Category Archives: general fiction

Review: The Heart Goes Last

51psgf101pl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Book: The Heart Goes Last

Author: Margaret Atwood

Recommend: Atwood never misses. This woman is one of my favorite authors with good reason. That being said it is a challenging read but all of her books are.

I am a huge fan of the work of Margaret Atwood. She asks tough questions through her fiction about what is right and wrong. She examines social issues through her work in a way that is engaging and thought-provoking. I love that they have started to turn her work into equally gripping TV. I think this book has the potential to be one of those shows honestly.

This tells the story of a couple who like so many have lost everything and are living in their car because they have nowhere else to go until they hear about a miracle town where they will be given and job and house. There is one little catch but in their minds, it will be better than living in their car. Desperate, they sign up and find out that not everything is as it seems at first glance.

This book is gritty and deals with dystopia in a way that only Atwood can. The characters are gripping and you feel their desperation as they try to navigate the world they have chosen, not realizing all the consequences. Just when you think you have things figured out the whole world tilts and spins and you are on a roller coaster that just won’t stop.

I read this one in one sitting and couldn’t bring myself to put it down. I borrowed it from my best friend and I think it is going to have to join my collection.


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Review: We Need to Talk About Kevin

80660Book: We Need to Talk About Kevin

Author: Lionel Shriver

Recommend: This is a chilling read but a well written and powerful one.

I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for a while. I knew what it dealt with and as  a teacher I have to confront the issue of school shootings a lot. We practice for them and plan for them because they happen far too often in our current culture. My best friend grew up in Colorado and had friends who went to Columbine. When we went there on vacation, she drove me past the school because I was a high school kid when all of this went down and had studied the case backward and forwards. A small part of me wanted to see the school in real life. So when I heard about this book, it made my must-read list.

This book tells the story of a boy named Kevin who killed students at his school. It is written in the form of letters from Eva, Kevin’s mother to her former husband Franklin talking about their son and what happened. It is a series of snapshots that shows all the signs were there but that no one really thought it was going to happen.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It was intense and required me to put it down several times because I simply needed a break from the instensity.  However as I got to the end of the book I couldn’t really put it down and sat shell-shocked for a few minutes after I finished it. I honestly can’t decide if this book is staying on my shelves or not. It was a really good read but I don’t know if I could bring myself to read it again. However, it might be interesting now that I know what is going to happen to read again in order to see if there are hints to what happens earlier in the book. Definitely worth the read if you can handle the intense scenarios and situations. I will be doing a book/move comparision when I get the guts to watch the movie.

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Review: After Alice

51iydk4elll-_sx330_bo1204203200_Book: After Alice

Author: Gregory Maguire

Recommend: This was an okay read but nothing to get excited over. I want to like Maguire but he always falls short for me.

I am a big fairy tale fan. I love them. I grew up reading them and comparing the originals to Disney as soon as I could read them for myself. For years now I have read the works of Maguire, hoping somehow that he will improve but he never really does. For some reason, he takes something that should be full of life and energy and completely zaps it from the page.

This book tells the story of everyone to surround Alice from the famous books by Louis Carroll. Shifting between Lydia and a girl named Ada, we are chasing after Alice, never quite catching her.

I feel like Maguire is chasing after a great idea and never quite makes it work. This one is going to the used bookstore but will I buy the next book by this author when it comes out? Probably. I keep hoping somehow he is simply going to nail it at some point.

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Book Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

41bz6jumwil-_sx323_bo1204203200_Book: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Author: Mark Haddon

Recommend: This is quite a read. If you are looking to gain some insight into how people with autism think, this is quite a read.

This book tells the story of a young boy name Christopher who happens to be autistic. Christopher’s world is turned upside down when he discovers his neighbor’s dog has been killed. As he tries to figure out who might have killed the dog, he unravels more than he had bargained for, creating a crisis for the young man that changes his life.

