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The Reader
The Reader
by Carol Brown Janeway
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.11
1269 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawless!!, March 8, 2008
This review is from: The Reader (Paperback)
I read this book years ago [prior to Oprah's endorsement]. Five stars are not enough for this well written, engaging story that stays with the reader for years & years. In many ways, this is a morality tale; however, it is also so much more. Schlink provides a thought-provoking evocation of one of history's darkest times. Everyone I've given to this has had only positive things to say. Recommended without hesitation!!


My Enemy's Cradle
My Enemy's Cradle
by Sara Young
Edition: Hardcover
160 used & new from $0.01

13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beware of My Enemy's Cradle by Sara Young, March 8, 2008
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This review is from: My Enemy's Cradle (Hardcover)
I don't read traditional "historical romance" novels. The faults [and there are many] I found with this this might be explained by the fact that I enjoy a different style of writing. What I don't understand are the blurbs by authors I, generally, enjoy. Jenna Blum's "Those Who Save Us' was incredible!! This book does not come close to Blum's work. My Enemy's Cradle is written in a very elementary way -- no challenges here. It makes the Nazi Lebensborn which Cyrla/Anneke enter seem almost like a spa. Lots of good food, a sympathetic nurse, etc. I agree with another 2 star reviewer and felt that this book does not truly engage the reader. Readers who enjoy a poetic style which engages will be, most likely, extremely disappointed. I'm somewhat aghast that a writer would write about such a dark period in our history in such an almost silly manner. It is [almost] offensive. If Young really wanted some authentic feedback, why not contact Shoah Foundation?? This book does not cut it --sorry to say. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR MATURE, SERIOUS READERS.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 15, 2009 11:55 AM PST


Loving Frank: A Novel
Loving Frank: A Novel
by Nancy Horan
Edition: Hardcover
241 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frankly, Not So Lovable!, February 4, 2008
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This review is from: Loving Frank: A Novel (Hardcover)
Horan has published, at times, a stunning book. A number of passages are well worth a second reading. Unfortunately, this was, primarily, at the beginning of the novel, and her writing style did not sustain throughout her story. I found the plight of Ms. Cheney, somewhat, compelling. [Interesting that a woman is currently running for President!] However, I could not empathize with her since she chose to leave her children. Wright is not portrayed as lovable. As a matter of fact, his rather severe mood swings offer a portrait, as it were, of perhaps someone with bi-polar problems. Overall, I was disappointed with "Loving Frank" and would have difficulty recommending the purchase of this book. Get thee to a library -- perhaps, less disappointing as a costless read.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 6, 2010 12:18 PM PDT


The Ghost at the Table: A Novel
The Ghost at the Table: A Novel
by Suzanne Berne
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.22
164 used & new from $0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious Ghost!!, February 3, 2008
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This was a very readable book with above average characterizations. However, I felt much like another reviewer who stated, "What did I miss?" In my opinion, this is not so much a book on dysfunctional families as it is a book on PERCEPTIONS. Cynnie's life seems clouded by what she BELIEVED to have happened. It is, somewhat, frightening to think that one's life is so clouded by events that may OR MAY NOT have occurred. If someone is interested in reading about dysfuctional families, I urge them to read Pat Conroy, Nuala O'Failon, Sarah Willis, Richard Russo, etal. I would recommended this with reservations.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 25, 2009 12:00 PM PST


Bridge of Sighs
Bridge of Sighs
by Richard Russo
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.52
462 used & new from $0.01

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I "INTUIT" [Russo appears to like this word!]That This Book Badly Needed Editing!!!, November 24, 2007
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This review is from: Bridge of Sighs (Hardcover)
When I first started reading this book. I thought, "WOW," this is a real treat!! [Incidentally, the bar is set quite high for Mr. Russo -- justly or not.] I really liked some of the characters & felt that Russo correctly captured not only an era, but different socio-economic sectors of an upstate town. However much I liked Sarah, Noonen, Tessa, Lou [the child] the concept of "The Lynches," etc., Big Lou was too much of an oaf to be believable. This novel was badly in need of editing. It should not have become a bore/chore. The ingredients for an "important" novel were all there AND THEN IT JUST WENT ON AND ON AND ON -- for me, losing this "importance." When I state "important," what I mean is that this may have had the potential to be used in schools [or younger readers] in order to impart to students how the Depression Era, as well as post-Depression, affected individuals, etc. It could have been used as a sociological tool -- how different economic sectors and its inhabitants interact, their perceptions of one another, etc. However, as stated, this book was too long -- seemingly blurring its focus. Also, I did not quite believe the two sides of Bobby Marconi's father. This novel left me extremely disappointed....although I'm sure I'll remember those characters for whom I came to care.


