Profile for Eileen Granfors > Reviews

Browse

Eileen Granfors' Profile

Customer Reviews: 682
Top Reviewer Ranking: 664
Helpful Votes: 4745




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Eileen Granfors RSS Feed (Cape Fair, MO)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
The Possibilities: A Novel
The Possibilities: A Novel
by Kaui Hart Hemmings
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.26
127 used & new from $1.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life and Grief, October 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Was "The Descendants" a book/film you loved? It was for me, and it wasn't George Clooney, who sold me on it. It was the story, the dialogue, the family dynamics. I

Kaui Hart Hemmings' new book, THE POSSIBILITIES, is well named. We have a family who has lost their only son in an accident. sarah, the mother, stuffs her grief away into the most secret parts of herself, trying to prove she is moving on, that life will go on without her beloved Cully, a young man in his early twenties, lost too soon.

For Sarah, her father Lyle helps to keep her sane by annoying the heck out of her. Her quiet husband in his grief makes her think her marriage is not worth saving. She's not a daddy's girl in love with Lyle, but at least he knows how to hit her sore spots and make her blink back into real life instead of the robotic, grieving woman her friends and neighbors shy away from. Who knows what to say when someone so young is gone without anything but bad luck to blame?

The entire tourist town of Breckenridge, Colorado, is enticingly described so that if you have never visited the Rockies, you are invited to smell the pines and fresh air, admire the aspens, and listen to the wind sing its song of grief.

The most interesting relationship in the book is that of Sarah with Cully's girlfriend, who shows up at the door one day. They edge towards one another and back away. Whose was he anyway? His mother's? His love's? What possibilities lie ahead?

Inside, Sarah's heart is broken. To accept the girlfriend would mean giving away part of her hidden grief. Can she do it? This book is a meditation on hidden grief. Americans have a hard time with death and mortality, and here, Hemmings shows her understanding of the way people will stretch themselves to their thinnest grip on reality in order to seem normal after a terrible, hurtful death. Hemmings uses arguments and humor. She uses setting and surprises. Therein lie THE POSSIBILITIES.


A Sudden Light: A Novel
A Sudden Light: A Novel
by Garth Stein
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.86
100 used & new from $10.34

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The House of Riddells, October 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Garth Stein created one of my favorite literary characters, the dog Enzo. Te huge success of THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN would have been enough for some writers to pack up and spend their lives swaying in a hammock in Bali.

But he's a writer. He must write for himself, for the world. Lucky us. A SUDDEN LIGHT gives us not a beloved dog, but a tortured teen, Trevor. Trevor's feuding family is in some ways the stereotype of the modern family, with brilliant parents, an old family homestead, with two odd occupants, and a young man alone when taken to the world.

But Stein pushes us way beyond stereotype. His characters, from mysterious Serena to the supposedly demented Grandfather of Riddell House (nice pun!), we re drawn into a world of secrets. There are family secrets. There are ghosts and an echoing ballroom. There is terror in the night and clues of things out of place each day.

When Trevor's father, Brother Jones, says that the "house is rotten," he's not throwing around a platitude. Like Poe's House of Usher, the house and the household are rotten. Like David Guterson, Stein evokes the wet, misty climate of the Northwest and follows the rot upon the land that was the lumber industry. Like Stephen King in his novel 1963, Stein includes a secret staircase. He does this naturally, not like a copycat rat of an artist.

Each element is carefully placed until the answers come to light. Riddell House, once exposed, is a worm-ridden corpse (think Hamlet). What a glorious and suspenseful ride A SUDDEN LIGHT is as it rollercoasters the reader through until to the inevitable ending.


The Abyss Beyond Dreams: A Novel of the Commonwealth (Commonwealth: Chronicle of the Fallers)
The Abyss Beyond Dreams: A Novel of the Commonwealth (Commonwealth: Chronicle of the Fallers)
by Peter F. Hamilton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.98
55 used & new from $14.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unanticipated Pleasure, October 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As a rule, science fiction is not for me unless it involves some kind of plague, apes, or a visit to a developing world that mirrors our own. I took a chance on Peter F. Hamilton after talking to some sci fi fans at the library.

Hamilton hooked me from the title forward. "Abyss" is one of my favorite words. Although it would have been better to both my enjoyment and understanding to have read the entire series in order, Abyss carries through with its own action and deepening of character.