The author attempts to write the book in the way that an Autistic person would process and see the world. As a teacher, I work with students from every walk of life and every ability level. For some reason, I work fairly well with students who are on the Autism spectrum. I understand their need for black and white, rules, routine, and that they need certain things to always be a certain way. For this reason, I do things like keep these students in the same seat year after year (I teach music, so I have students all the way through their elementary education), give them a heads up when we are going to do something different and try to accommodate for sound when I can (which can be a challenge in the music room). I have a fairly decent understanding of how the autistic mind works (well at least for someone who isn’t autistic) and found this to be the best attempt to try to communicate what is going on in their head I have ever read.

This book did an amazing job of communicating how overwhelming the world can be for someone with the processing issues that come with autism. How little things can actually be huge things and a reminder that people really don’t understand what they are dealing with when it comes to people who are different from them.

I think the thing that struck me the most with this book is that while teachers, social workers, and many other people have an understanding of how to work with people who are autistic, the general public often doesn’t know what to do or how to handle it. The policemen especially in this book have no clue. I know that there have been training and attempts made but I know that even so, too many police officers don’t understand that someone who is autistic is not trying to be difficult, but has unique needs that should be accommodated whenever possible.

This is definitely worth the read, especially if you haven’t really been exposed to individuals with Autism. I believe it will create a sense of compassion and understanding.

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Book Review: While Beauty Slept

Book: While Beauty Slept

Author: Elizabeth Blackwell

Recommend: If you like retold fairy tales from another point of view then definitely.

I have been wanting to read this book for weeks. I started in on it at a Barnes and Noble and  got about a fourth of the way in before I got tapped on the shoulder and was kindly but firmly reminded that the store, in fact, was closing in five minutes and they would be happy to help me at the register. While I love my bookstore, I simply didn’t have the cash that day to pick it up and so I walked out, sadly empty-handed, wanting to read more.

I finally got my hands on a copy this week and devoured it in one sitting. What a great retelling of the Sleeping Beauty tale that is devoid of all the fairy nonsense and instead paints a much more realistic picture. Think of this as the Sleeping Beauty version of the movie, Ever After. In fact, I wonder if the author got the idea for this book from the movie.

The only issue that I had with the story was that while it definitely didn’t focus on the girl of the fairy tale, I do wish Rose had been in it a bit more. it felt a bit rushed in a way. The events that had factored into the tale we know don’t come into play until at least halfway through the book and the central line of the story isn’t in place until the last thirty pages.

I absolutely loved the main character of this book. She seemed leap from the pages of the book. This book accomplished what so many can’t, the words seemed to disappear and instead of just seeing it, it was like being a part of it.

I dove in expecting Rose and got lady-in-waiting which was actually a find than what I had expected. Definitely worth the read!

Final Rating:

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Book Review: The Weird Sisters

Book: The Weird Sisters

Author: Eleanor Brown

Recommend: This is a very different and original tale. One that is outside what I normally read but I loved it!

There are different kinds of reads. Some books race through forcing page turn after page turn, making it impossible to put down until you make that final flip. They make the reader frantic, cause hearts to race and can leave you breathless. There are books that tear the reader’s heart out a little more with ever page turn and bring them back up with only a few words. Then there are books that really make you think. One where you put it down every few pages and contemplate what the author is saying. This book is one of the last kind. It took my twice as long as it should have to get through this one because it kept me thinking the whole way through.

This story tells the tale of three sisters who have grown up in a small college town with their professor father and stay at home mom. The girls had all come home after some kind of failure or another to a mother sick with cancer and a father trying to cope with his wife’s illness. Each of the girls dealing with the mess that their lives have become. One pregnant without having any kind of plan. Another freshly fired for stealing from her job. The third about to tear apart her relationship out of fear.

