My Own Little Book Corner

Sunday, September 2, 2007

September Reviews

Pegasus Descending by James Lee Burke
5 stars

I enjoyed this Dave Robicheaux novel more than the last one. Burke still had a lot of his signature plot lines - the corrupt rich family, Clete getting in major trouble, Helen cutting Dave some slack and of course the rain. But things seemed a little "toned" down and more believable.

The Law of Similars by Christ Bohjalian
4 1/2 stars

I like Bohjalian's books. He presents a moral dilemma that always makes me think about what I would do. This story was the weakest one of the 3 of his I've read though. It is the story of a widowed lawyer who goes to a homeopathy and falls in love with her. When one of her patients ends up in a coma, he faces hard choices and decisions about how to help her. I think why I found this weak is because I felt more like he was in lust instead of love, even though we are told it's love. I just had a hard time reconciling some of his decisions and actions based on feeling there had not been the time or background for love that would justify those to develop.

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
4 1/2 stars

The seventh book I've read written by Ms Picoult. This is the story of an 18 year old Amish girl accused of neonaticide and the lawyer that fate seems to have brought into her life at the right time. The story is more about the Amish life, beliefs and faith than anything. There were a few events in the story that I saw coming - almost expected it to happen. Jodi Picoult is known for her twists at the end and while this one has it, it wasn't one that surprised me. If you haven't read any of her books, you may feel different. It is another well-written interesting story from Ms Picoult.

Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres
5 stars

A haunting memoir of growing up in Indiana in the 1970's and 1980's. On the surface I'm sure this looked like a great family - the dad was a doctor, the mom involved in Christian activities, 2 adopted children ..taking in 2 young black boys into their white family. Beneath the surface though, things are not what they seem. The dad is abusive and the mother more concerned about her church missionaries than her children. In reading this book I wondered about why there appears to have been no family study done before placing the 2 boys into the home, especially with it being a cross race adoption in the 70's. This is a tale of the love of a brother and a sister that endures the abuse in and out of the family. It is heartwarming and sad at the same time - a real eye opener.

gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson
4 stars

There are gods in Alabama and one of them Arlene Fleet left behind with a promise to God that, among other things, if He kept her secret, she would never return to Alabama. Things start happening to convince Arlene that God isn't keeping His end of the bargain and so a trip to see her family in Alabama with her black boyfriend by her side is needed to protect the secret. This is a very enjoyable book. Ms Jackson takes us on the trip with Arlene and Burr - and what a strange trip it can be. Arlene has a past that would make you blush, but overall she's the type girl that I would want for a friend.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
2 stars

I started this book with high hopes and was disappointed. It is a good story that I would have enjoyed if it had not been based on Bible characters. Fiction about a character that not much is known I enjoy, fiction that contradicts what we read in the Bible, bothers me. I finished this book only because so many people loved it. There were parts that I loved when it was about Dinah later in life - away from her family. But the passages that included her family for the most part disappointed me. If you are interested in reading fiction based on Bible women, I would recommend "Sarah:Women of Genesis" by Orson Scott Card instead of this one.

I, Elizabeth by Rosalind Miles
3 stars

If you are not extremely interested in English history, this book is not for you. I had a hard time keeping up with who was who and how they fit in the story. There are a lot of peripheral characters. The story really bogged down at times, but there were some interesting passages. I think I'll stick with Philippa Gregory for my English Historical Fiction.

The Slow Way Back by Judy Goldman
3 1/2 stars

This is the story of sisters, family and How what you think is truth isn't always true. I would have liked a little more character development. I liked the premise of the story but never fully connected to the characters. I didn't get a good grasp of the relationships between the sisters and that's the main theme of the book. I thought the ending was a little anti-climatic too. This was Ms Goldman's first novel and I think it read as a first novel. I enjoyed her novel "Early Leaving" much more.

3 1/2 stars

There were parts of this book that I could relate to, but much of it, I couldn't. The book begins with the premise that all women grew up wanting to be the princess that is rescued by the prince. To be honest, I don't remember that as a dream of mine. Don't get me wrong - I wanted a prince in my life, and have one, but I don't remember the rescuing part. Mrs. Eldredge uses a lot of her personal life experiences as examples to unveil the mystery. The problem I have with that is we had totally opposite experiences. Overall I was disappointed in this book, but can also see how someone else may love it. I think a lot of it depends on your age and where you are in your life.

But Enough About Me by Jancee Dunn
5 stars

I loved this book. It is the story of how Miss Dunn went from small town Jersey to the rock and roll life of "The Rolling Stone" in NYC. Through it all Miss Dunn is still the small town girl. It was refreshing to see success come to a girl who at the heart of things is a family oriented nerdy person. I could totally relate to her. I also enjoyed her writing style. In between chapters she gives "how-to's" regarding dealing with stars. I laughed out loud more reading this book than any book I've read in a long time. Very refreshing!

Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin
5 stars

Another good book. Tucker and Mutt grow up with an abusive father who barely knew they were alive. The one person who loves them is Ella Rain - their nanny. She is the one who raises them and instills value in them. The story picks up when Tucker and Mutt are grown and dealing with the aftermath of their childhood. Mr. Martin writes Christian based fiction. I love his stories because he doesn't interject God into them, instead God is just a part of the story like "real" life. This story has God woven all through it, but it is not preachy. Mr. Martin does a good job of character development. He made me want to go to Alabama and meet these people. Wonderful story of love, hope, forgiveness and redemption.



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