Discussion Forums - Contemporary Fiction

Topic: Anyone like Chris Bohjalian's books?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Anyone like Chris Bohjalian's books?
Date Posted: 4/28/2008 2:42 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,538
Back To Top

I've now read 3: Water Witches, Midwives, and Law of Similiars.  I enjoy his writing style.  I also like the fact that his plots take on unique subjects.  Each one covers something I know very little about.

Anyone else enjoy his books? 

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2006
Posts: 296
Back To Top

I had Before You Know Kindness loaded into my iPod, but the sound was less than clear and I had to erase it. Rereading the plot just now, I'm very interested again! Who does he write like, Mel?

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2005
Posts: 295
Back To Top

I read Before You Know Kindness and Midwives, and enjoyed both.

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 9:55 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,538
Back To Top

Leigh, I'm not sure.  I have only read one Anna Quindlen but he seems similiar to her.  Each book usually centers on a criminal act, that may not seem criminal depending on your perspective.  But, the people involved aren't your usual characters.  Midwives is about a midwife and how one delivery her family, the community, etc.  Water Witches is about a family of female dowsers living in an area where water becomes scarce.  Law of Similars was about a man who gets involved with a homeopath and how one of her patient's treatment brings on a crisis.

It's hard to explain.  I don't think I'm doing a very good job of it.  In each book, from a legal stand point it all seems cut and dry.  But, then when one views the problem from each characters' point of view and from the choices they each have to make, it isn't always so easy.  The ones I've read are about choices, dilemmas, and the results of our choices.

Linda, you have read them.  How would you explain them?

Date Posted: 4/30/2008 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,513
Back To Top

I am a homebirth mom, and I loved "Midwives". I've not read any of his others.

I can kind of see the comparison to Anna Quindlen. Although, with her I will actively seek her out as a write, him I've not done that yet.

Date Posted: 5/6/2008 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
Back To Top

I enjoyed "The Buffalo Soldier".  It is about white parents in a small town who foster a black child.  Very well written.

Date Posted: 5/9/2008 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 10,760
Back To Top

I read "Before You Know Kindness" and enjoyed it very much.  I didn't care for "The Double Bind."  I have "Midwives" and "transister radio" on my TBR shelves... but those shelves are so full who knows when I will get to them!

Date Posted: 5/12/2008 3:12 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,538
Back To Top

I haven't heard of the Buffalo Soldier or Transistor Radio.  I'll have to check them out.  I have "Before you know Kindness" in my TBR.

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 10:20 AM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2006
Posts: 2,819
Back To Top

I have Trans-Sister Radio and Before You Know Kindness on Mt. TBR, and hope to get to at least one of them soon.  Loved Midwives.

Date Posted: 6/14/2008 12:25 AM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2008
Posts: 773
Back To Top

I read Water Witches and Midwives and enjoyed them both. I've got 4 more of his books on my TBR shelf. I've discovered so many books here on PBS that my TBR pile is really growing. But I will definitely read the Chris B. books. I love how he intertwines so many different aspects and perspectives into the story. When I read Midwives, I was amazed at how well he wrote things from a female perspective.

Subject: Chris Bohjalian
Date Posted: 7/20/2008 3:50 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 93
Back To Top

I have only read Midwives, which I thought was very powerful.  Yesterday my husband gave me Skeletons at the Feast for my birthday and  I have been reading it all day - I just can't put it down. He chose the book not knowing anything about the author, but rather because the novel is set in WWII Germany and concerns  a group of people who are desperately trying to get out from between the Nazi and Russian fronts and to the safety of the British and American zones. This is quite similar to what my parents had to do to get out of Latvia, which was crushed by the Nazi and Russian offensives. We finally made it to the American Zone and eventually to the US, where I had the opportunity to grow up in a country where I had choices and opportunities.  I am enjoying this book tremendously,.

Subject: Sort of
Date Posted: 9/7/2008 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 2,290
Back To Top

I read Buffalo Soldier and LOVED it. 

I am right in the middle of Law of Similars which I am finding fascinating.  I will defintely look for more books by this author - I find him to be quite interesting. 

Last Edited on: 9/7/08 9:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2008 11:02 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2007
Posts: 4,868
Back To Top

In order of best to less-goof, I've read:

  1. Midwives LOVED it
  2. The Buffalo Soldier really liked it a lot!
  3. Trans-Sister Radio meh, okay, but could have been better
  4. Water Witches didn't like it at all

And have most of his others on Mount TBR.

Last Edited on: 9/11/08 11:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/1/2008 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 2,290
Back To Top

I just finished Law of Similars and have passed it along to a co-worker. 

I was mad at the end of the book because it didn't end like I thought it would or should.  But, by no means does it make it a bad book, in fact is was excellent.  THis is not a topic that I know anything about (homopathy) so it was quite an enjoyable read.  I do recommend it. 

I am going to find another book by him and see if I like that too. 

Subject: Double Bind
Date Posted: 10/6/2008 6:36 PM ET
Member Since: 10/8/2005
Posts: 5
Back To Top

We just did it for book club--very intriguing.

Date Posted: 10/11/2008 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,538
Back To Top

Wendy, it's funny when you like a book but you are angry at the author for the ending.  I've done that many times before.

Skeletons... is on my wish list.

Date Posted: 10/23/2008 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2006
Posts: 1,665
Back To Top

I just read Skeletons at the Feast.  It read quickly and I enjoyed it.  So he has more historicals?  That's what I would be interested in.

Date Posted: 10/24/2008 8:39 AM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 2,290
Back To Top

Just finished my last book and will start The Double Bind by Bohjalian next...anyone read that?  I got it from our library's book sale. 

I didn't care for Transister Radio or Before You Know Kindness.  I loved Buffalo Soldier and right now a co-worker is reading it - she is loving it too.  She and I are reading buddies and when we read a good book we turn each other on to authors we might not even consider. 

I haven't seen Skeltons Feast...I guess I'll have to put it on my Wish List, right behind Melody :)


Last Edited on: 10/24/08 8:40 AM ET - Total times edited: 2