Monthly Archives: January 2012

Advice needed…

Okay guys, here’s my dilemma.  Have you ever started a book, and been drawn into it pretty quickly?  I bet most of you can answer that one with a resounding “YES!”  Have you ever had that same interesting book just as quickly lose your interest?

I’m reading The Dovekeepers, by Alice Hoffman.  The book is really interesting!  I love the writing style, the characters are deep, the story  is good; so why is it taking me SO long to get through this novel?  Have you ever experienced this?  If so, what did you do?  Did you keep going, or stop?

The funny thing is, I checked this out from the library and now it’s over due.  I can’t renew it since it’s such a new book.  I feel like I have to   finish it before I return it.  Is returning the book unfinished giving in to defeat?  I’ve told myself that I don’t want to incur any more late fines and if I haven’t finished the book by Monday, I’m returning it.

Am I alone in this?  Has anyone else ever had a book that was good, but that just was so difficult to get through?  I wish I understood why! It’s driving me crazy!  Insight?  Advice?

 

😀

~Pockets

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What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Synopsis:  What Alice Forgot is a novel based around, you guessed it, a woman named Alice.  Alice Love is a thirty-nine year old mother of three.  She’s recently separated from her husband Nick and has a whole life that completely revolves around being a “soccer mom.”  She is a health and fitness fanatic who, while in her spin class one Friday, suddenly faints.  She hits her head pretty badly and wakes up thinking that she’s twenty-nine.  She can’t remember the last ten years of her life.

I adored this book.  The trouble is, I’m having a hard time putting my reasons into words.  The title makes me smile.  What Alice Forgot.  What Alice forgot though is really only half the story.  She forgot the feelings of hurt as her husband work too much.  She forgot how hard it was to relate to and cope with her sister Elisabeth’s overwhelming bitterness at her infertility.  Alice forgot quite a lot of things.

I think the more important part of the tale is what Alice remembered.  She remembered how Elisabeth took care of her when their father died.  How close they were while their grieving mother wouldn’t take care of them.  She remembered what it felt like to be close to her sister, to grieve and sympathize with her over Elisabeth’s miscarriages.  Alice remembered how Nick would bring her tea in bed; she remembered renovating their dream home.  She forgot her built up anger over a thousand pent-up irritations and was able to remember what it felt like to really love her husband.  She forgot to be jaded and remembered what it was like to be hopeful and carefree.  To tell the no-time-for-anyone soccer mom to take a breather.

I think that this novel does a great job of showing just how amazingly important it is to keep life in perspective.  Temper the feelings of the present with the experiences of the past.

I still feel like there is so much that I want to say about this book and just can’t.  I’m so glad someone bought this one for me and that I didn’t just check it out from the Library.  I’m definitely going to want to read this one again.

~Pockets

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Secret Daughter turned on me.

Have you ever had a book turn on you?

I just started reading Secret Daughter byShilpi Somaya Gowda.  I found this book from, oddly enough, a food blog that I adore.  It’s the first book I’m reading that the blogger reviewed.  I greatly enjoy her recipes and her stories about yoga, but I think I’m learning that we really do not have the same taste at all in books, (especially since she liked Jodi Picoult.)

By the second line of this book, the main thing that is running through my head is: “Present tense?  Really?”  Undaunted, but wary, I continue on and find myself getting interested in the story.  So far it is following the story of two women.  One is a woman in India, who has a baby girl and gives the child up for adoption.  The other main focus is the infertile woman who adopts the baby.

The first part of the novel is, I’ll admit, rather interesting.  But as I’m getting into the second section this novel is starting to get annoying.  I just cannot stand the adopted mother, Somer.  All through the first part, she complains about how she wanted more than anything to be a doctor but now that she is a doctor she just want a baby.  At the end of part one, she adopts Asha.  Now in the second part of the novel, Asha is six, and all Somer does is complain that motherhood does not come naturally to her, and she’s fallen behind her med school peers.

Seriously?  Good God lady can you be thankful about anything that you have?  I don’t understand how she doesn’t commit suicide since she seems to be regretting something or other constantly.  I’m a doctor, I want a baby.  I have a baby, I want to be a doctor.  It is super annoying.  I don’t think that I can keep reading a book where the main character is so impossible to relate to.

I understand that as humans, sometimes we want what  we used to have, but Somer just takes it to another level.  At this point, I’m not sure if I want to keep reading and see if she finally realizes what she has and learns to appreciate it, or if she stays a whiny ungrateful bitch throughout the whole thing.

Suggestions?  Have you ever had a book turn on you?  You’re liking the book and then suddenly you realize the plot is ludicrous, or the characters are ridiculous, or some other crazy flaw that you just can’t get past?  Did you stick it out and finish the novel?  Did it get better or worse the more you read?

I’ll let you know how things turn out.  😀

 

~Pockets

UPDATE: Wow, I actually did enjoy this novel. I’m excited to say that Somer did not remain a whiny bitch and I’m glad that I kept reading. Not my favorite book ever but Gowda did a good job of showing that family is about choices and commitment more than blood.

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Jewish Historical Fiction

Has anyone else discovered this amazing genre??? It’s pure deliciousness. A bit random, I know, especially since I’m not Jewish. But boy do I love it! I blame my mom (naturally) since my sister and I watched Fiddler on the Roof every weekend while she cleaned house. We’d put our hair up in kerchiefs, and sing all the songs, and designate who got to be which character. I’m Chava till this day! 😀

As you can see, from a very young age, I was exposed to the beauty that is the Jewish culture. From Fiddler on the Roof, to the Old Testament filled with characters like Esther who bold said “If I perish, I perish.” Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, the two former were brought to live even more by the books by Orson Scott Card, the latter two in one of my all time favorite novels, The Red Tent. I could read Jewish historical fiction till the cows come home.

I didn’t really notice this about myself until recently. My last trip to the library I ended up with Jerusalem Maiden by Talia Carner, and The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. Our of three selections, two were tales of Jewish women. Now that I’ve realized this about myself, I can’t wait to really delve into this genre more.

Does anyone else have a fascination with historical novels about a culture that you are not personally familiar with? Or know of any GREAT Jewish historical fictions novels I just have to read?

Until next time!!

~Pockets

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