This book really dived into common aspects of what the girls were going through that could be understood and related to by any reader. While I don’t have a parent with cancer, I do have one with a severe illness that can cause her issues. I am the oldest child like the main character. We have all done things we regret and continued to do others in order to not deal with the guilt like Bean. We have all felt completely unprepared for adulthood like Cordy. Add in a family that reads like mad and you have something that almost any reader can connect with and learn from.

The only slight negative I might be able to come up with is that the narrator can be a bit hard to pinpoint, however it is very effective for the story being told. If you aren’t ready for a bit of confusion on this it might through you a little bit. Definitely worth the slight aggravation though.

This book is one that deserves a lot more attention than it has received.

Final Rating:

Need more than one copy!!

Need more than one copy!!

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Book Review: Before Green Gables

Book: Before Green Gables

Author: Budge Wilson

Recommend: If you are a fan of the Anne series by L.M. Montgomery this was a fun read.

When I saw this book on the library shelves I may have squeaked slightly with excitement because I am a huge fan of the original series by L.M. Montgomery and always wished that someone else would write more about Anne. I loved Anne so much growing up that I am currently on my third set of paperbacks for the series and am working on getting them all in hardback copies because I read them so often. This book starts with her birth and follows her all the way to her arrival with the Cuthberts.

The author thoroughly understood the source material and made sure to include the key families and locations mentioned through the series. I think that overall the author did a great job of fleshing out the things we simply didn’t know about or only had been hinted at by the author originally.

That being said, there were a few inconsistencies in this book. The most notable inconsistency was Anne’s attitude towards school in Green Gables was very different from her attitude towards school in this book in some ways. Also, her voice just doesn’t feel quite right through the book. The author makes a great attempt at making her sound like Anne, especially at the end of the book, however it isn’t quite right. Also, there were some small things that were missed, like Anne’s attitude towards Mrs. Hammond, which was much more positive in this book than it was in the original series.

This was is definitely a fun read for Anne fans if you can stomach a few small flaws.

Final Rating:

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Book Review: The Penelopiad

Book: The Penelopiad

Author: Margaret Atwood

Recommend: Definitely worth a read, especially if you had to suffer through The Iliad and The Odyssey in high school.

Okay, I am a fan of Greek mythology. I find it oddly fascinating that people could believe in this set of self-absorbed petty gods who thought it was fun to mess with the people they ruled over and who had limitations. I found their attitude towards women  appalling in the way you find a train-wreck appalling – so horrible but yet you simply can’t look away.

Due to these factors I couldn’t help but add this book to my bag when I discovered it at the library. I have only read one of Atwood’s other books but I found her writing wonderful to read and that’s saying something considering I started with The Handmaid’s Tale. This book tells the story of Penelope, the wife of Odysseus who went missing for twenty years. She fended off suitors by the truckload and managed to stay true to him over twenty years. Never mind the fact that he was cheating on her every time he had the opportunity.

I found the character quite fascinating in this telling of the story, although slightly inconsistent in the center due to her passivity towards her household while her mother-in-law was alive. I loved the interjections from the author of almost sheer random wanderings on the topic. It broke up the story in an interesting way and get me to think about it from a myriad of perspectives.

Definitely worth a read if you are a fan of Greek mythology.

Final Rating:

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Book Review: Inferno

Book: Inferno

Author: Dan Brown

Recommend: Not in a million years would I suggest this one to anyone…

Okay, there is not great love lost between myself and author Dan Brown. I keep an eye on his books mostly because of how much I disagree with the man. This one is the most recent book in his Robert Langdon series and is the worst I’ve read. The action is completely predictable, the scenarios stale and the supporting cast of characters are flimsy. Not to mention the theory behind the book is completely illogical. Proponents of the idea that we are going to outgrow what the earth can support is using only half the facts. they focus on birthrates and ignore the impact of disease and death completely.

The only reason I finished this  one was because I wanted to write a review for it. This one was completely phoned it and so formulaic that it was painful to read, feeling the bones poking through what thin story there was. This is a far cry from the first two Robert Langdon books. Don’t waste your time.

