Tuesday, April 13, 2010
…Alice Fancourt has a two weeks old daughter, Florence. She leaves Florence at home, for a couple of hours with her husband and when she returns Florence is gone and another baby is there in her place! Her husband is adamant that the baby is Florence, yet Alice calls the police and reports the abduction. Is Alice insane? Is the baby really missing? Things are not really what they appear... When one week later Alice and the baby disappear, Detective Simon Waterhouse is desperate to solve the case...
This is a "psychological thriller" in the sense that the plot relies on characters' psychological makeup: basic needs and desires, typical defenses, etc. Unfortunately the characters are drawn like caricatures. The gothic element comes from the plot setup - a heroine imprisoned in a mansion - and her struggle to escape, mentally and physically, from her prison. It is an exciting read, but ultimately unsatisfying.
Why? Mostly because the actions of the central character (Alice) make no sense, and the resolution of plot was essentially unbelievable. These are separate problems -- one concerns the plot and the other concerns Alice's character. I can't say more without spoilers. In addition, I really do not enjoy sadism scenes, even more so when the victim could fight back and does not. There was no adequate explanation given as to why one of the characters had a sadistic streak and I found this plot line to be lacking.
Finally, there is too much time devoted to an not-very-interesting and hard-to-follow interaction between two of the police detectives.
So, there you have it. Ultimately this was just an OK book. At the beginning of the book I had high hopes for it, but it just didn’t work for me
Monday, April 12, 2010
This is a story of incredible tenderness and unspeakable brutality. Living through oil related conflicts in Nigeria, Little Bee has seen things she should not have seen and has survived things she should not have survived, and now she is running from soldiers that want her dead. While attempting to escape from the soldiers, she meets up with a vacationing English couple, Sarah and Andrew O'Rourke, and a few soldiers, too. This collision of time and fate is the story at the heart of “Little Bee”.
The book starts as a mystery, then as we we learn Little Bee's story, it becomes an exploration of human relationships, love, friendship, grief, and survival. What strikes me the most is how incredibly human Sarah and Little Bee are, in spite (or maybe because of) their flaws.
Chris Cleave wrote a moving, beautiful book. His writing--and the voice of Little Bee--is poetic and very uplifting considering the dark circumstances that surround Little Bee's life. This is one of the best books I have read in the last few years. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll leave out the additional plot details--- I urge you to put this one on your reading list!
Friday, April 09, 2010
3/5/2010 –- SW: 148.1 lb.
3/12/2010--GW: 147.2 lb. WI: 146.8---->I was down 1.3 lb which exceeded my goal for the week! Hurray me!
3/19/2010: GW: 146.3, WI: 146.5----> I was down 0.3 lb. which puts me 0.2 lb above my goal for the week. I was not surprised as my 1.3 lb loss last week is a HUGE loss for me, so I really was not expecting much this week.
3/26/2010: GW: 145.4, WI: 144.2-----> WOW! A big loss for me! I hope to just maintain this weight while I am vacationing in Hawaii the next 8 days!
4/2/2010: GW: 144.5, WI: No weigh in----ON VACATION IN HAWAII
4/9/2010: GW: 143.6, WI: 144.3------->Basically, I have maintained my weight for the last 2 weeks. Considering I was in Hawaii for 2 weeks and had Easter thrown in, I am pretty happy even if I did not make my weight loss goal this week.
4/16/2010: GW: 142.2, WI:
4/23/2010: GW: 141.8, WI:
4/30/2010: GW: 140.9, WI:
5/7/2010: GW: 140.0, WI:
5/14/2010: GW: 139.1, WI:
5/21/2010: GW: 138.2, WI:
5/28/2010: GW: 137.3, WI:
6/4/2010: GW: 136.4, WI:
6/11/2010: GW: 135.5, WI:
6/12/2010: GW: 135.0, WI: MACK's WEDDING!!
6/17/2010: GW:135.0, WI: MY BIRTHDAY
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
I will keep this review short and sweet.....This novel does work with powerfully emotional subjects - loss, death, grief, child molestation. However, ultimately, The Kindness of Strangers is a novel about surviving the terrible things that happen to individuals and families. Many people may be tempted to avoid this book because of the subject matter of child sexual abuse. If you can move beyond the squeamish feelings the subject matter provokes, the novel showcases characters who are able to move on and even thrive after experiencing great tragedy.
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