The idea of the abyss, the black hole, that swallows individuals and worlds makes the Commonwealth a dangerous place to live. Added to the intrigue of the dangers that lurk outside their universe, there is danger in the machinations of the evil within. Certainly, Star Trek's aphorism, "Resistance is futile" seems to apply to every character and every scheme as there is no where to hide.

Until! Until Nigel Sheldon is put on the case to find the key to the mystery of the abyss.Until we find out if all that is gone is put away out of sigh or obliterated. Until we are sleepless from nights of reading too late to find out how the Commonwealth can use alien beings and beings from planets much like their own. Is it enough and will they "live long and prosper."

This amazing imaginary universe absolutely brought me to the top of the science fiction meter. No longer will I shun those shelves. This book is as exciting as anything I have ever read. Hamilton has quite a trove to select from. May I make the time to read them all. What is sleep deprivation compared to fabulous writing of an original world. I am a fan of Roberto Gonsalves artwork. THE ABYSS BEYOND DREAMS is like falling into a Gonsalves' picture, asking the question, "what if"?


Eleven Days
Eleven Days
by Lea Carpenter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.27
111 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A Term of Honor, October 14, 2014
This review is from: Eleven Days (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Lea Carpenter debuts in a novel of unexpected subject and depth. She writes of a mother-son relationship, close and chipper, everything is fine. Until . .. Jason decides after 9/11 that he wants to be in the Special Ops unit and not go to college. He is charming and kind; he reads. He is everything a girl would dream of marrying. But he is also dedicated to his TEAM, and TEAM is what Special Ops and any platoon is about.

The book tells you to start that he is missing. his mother, Sara, has been living a half-life since he left. She never was truly in love with Jason's father, and when he left, he left. She made sure Jason had plenty of role models. But she lives for him and through him. The thought of losing him is unbearable.

The book is told through many flashbacks. There are summaries of things one would expect all the details on (the girl he thinks he might marry is just a cypher, an excuse not to go home for the holidays). Sara never knows where Jason is or what he does. She only knows he is a leader with the code of warfare in his heart and soul.

The ending of the book, as Sara is swiftly sent by private jet to the place Jason is contains more suspense than a Hitchcock movie. I don't know if she has all the military details right, but she hits the target with her words: the reader's heart.


Mastering Running (Masters Athlete Series)
Mastering Running (Masters Athlete Series)
by Cathy Utzschneider
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.02
58 used & new from $6.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Run Your Best, October 10, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Utzschneider covers running in a way that includes science and kinesiology with time patterns, pacing, and weekly progress. She doesn't ignore age or distance. Every chapter focuses on an aspect of training. She assesses likely injuries, includes stretches and warm-ups, and goes on into getting your run right. For me, neither a runner nor a scientist, the book is extremely technical, but my daughter a marathoner is sure to give this book a work out. Written by a woman, I wish she had had a man and a woman or a woman on the front cover (which has nothing at all to to do with the quality of the book but may limit book store women browsers to skip it based on the cover).


The Poet's Wife
The Poet's Wife
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enticing Well-Woven Story, October 7, 2014
This review is from: The Poet's Wife (Kindle Edition)
I made a chance remark about this novel on Facebook, and the lovely people of Bookoluture sent me a copy.

Stonehill's debut as a historical novelist is Beforeastute and well written. Whether historians will quibble with facts, I don't know, for like many readers, I know the Spanish Civil War primarily through the works of Hemingway. To provide even more interest for the literary, the father of the family (the poet of the title) aspires to be a poet like his idol, Garcia Lorca. The works of Lorca as well as his experience in the war are included in the plot. Art lovers will recognize Picassos's Guernica.

Before the war, Eduardo and Luisa are busy with their family, safe in the confines of their upper class life. Though Luisa tempts distrust and discrimination she befriends the much-maligned gypsies, who live in the countryside caves. This gitano family joins their own when their security is threatened, and the acceptance of them tells much of these rich Spaniards.

The war goes well for those revolting for more freedoms for a few weeks. Then the government's forces attack with such ferocity that cities are emptied, centuries' old buildings are destroyed, all are at risk. Eduardo's brother, Miguel, marks their home as untouchable (he is aligned with the Franco side), and for awhile all is as well as it might be in such a torn society.

The novel is told through three narrators. Each has particular interests, and there is never any doubt of which woman is speaking. Isabel, the oldest daughter, finds that she is more than a rich educated girl as she serves in the hospital. She endures the sights, sounds, and smells of the dying. She listens to each man that she can sit with, giving him peace of mind even as his spirit leaves. She falls in love. Her wounded hero is a citizen of France so that when all foreign fighters are expelled, hearts are bound to break.