Final Rating:




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Book Review: The Age of Miracles

Book: The Age of Miracles
Author: Karen Thompson Walker
Recommend: Not at all what I expected but definitely interesting…

This book was exactly the last thing I expected it to be. First of all, even though this is adult fiction, the narrator is a twelve year old girl.  This book is actually feels like it’s coming from a twelve year old kid. It includes the kinds of conflicts and issues a pre-teen would be dealing with. Only a few times did I find the author slipping out of the voice a bit and they were brief and mostly due to the seriousness of the situation they were dealing with. While I knew it dealt with the slowing of the rotation of the earth, I didn’t expect it to be as fatalistic as it was. While the story was interesting and I felt compelled to finish it, this book wasn’t exactly the kind of book you couldn’t put down. In fact I did put it down, often. If you’ve been wanting to read something thought provoking but that can be read in small pieces, this is that kind of book.

Umm… yep, can’t believe this but that’s pretty much all I have to say about this one.

Final Rating:

Get it used...

Get it used…

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Book Review: The Handmaid’s Tale

Book: The Handmaid’s Tale

Author: Margaret Atwood

Recommend: It is a very powerful read but not for the faint of heart.

Imagine a society where women are not allowed to read, work or drive. Imagine a society where everyone is desperate for a child and women who could bear children were given to childless families in order for children to be conceived. Imagine being one of those women who were shunned by society and had little to no contact with the outside world. They were completely unloved and pulled away from everything they knew.

This makes me think of the poor women in extremist Muslim countries who are going through the same thing right now. They have lost all their liberty. Doctors who can no longer work, let alone be out in public without an escort. Women who have to hide themselves away from the world anytime they step into it.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book is that it is quickly applied to any Christian. They seem to forget that the women’s movement came from Christianity. Christianity was the one originally responsible for it. While I think our society has taken it too far and corrupted it into women are better than men and can do anything a man can do only better, I don’t know a single Christian who doesn’t think that women should have equality and I know some pretty extreme Christians.

I think it was a great book, I just don’t like when a great book gets turned into a weapon. That being said, this one will be joining my shelves as soon as possible.

Final Rating:

Need more than one copy!!


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Book Review: The Fiddler

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Book: The Fiddler

Author: Beverly Lewis

Recommend: If you are looking for an easy, enjoyable read.

Beverly Lewis is one of those authors that I’m reluctant to mention as someone I really enjoy. Her books are just simply not my normal fare. If you were to ask people who know me well, they might be surprised since I tend to shy away from Christian romance novels in any shape or form. However from the time my gram (my dad’s mom) handed me The Shunning, I’ve been hooked. When I saw that the newest book was about a musician, there was no way I could stay away.

Amelia is an amazing violinist who leads a double life as Amy, a fiddle player (yes, there is a huge difference). When she gets a flat tire coming back from a concert, she ends up quite literally on the doorstep of a young man named Michael who, despite being 25, hasn’t decided what life he wants to live.

I really enjoyed this sweet, fluffy book. I would classify this as book candy. A sweet light confection of a book that is a breath of fresh air after reading more heavy literature. While the story is a bit predictable, it doesn’t take away from the pleasure of it. Sometimes it’s nice to know what’s going to happen in the end.

For my friends and readers out there who enjoy this kind of read, this one is definitely worth the time.

Final Rating:

Get it used…


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Book Review: The Poisonwood Bible

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Book: The Poisonwood Bible

Author: Barbara Kingsolver

Recommend: Eh. I didn’t think it was nearly as good as all the hype around it.

I’ve heard about this one for years – literally. Honestly the title made me reticent to pick it up. Then when I found out the plot, even less so. Honestly, the only reason I read this one is that it’s on my list. So I didn’t go in having high expectations. While it was better than I thought it would be, it wasn’t life changing.

