My Own Little Book Corner

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

2008 Book Reviews - #3

Atonement by Ian McEwan

"On a summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses the flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant. But Briony's incomplete grasp of adult motives and her precocious imagination bring about a crime that will change all their lives, a crime whose repercussions "Atonement" follows trough the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century."

This is the second of Mr. McEwan's books that I've read, having read "Saturday" as my last book in 2007. Like "Saturday" I found "Atonement" to get off to a slow start, but knowing what good reviews it has gotten and based on past experience, I hung in there and I'm glad I did. Mr. McEwan can take me away to another time and place. I liked how he showed the different view points of the actions that were taken place. I wasn't surprised by much in the book, but it was a good story that made me think about how what I see isn't always what is happening.

4 stars

Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult

"What happens when you do all the right things for all the wrong reasons? As an assistant district attorney in York County, Maine, Nina Frost prosecutes the sort of crimes that tear families apart. She helps clients navigate their way through a nightmare – even though the legal system is not always the faultless compass they want and need it to be. She learns that the easiest way to cross this devastating minefield time and time again is to offer compassion, battle fiercely for justice, and keep her emotional distance.

But when Nina and her husband Caleb discover that their five-year-old son Nathaniel has been sexually abused, that distance is impossible to maintain. The world Nina inhabits now seems different from the one she lived in yesterday; the lines between family and professional life are erased; and answers to questions she thought she knew are no longer easy to find. Overcome by anger and desperate for vengeance, Nina ignites a battle that may cause her to lose the very thing she's fighting for."

I don't know if I'm getting use to Ms Picoult's writing style or what, but this one just didn't grab me like some of the first books of hers that I read. This is a good story with some unexpected twists, but it didn't draw me in like I thought it would. I think it's because I know there are going to be twists, so I wasn't surprised. It was interesting watching the dynamics of the relationship between Caleb and Nina and how they each handled the situation. Overall though, I felt it was an average read.

3 stars

The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett

"St. Elizabeth's is a home for unwed mothers in the 1960s. Life there is not unpleasant, and for most, it is temporary. Not so for Rose, a beautiful, mysterious woman who comes to the home pregnant but not unwed. She plans to give up her baby because she knows she cannot be the mother it needs. But St. Elizabeth's is near a healing spring, and when Rose's time draws near, she cannot go through with her plans, not all of them. And she cannot remain forever untouched by what she has left behind ... and who she has become in the leaving."

Rose is one of those characters that I could never understand. She is an enigma of sorts. Full of love yet seemingly unloving towards those who love her most, a need to serve others, yet selfish and stable with her roots planted, yet a wanderer. It is an interesting story. I found myself more focused on the lives around Rose than on Rose. That is a reflection of the story though. Throughout everyone seems to live around Rose - as if she is the center. It's not that she desires that, it's just the way it is. A believable story that I enjoyed.

4 stars

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Reading Time???

As you can see, my reading has slowed down. It's that time of year where I have a lot to do and if I'm not busy at night, I'm vegging out. That means that I'm not doing anything that makes me have to think. I'm still reading - currently "Love in the Time of Cholera." I'm enjoying it, but it may be a while before I get through it. In the meantime, my "to be read pile" is growing. But I'll eventually work through them.

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