As the family moves on to Granada, Isabel grows more. The tension of a missing brother, a missing father, and Isabel's missing love builds. The war spares no one, nor does it safeguard the Spanish architectural treasures in Barcelona and beyond.

Stonehill has written a compelling, fulfilling novel that reminds us again in this age of wars, of the futility of war, the strength of family, and the beauty of love.


Ballroom: A Novel
Ballroom: A Novel
by Alice Simpson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.25
70 used & new from $6.58

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dance like no one is watching, September 27, 2014
This review is from: Ballroom: A Novel (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Dance like no one is watching, but don't write like no one's reading! BALLROOM by Alice Simpson portrays six separate characters, each with an unhappy life. Each decides to liven things up by dancing again in an old, musty once-famous ballroom. While the writing is deft, what is missing is missing by the author's choice of allowing 6 narrators to tell their stories. With so much to assess from each, the reader begins to feel nothing but sorrow and pity. Jennifer Egan's A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD is a better example of this technique, and though her characters also feel lonely and sad, their lives feel full of hope for the future.


InterDesign Metalo Hose Shower Caddy, Satin
InterDesign Metalo Hose Shower Caddy, Satin
Price: $29.99
2 used & new from $29.99

4.0 out of 5 stars It mounts easily on a hook or nail and can be fairly ..., September 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Sometimes I see things that can be used for other than their main intent. This shower caddy works very well in the garage. It mounts easily on a hook or nail and can be fairly flush to the wall. The main thing I noticed, is that the caddy sways off balance if heavy objects are removed for use. So it becomes a matter of physics to decide what can be put into the four compartments and how well the device can be off center while you use whatever it is you remove. We have tried things like WD-40 and Raid--no problems at all with those. If you need a way to clear your workspace of canned or bottled oils, etc. , this shower caddy works in the garage and I'm sure it works in the shower with equal ease.


Micra Digital 2-Pack Anti-Glare Screen Protector for iPhone 4 / 4S
Micra Digital 2-Pack Anti-Glare Screen Protector for iPhone 4 / 4S
Price: $6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars and the easy to attach film works like a dream, September 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
All summer I asked why on earth there wasn't a screen that could be read in the sunlight for my phone. By chance, Vine offered these digital 2-pack anti-glare screens. While these are pointed towards I-phones in the ads, I have an android, and the easy to attach film works like a dream! I don't have to make a tent under a towel or a sweatshirt to see my texts, phone numbers, or pictures! There are some little bubble spots which I attribute solely to my own inability to properly attach the screen. If you've need an anti-glare device, go for it! This is a good one, even with a few whimsical bubbles.


Death at Chinatown (Emily Cabot Mysteries) (Volume 5)
Death at Chinatown (Emily Cabot Mysteries) (Volume 5)
by Frances McNamara
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.88
24 used & new from $8.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eating Bitterness, September 24, 2014
DEATH AT CHINATOWN surprises in many ways. It is the fifth of a series by Frances McNamara, a series based in solving mysteries. Yet this particular mystery makes much of the setting in1896 Chicago. The main character, Emily Cabot, is already a step ahead of most women in the era. She has an advanced degree. She has taught at the university, but has taken time off to bear and rear two children, one an infant and one a toddler. She is offered a chance to come back to lecture, and how she would enjoy the world of academia again. But childcare? What to do? Her husband is fairly dispassionate.

She walks into a demonstration of one of the earliest forms of x-ray. Two Chinese female doctors attend the demonstration, explaining that what they are learning in Chicago is helpful, but anything requiring electricity is not going to be of use in China when they return. They introduce Emily to the theories of Chinese herbal medicine. Soon, a Chinese herbalist is attacked, with two Chinese gangs at war overseas and through representatives in the U.S.

Emily is overwhelmed with decisions. Career at the university? Children and childcare? Social issues such as racism and immigration laws? What must she conquer first?

While the story is filled with the atmosphere of the 1890's with arguments pro/con women's rights and immigrant rights, the mystery itself is somewhat lost in the plethora of details of the era. McNamara has a deft touch for history, but will need to weave more danger and false leads (red herrings) into the plot to call the book a mystery.With folk tales, traditions, and contrasting traditions, this is a highly engaging book for lovers of historical fiction.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20