Okay, this is about a missionary family in Congo in the 1960s. They go in with no training and attempt to share with a tribe. The father doesn’t spend the time getting to know the people or culture, just preaches at them and find out far too late why nothing he is doing works. Then there is a revolution and instead of leaving, the father stubbornly insists that they remain until a live changing event occurs and nothing is ever the same again.

The writing was really good overall. I enjoyed hearing from the different characters as the story moved through. I think the author voice all but the youngest daughter really well. You didn’t get a sense that the five-year old was really five. She read like she was twelve or so, not the baby of the family.

I honestly found the parents a bit dense. First off, why wouldn’t you ask people why they don’t think baptism is a good idea? Why wouldn’t you attempt to understand the culture you were now immersed in? I think that this shows a very old way of thinking when it comes to mission work. One that rarely if ever exists today. Even then, this would not be the norm. The book really does paint the idea of mission work in a bad and inaccurate light. I’ve been surrounded by missionaries most of my life and this is not what it looks like. I think the one positive thing this does for missionaries is show how hard it is to live in such a foreign culture.

While it was an engaging read, I really don’t see myself picking this one back up again.

Final Rating:

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Book Review: The Casual Vacancy

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Book: The Casual Vacancy

Author: J.K. Rowling (yes, that one) 😉

Recommend: The writing was great, the plot however… not so much.

I’ve been dying to read this simply because I had to know what an adult by her would be like. If you’ve followed my blog for any time at all you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Harry Potter. I put this book on request at the library though because I didn’t want to put money into something that was just awful. I was slightly concerned that this book would just not have the magic (pun only somewhat intended) of the YA series.

Within the first five pages you knew we weren’t in a magical England anymore. These characters were as mundane (dare I say muggle) as they come. The whole book centers around the death of the head of their town council which creates a shift in the balance of power in their small town. Everyone is dying to get their foot in the door but soon the long-buried secrets of those running for office are being exposed for the whole town to see and it puts the whole town in an uproar.

Let me start with the positives. I wasn’t sure she would be able to write believable, honest characters that were fleshed out enough for adult readers. I was so very wrong. The characters, major and minor flaws proudly on display are complex and have quite a bit of depth. Rowling is the master of character creation and that was the only thing that kept me going.

The plot however, was just disappointing. First of all, this is small town England politics. My immediate thought was who cares and continued along those lines for the entirety of the work. Second, there is nothing truly exciting in the plot. Most of it is just dull and sad. Honestly it was a bit too real for me. If I wanted to hear about people with horrible home lives I would just go to work. Seriously, as a teacher this is a whole lot of what I hear all the time. I found the whole thing petty and just not deserving material to write a book about.

Now, the truly sad. Honestly there is quite a bit of language and some adult material in this book. It is mild in comparison to some things I’ve read but honestly it is almost completely unnecessary. We know you aren’t writing for kids here. You don’t need swearing, sex and drug use to convince us.

All in all, the characters were well-formed but I wished they had been doing almost anything else. Really glad I didn’t purchase this one. I hope her next book is for kids or at least about something more interesting.

Final Rating:

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Book Review: The Night Circus

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Book: The Night Circus

Author: Erin Morgenstern

Recommend: If you only read one book this year, make it this one.

I was reluctant to read this. I waited until the day before it was due back at the library to pick it up. I find it hard to read books about the circus. There is something so foreign, strange and desperate about it all. This book however, takes the idea to a level of surrealism that makes it feel like a grown up dark fairy tale. The author balances a complex, delicate story which could so easily unravel with a level of mastery I have rarely read. The images this book brought to my mind will stick with me for a very long time.

This tells the story of two children who are used as pawns in a competition for the amusement of old men. The game is magic and the stage is an elaborate circus that only runs at night. Unknown to each other, they compete, creating wonder after wonder, all the time wondering when it will finally end.