Run
Run
by Ann Patchett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.68
487 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Fortunate To Have Read This Gem!! Parts Reminded Me of Beautifully Sad Arias!!, October 26, 2007
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This review is from: Run (Hardcover)
Such beautiful writing & so many engaging characters!! This book satisfies on many levels; however, this reader believes that it will be most appealing to readers who enjoy "character-driven" books as opposed to "plot-driven" ones. She displays an ability to INSTANTLY engage the reader [I became immediately a part of this book!], make one smile, as well as become misty eyed. To read this is to fall in love with Kenya -- if not all the characters. [I ran with Kenya & felt Tip's shoulder pain!!] I also loved Tennesee -- so wise with Kenya! When Kenya describes her life with her mother as "paradise," I inhaled & almost forgot to exhale. Portions will leave you breathless. It was totally credible that Doyle and Uncle Sullivan loved Tip, Teddy & Kenya, as well as Sullivan. Think about this!!! Patchett had the capacity to write in a manner that made it possible for this reader to believe that in a predominantly white, [fairly] upper class, Irish Catholic neighborhood, individuals of color would/could be accepted, cared for & loved -- and that no difficulties [absolutely no issues of intolerance] in the neighborhood or schools occurred. If only life imitated art!! In "Run," love transends all & Patchett makes this point with humility & grace. Run to read "Run!!" Brava!!


The Septembers of Shiraz
The Septembers of Shiraz
by Dalia Sofer
Edition: Paperback
165 used & new from $0.01

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Septembers of Shiraz, October 19, 2007
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This is a wonderfully written book and satisfies on many levels. One is easily drawn into Isaac's family -- one which is suffering under an intolerant [repressive] regime. The writing is often lyrically poetic -- with a number of passages well worth a second reading. There were moments when I felt like the proverbally "fly on the wall." This was especially so when Isaac was brought to prison. [Some prison scenes are quietly brutal & have the capacity to haunt one.] Honestly, I felt this way [immersed] almost throughout this book. Usually, the characters are most memorable to me when I truly enjoy a book. However, in this case, not only are the characters memorable but their situations stay with one long after the book ends. This is an ode to the past, one's roots, the importance of family, as well as to a new future promising liberty & freedom. This should be required reading -- especially for political science students, as well as students interested in literature, psychology, etc. Family dynamics are well drawn with nuanced characters, as well as their different plights. Well done!! Brava Sofer!!


Cage of Stars
Cage of Stars
by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Edition: Paperback
173 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars HAD POTENTIAL TO BE A GREAT READ, BUT......., October 1, 2007
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This review is from: Cage of Stars (Paperback)
When I started reading this book, I was immediately taken with the Swan family. I grieved with them, etc., and could not put this book down. Somewhere around page 200, this author lost her momentum. The last part of this book became, for this reader, somewhat boring. I'm rather surprised that all of the seemingly erudite people Mitchard "acknowledges" did not provide her with better guidance/information. The beginning of this book had all of the elements for a really great read. [A lovely family -- really nice people, a terrible tragedy, trauma, forgiveness, etc.] Plus, the writing was really good!! Then she seemed to lose it! Things occurred that would ordinarily would not -- I don't want to give anything away. In my opinion, Scot Early would not become what he had become [I have years of experience in this field] -- again, I don't want to spoil this read for anyone. It became sloppy after or on about page 200. I would recommend this with caution. It is not what I call "great." Perhaps, a gripping read that simply does not sustain itself -- what a pity!!


Away: A Novel
Away: A Novel
by Amy Bloom
Edition: Hardcover
314 used & new from $0.01

11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "AWAY' GOES TOO FAR ASTRAY, September 24, 2007
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This review is from: Away: A Novel (Hardcover)
My impression of this novel coincides very much with other reviewers who did not care for it -- especially P. Morris [Ohio]. I was expecting a novelized version of a realistic struggle. However, once Lillian starts her journey back for her daughter, this book lost any believability/credibility. It's one thing for a reader to suspend reality -- but how far is one expected to go? It seems as if the book loses its FOCUS. It's true that there were many characters who were interesting. However, they were not germaine to the initial plot. I thought that this would be about an individual's struggle in a new land, and it was for a brief period of time -- too brief. Then, it simply became rather peculiar -- in my humble opinion. I don't understand why "Away" is marketed the way it is, and I think that there will be many disappointed readers. I hope that I'm wrong, but I believe that this will occur.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 7, 2009 10:08 AM PDT


Family History: A Novel
Family History: A Novel
by Dani Shapiro
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.55
221 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars RIVETING, SERIOUS READING!!, September 16, 2007
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This is a serious book which realistically portrays a family dealing with incredibly sad situations. This should be read by a mature audience, as well as by people who think that they may wish to enter into social services. Shapiro deftly writes about how a family could easily disintegrate. She writes with uncanny realism. I don't view this as a "fast read." Shapiro offers much info in a rather brief book -- and gets the job done! Very sad reading... it's always sad when children are not well. This is especially true when parents feel [and are] helpless as to how to provide a remedy.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 7, 2009 10:09 AM PDT


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