Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Peace Like A River by Leif Enger

I had a friend recommend this book to me over and over again and I definitely wasn't disappointed once I finally read it (thanks Luce!!) This is a wonderful epic tale in a book that you won't want to put down. It is impossible not to love Reuben, the young boy who narrates this novel, as well as his father, a man who is driven by his faith and love of his family.
However, there is far more that will captivate you as no other book has done. I am completely amazed by the superb prose and eloquent style. This is truly a gem that I couldn't wait to get back to and thoroughly enjoyed.

Rating: 5   Definite Recommend

Friday, November 20, 2009

Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

I have started this book twice before and toasted it.  Apparently this is common.  My g/f said she started it ELEVEN times before it grabbed her.  I am not sure if I have that much perseverance but, this was my third time. This story takes place in the 1950's and tells of a missionary and his family going on a mission to Africa.  Nathan's wife, Orleanna, and their daughters - shallow teen-age Rachel, twins Leah and Adah, and five-year-old Ruth May, each take a different chapter and take turns telling the story of their time in Africa.  Apparently there is two parts to this book: The first is about Nathan's clumsy and ill-advised attempts to fit Africa to his fundamentalist beliefs, and the family's attempts to fit their lives to Africa. The second is about the way a family tragedy marks its survivors and the different ways events in Africa mark them as well.  I didn't care for the character and even though I made it farther this time than any previous time, I still couldn't finish it. 

Rating: 1 Do NOT recommend

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kegan

This is an endearing tale about the "O'Malley sisters," Sally and Troo, 10 and 9 years of age, and their summer chalked full of turmoil and suspense. Their mother becomes gravely ill leaving them to be tended by a drunken stepfather, a disinterested older sister, and a neighborhood full of delicous, eccentric characters. Set in 1959, the book remembers days of lazy summers filled with "red rover," "green light, red light," and playground antics. Though seemingly the era of innocence, darkness hides in the shadows, and Sally and Troo stumble upon it in it's most dangerous form. Thankfully, the O'Malley's have enough family and neighbors in their arsenal to allow this book to be enlightening, humorous, and charming, as well as intense.   This book is thoroughly enjoyable and has the ability to make the reader experience belly laughter, jitters, tingling fear, and sentimental sadness.

Rating: 3.5 Ok

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Outlander by Gil Adamson

I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful quiet book.  If you are in the mood for a slow story that gently unfolds without a lot of fanfare but, when you read every line, captures you with it's beauty, then this is the book for you.  The story is set in 1903 and about a 19 year old woman who is on the run for murdering her husband.

She is being tracked by brutal-looking redheaded twins, over the plains of western Canada and into the mountains. She hears voices and sees events that may or may not be happening, causing her and other characters (and me!) to question her sanity. This adventure-suspense novel has a refined, often poetic style and maintains suspense while portraying the wilderness of Canada’s far west and providing fine portraits of the people who lived in and were shaped by it. The slow unfolding of story and characters coupled with lyrical descriptions of the terrain, an occasional touch of bizarre humor, and a multitude of well-chosen historical details is very appealing. 

Rating: 4.8  Definite recommend