This story in the hands of almost anyone else would have been a disaster. This author however knew exactly what to say and what to hold back from the read. How to skate the line of believability without crossing it. How to create an ensemble of characters that worked well together, each rich in their own right without competing with each other for dominance.

I would LOVE to see this on film but I would only want to see it done by the right people.

Wonderfully written and amazing to read, the moment I closed the book, I almost ran to buy a copy for my nook.

Final Rating:

Need more than one copy!!

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Book Review: The Pleasures of Men

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Book: The Pleasures of Men

Author: Kate Williams

Recommend: Most of it was a good read but…

I actually somehow received two copies of this book as an ARC directly from the publisher. I was not sure I would enjoy it, so I had been putting it off. The title alone made me wary and finally, I decided that I needed to tackle it before it was released.

This book tells the story of a young woman, stuck within the confines of Victorian England who is somehow drawn to the violent murders occurring in London, near her home. As the body count rises, she gets closer to the truth but can’t she figure it out before she becomes the killer’s next victim?

Most of this book was an enjoyable fast-paced read with a complex, flawed main character that is extremely compelling. However, the amount of sexual content in this book made it very hard to enjoy. This author, in particular used this crude device to keep the story moving and to pad the length. It did nothing for the story but create a sense of shock and annoyance, particularly since it such an obvious tool to keep the reader plowing through the book. The book would have been much better without it.

While it was an interesting read, the center section was just too unbearable to make this something I would recommend to anyone.

Final Rating:


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Book Review: The Godfather

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Book: The Godfather

Author: Mario Puzo

Recommend: Great book, a lot of mature content but interesting read, especially after watching the movies.

Have you ever had a book that just seemed to take a long time to get through. Not because it was a hard read but because it just moves slowly even though you are enjoying it? Yep. That was this book. Great read but it took me a few days to get through it (of course watching the Olympics while reading probably didn’t help).

This tells the story of the Corleone family and the mafia in New York. I don’t know what it is about the mafia but I find it fascinating. I was impressed to see how accurate the movie was in comparison with the book! I didn’t expect the stories to be so close but they are extremely similar.

There is a large portion of almost every kind of mature content in this book so don’t expect a clean read when you pick this one up.

Great read but not for everyone.

Final Rating:

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Another Look at Harold Fry’s Unplanned Adventure

Book:  The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Author:  Rachel Joyce

Recommend:  This is a great vicarious read for those who love to walk, talk out loud to themselves and long for the great outdoors.  I takes a common man and shows us his personal struggles in an uncommonly insightful way.  Also, for anyone who cannot tolerate exposure to the sun, this book offers a virtual adventure along side the determined steps of a humble man’s solitary pilgrimage.

Setting out to run a simple errand, Harold Fry takes himself and the reader on a journey he did not chart nor plan for.  Ill shod and unprepared for his spontaneous trip, Harold suddenly summons the inner courage to step outside the known and venture out on a desperate quest he hopes will save a dying friend.  His persistence and plodding progress toward his goal become at times the end in its self, as his self-doubt and uncertainty battle against his desire to finish what he started, and somehow find a way to set his personal world right again.

The map of Harold’s journey

Haunted by the demons of his imperfect past, Harold finds faith and trust in the people he meets to overcome his many fears.  With each step, Harold finds a little more of himself, and learns to accept truths he has long buried and avoided.  He slowly rebuilds a dawning comprehension of primal values he once abandoned in response to the painful events his life.  I found this book especially enjoyable as I walked with Harold through its pages.  I trekked for hours down roads I could never personally walk, borrowing his perspective and the author’s imagination, I shared his steps and the reawakening of his heart and soul.

As a lupus patient, my auto-immunity makes me extremely photosensitive.  Lamenting my own ability to stand or walk in beloved sun light more than ten or fifteen minutes without aggravating my lupus, the idea of taking a much longed-for hike is especially welcome!

