficult to care about the quirky, fickle, and shallow characters in "Trophy House."