I hadn't read anything beyond Stegner's short stories and was pleasantly surprised that this novel holds up every bit as well as those. At first, I thought that part of his writing was a bit stilted or reserved, perhaps maybe even a little "beyond the grasp of the unacademic," but once I got into the flow, I revised this opinion. He did handle his women subjects well, something that I think a lot of male authors either over-do or under-do. The telling of the tale in remembrance form (flashback) was the only way to handle the story, in my opinion. All in all, I very much enjoyed the book and will look for another of his novels.
I liked this book better than the first one and cannot wait to read the third in the series. Larsson develops Lizbeth more fully making the reader much more able to sympathize with her. In doing so, however, he does minimize Mikael, which is rather confusing as he was concentrated on so intensely in The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo.
I read through this book very quickly --- it was hard for me to put down! I liked the way the author switched between the two main characters' view points. Having Little Bee as an unpredictable voice was enticing. The way she masked telling of extremely grave situations with her black/dry humour was excellent! All in all, Cleve helped to make sheltered readers more aware of horror of encroaching "civilization" by putting a face and personality on on tiny part of the world. He humanized aspects of terror that most of us in the free world benignly glance over. Cleve also placed behaviour in the free world under a microscope to enhance the little horrors we take for granted as being the norm, as being typical or expected.
The book's central premise of secretly hiding a life intrigued me. Upon reading this book, I'd like to know more about how the medical profession of the era could simply dismiss a mentally handicapped infant as not being "worthy."
I had mixed feelings about this book the entire way through. The writing and technique are beautiful. Strout's telling a tale using mini-tales with a central theme was a unique way of letting the audience make judgements about Olive Kitteridge. I got to feeling depressed a bit at some of the topics in the mini-tales, and, of course, got angry and even outraged at times --- just the way Strout wanted her audience to. I did very much enjoy the little "interview" of Strout and Olive and the end of my copy as it threw out different ways to think about the story and characters. This book would be wonderful for a book club discussion, especially one comprised of people of different ages and walks in life.
I was apprehensive about reading this book after a friend of mine tried to read it and declared that she didn't care what or who was found next. However, I found it all fascinating! I come from a Christian background and know relatively little about other religions. Brooks has helped me make some "ah ha" connections amongst the three "cousin" religions in a way that only a good story teller can do. I appreciate the history entwined in the mystery. My only criticism is that the modern main character is lacking, but perhaps this was the author's intent so that the reader can see her flaws more clearly.
This book is full of surprises! I thought I knew what I was going to be getting when I started reading it, but was pleasantly surprised at the various twists and turns. It did get a little graffic and gritty in places, but I don't think that I would have it any other way now that I've completed it. The minor characters of Alice and Mrs. (and Mr.) Larsen made me curious and wanting to know more about them, especially the Larsen's, but I can see why Goolrick didn't flesh them out. I kept rooting for Antonio, though I'm not sure why. I think I was looking for his redemption, but that would've been too unreal.
I liked this book very much. I did feel, however, that the modern day main character was not as developed at the historical main character. That didn't interrupt the flow of the book. I had no clue that these things happened in France during World War II.
I really liked this book and can't wait to read more by this author! Umrigar now ranks right up there for me with Rohinton Mistry. I read The Help by Kathryn Stockett earlier this year and find this book to be similar. There are so many levels of prejudice grown from ignorance. Humans are frustrating, fascinating beings --- no matter what race, religion, nationality.