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The Quickening by Michelle Hoover: This is a story of human strengths and frailty. Eddie is a symbol of strength and courage whereas Mary represents those who will do whatever they can, including telling lies and falsifying truth to enhance their standing in a community. One admires Eddie, a large plain woman who many despair of ever marrying and Frank, her loving husband, who sees the strength and love Eddie has within her. As the novel progressed, I found myself hating Mary who remained true to character until the end of the tale. The story takes place during the drought worn years in the Midwest with all its emotional, physical, monetary and social pressures. To learn more about human reactions to life's troubles pick up The Quickening.
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson: What a wonderful read about an older gentleman who falls in love! The story deals with cultural prejudices, the small mindedness of people, friendship, personal growth and understanding. It's so very charming!
Maisie Dobbs by Jacaqueline Winspear: Didn't realize that I would enjoy this book as much as I did. It's a wonderful story about a bright young woman who, in spite of her humble origins, is able to attain her potential. Maisie becomes a private detective, modelling her life after her mentor, Maurice Blanche. Devouring classics and philosophy tomes, she earns a place in a women's college. With the war in progress, she lies about her age, obtains forged papers, and becomes a nurse who is stationed at the front. There is romance and mystery in this little read. It's a very good read.
Major literary prize winner: The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen: A most interesting novel that depicts a family whose problems seem, at first, seem very dysfunctional, actually illustrate the growth and maturing of family relations. I found parts of the novel difficult to read through but those sections were needed to understand the family members as individuals. This is not an easy read but a read that sets one to thinking about life and one's own family and how it functions.
My Name Is Mary Sutter bySome of my best reads feature strong women characters. Mary Sutter is such an individual and she is my kind of woman! I felt as if I were beside her as she struggled with her society's beliefs about the place of women, not only in the community but also in tragedy such as that caused by war. Her goal to reach beyond the accepted role of women as midwives to become a surgeon is one women yet encounter when they choose to be all that they can be. This is an outstanding read.
The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman: Although my first book with this author turned me off I almost always try to give an author a second chance and this time I'm glad I did. In this book, a young woman believes that as a child she caused her mother's death because of her last conversation with her mother. Like children sometimes are, she was upset with her mother. So, growing up she had a morbid obsession with death. It took some strange life experiences, the love of two men, and the illness and death of her brother to recognize and accept the person she was and work to become the person she could be. I found this most inspiring.
The Dancer and the Thief by Antonio Skarmeta: Good story! Weaving politics, ballet and a spectacular robbery together, Skarmeta helps one understand Chile in the days it was recovering from political chaos. One begins to adore the young dancer/student, Victoria, and her romantic boyfriend, Angel, who loves her with all his heart. In addition, the sophisticated gentle thief who is adept at cracking safes, Vergara Gray, is so charming. This is a most delightful read!
Last Edited on: 5/3/11 7:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 16
I'm reading Not the End of the World by Kate Atkinson. It's one of the strangest collections of stories I've ever read! This is certainly not my kind of book, but it's a quick read and I'll be finished soon.
I just finished The Night Villa by Carol Goodman. Very good book, my favorite by her so far. Interesting, intelligent story, but also very sensual and romantic.
I am currently reading The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde. I have loved the Tuesday Next series, but I have to take a break in between each book, I find that I have to read every word to make sure I understand what is going on, kind of exhausting!