A complex and multi-layered story that kept me reading greedily until the final page. Naslund imagines the woman who would marry Moby Dick's Ahab, and gives her a lively history that outshines that of the captain himself. The rich historical detail and honest characters gave the novel great depth.
We meet the title character as a young girl and follow her through her life on the frontier, at a lighthouse keeper's cottage, on a whaling ship and as the wife of the venerable Ahab, but that marriage is only a small part of the story.
The moment I finished the book I wanted to read everything else Naslund had written.
Well written but depressing. From the back cover:
- "A sly and wistful, if harrowing, human comedy. Hamilton is a new and original voice in fiction and one well worth listening to."
Boston Sunday Globe
- "Ms. Hamilton gives Ruth a humble dignity and allows her hope - but it's not a heavenly hope. It's a common one, caked with mud and held with gritted teeth. And it's probably the only one that's worth reading about." New York Times Book Review
- "Hamilton's story builds to a shocking crescendo. Her small-town characters are as appealingly offbeat and brushed with grace as any found in Alice Hoffman's or Anne Tyler's novels." Glamour
- "Jame Hamilton's novel is authentically Dickensian...The real achivement of this first novel is not so much the blackness as the suggestion of resilience. At the end, Ruth begins to put together her shattered body, pirit and life. Her words are awkward, as they have been all along, but suddenly and unexpectedly they shine." Los Angeles Times
- "A disturbing and beautiful book." Hilma Wolitzer
Jane Austen lovers simply don't want the stories to end. Unfortunately, wexcept for the factthat the characters have teh same names, Linda Berdoll's series is not true to the originals. A waste of valuable reading time!
This book is from another era. My husband, with his 4th grade humor, chuckled a bit, bt I found the joke offensive. They were not the least bit "dirty" but today's standars - the jokes with sexual connotations were more quaint than disgusting. What offended me was the sexist, ethnic, racial "humor" that makes me wonder how anyone could ever have thought this stuff was funny. I will not be passing it along.
Uplifting is not a word I'd use to describe this book. I did like the character of Little Bee very much - she was a complicated and fascinating person, very multidimensional. I wanted to smack Sarah and scream, "Life is not that ****ing hard, lady!"
This is a well written and riveting true story without any happy endings. I chose it out of prurient interest because I'm about to live in the community where at least one of the victims died, but found it to be a fascinating study of human interaction and a nail-biting thriller that I'd recommend to anyone with an interest in true detective stories and in the human condition. The moment I finished it my husband picked it up (his reading is usually confined to engineering texts) and he hasn't been able to put it down.
If you're a fan of the Dresden Files I don't have to tell you that the books keep getting better and better. I love the character development and the way Jim Butcher lends a genuine human element even to his inhuman cast. If you're coming to the books form the new SciFi TV series you're in luck. This is SOOOO much better!
I just finished reading Book of the Dead and Scarpetta in quick succession after taking a few years off from the series. This time around I found Kay's holier-than-thou attitude grating. For me this series has run its course. Still an interesting read as a forsensic mystery, but too easy to figure out whodunit. For this reader 16 was more than enough.