I strolled for miles next to Harold down winding paths through the rolling English countryside, and listened with him as he relished the voice each new bird’s song or echoing barking dog heard in the distance.  I shivered with him as the dank night air chilled his bony frame and dampness made him cower in the dark.  I encouraged him as he slogged through the rain, and quietly shouted hurray for him a hundred times over, as he grasped for each new ounce of strength to help him press on just a little bit farther toward his ambitious goal.

I felt as if my presence at his side somehow helped him.  I was the companion who understood his purpose when other companions failed to grasp his intent.  He trusted me with his true thoughts.

Rachel Joyce

Joyce spins her tale with skill, as she helps us understand the inner workings of Harold Fry through his winsome honesty, and artfully and patiently unveils the identity and humanness of the secondary cast of characters and walking companions.  His wife and son, Maureen and David, their neighbor Rex, a host of others, and lastly Harold’s friend that we finally meet at journey’s end, all become real and engaging.  Joyce paints a colorful host of interesting souls who are woven into the tapestry of Mr. Fry’s daunting hiking adventure. Joyce stands a great chance of gaining a stance beside two of my favorite authors, John Hershey and E.B. White.

Setting out to the mail box to post a letter will never be quite the same again!

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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Book Review: The Help

Cover of "The Help"

Book: The Help

Author: Kathryn Stockett

Recommend: No question about it. This one is an instant classic.

I’ve been hearing about this book for ages it seems. Everyone was shocked when they found out that I hadn’t read it yet. Sometimes when a book is so insanely popular, I tend to avoid it. I think it might be a bit of latent teen rebellion that’s not quite worked through my system yet. I actually am glad that I waited to read it. If I had read it when the movie came out, I know I would have been pressured to go see the movie and as much as I loved the book, I just have no desire to see the movie. I just think I would be terribly disappointed by it.

I loved this one. It tells a great story without going to one extreme or the other. Sometimes, books about racial conflict can be extremely biased. This one felt honest. Instead of taking a side, it seemed to simply share both sides of the conflict. I also love that this isn’t about the center of the civil rights movement and that there isn’t some HUGE and seemingly instant resolution.In real life, prejudice doesn’t disappear instantaneously. It is a slow progression until one day someone realizes that they have reached the end of a journey they didn’t even realize they had started.

If you haven’t picked it up yet, what are you waiting for?

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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Book Review: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Book: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Author: Rachel Joyce

Recommend: Such an amazing read. Anyone would find this one amazing.

I got this one in the mail a few weeks ago. I honestly wasn’t really excited about it. I pulled a few others of the ARC stack before I finally decided to buckle down and start it. The idea of reading a book about a recently retired man who had worked in a brewery for most of his adult life didn’t seem interesting. From the description, he seemed as dry as toast and just as interesting. I opened the book expecting to be completely disappointed.

I was pleasantly surprised that I was quickly engaged and was disappointed when I had to put the book down for dinner. I picked it up to see if I could get a bit further before bed and before I knew it, it was 3am and I had finished it. Harold Fry is bored. He is recently retired and has nothing to do with his life. His wife is distant and his son is never there. Then he gets a letter from Queenie, a woman he had worked with at the brewery and finds out that she is dying of cancer. He walks to mail a letter to her but his letter just seems completely inadequate. He walks to the next mailbox and the next. This starts a walk that spans over five hundred miles along the roads of England. A journey that will changed Harold and everyone he touches.

I loved this book. It was simple yet profound and the characters pulled the reader in. Harold was very easy to connect with. The way the author revealed more about his life in layers, letting the reader get to know him piece by piece made the story telling technique very effective.  The well-read will see the influence of the author’s favorite writers through the text in a positive way. It is one of the best examples of good writers being heavy readers I have seen in quite some time.

This is a book that will keep you thinking and want to pick up again.

Final Rating:

Need more than one copy!!

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Filed under 2012, general fiction, Review, Summer book challenge