Friday, August 17, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
Was I in any way kidding when I said most of the books I read are historical fiction? Apparently not.
This is not the first novel I've read by Philippa Gregory, in fact I have now read four and some. Before this I have completed The Other Bolyne Girl, The Queen's Fool, and The Constant Princess, as well as attempting The Wise Woman and Wideacre, neither of which I enjoyed resulting in me not completing them. I do think I should try The Wise Woman again, however.
It think that out of the four I've read this was my least favorite. Perhaps it was the lack of courtly drama, but it just did not move for me the way the others did. I couldn't get too invested in any of the characters. I liked Francis and Mehuru okay, but was not enthralled with what happened to them.
It was interestig listening to Sarah's hysterics. I don't think you often hear people claiming that they are better suited for handling money and business because they were born lower than that with whom they are arguing. I also was intrigued since this is an area of history I know very little about. Growing up in the US I am fairly well versed in the slave trade that climaxed at the civil war, but I know extremely little about the British point of view, how slavery was used and eventually abolished in Britain and on the West Indies plantations.
The book was decent. I do not entirely understand how Mehuru grew to love Francis, but really who can explain love. I also though the ending came about real quick. Things were moving along slowly, then all of a sudden Francis was pregnant, all of a sudden shit hit the fan with Josiah and the Hot Springs, and then BOOP! Francis was dead.
harry potter and the deathly hallows
Ok, I will be for real real and not for play play and admit that not only do I absolutely love Harry Potter, but I was so totally at Barnes and Nobles at midnight getting my book. I still have my little paper bracelet on my wrist saying I preordered my book, though I suppose that's kind of gross. I did not in any way want to put that book down until I finished it. Sunday afternoon I was done, and crying. In a small attempt to save a little of my dignity, I want all to know that I did NOT dress up for the event.
There's so much that I could say on the subject of the last Harry Potter book. First let me say that I hope no one who has not finished it is reading this as I don't want to spoil it for anyone. For the Harry Potter books in general, I absolutely love how much attention to detail there is. There's no way any of these books could be ones where you just skim over some of the descriptions and rely on the conversation to move the story along. Otherwise you miss things. Important things. Things that don't show until a few books later. For example the flippant way Sirius Black was introduced in the very first chapter of the very first book: Hagrid mentioning he had borrowed his flying motorcycle. Sirius did not become an actual character until two books later.
For this book in particular, I am torn in two ways. I feel that it what was told in the story was imperative. There was no way around it. However, I did miss the familiarity of the school year and the simple concerns of adolescents paralleling the overwhelming fear of a much bigger evil.
I have heard many people complain that there was no full turn around for the Malfoys, that there was no real act of redemtion. Yes, Narcissa pronounced Harry dead when she knew he wasn't, but that was in no way an act of repentance for the evil she and her family had been involved in, it was an act of concern for nothing other than the well-being of her son. I think many people felt the Malfoy's should have realized their wrong doings and joined the fight against Voldemort, but I definitely did not see that. They chose the dark side. They believe in what he stood for. A redemtion would make no sense.
There was one small moment that I felt was wrong when I read it, and that was the death of Fred Weasley. I read what was written on the page and thought to myself, "no, she means Percy." It should have been Percy. He had just returned to his family after almost three years of neglect. Yes, part of me wanting it to be Percy and not Fred probably stems from Fred being my favorite characted. I wept. I have never cried while reading a Harry Potter book (or really any book), but when Fred died I couldn't hold it in. And so there may be some bias in my opinion, but the beautiful irony would have been there, Percy's return to his family only to die beside them, fighting what he had for so long refused to believe.
One last problem I had with the book was that I wish we could have seen more of the coping and rebuilding. Though that I suppose would have been anti climactic.
I loved this book. I thought it was an incredibly end to an incredible journey.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
This book tells the story of Patrick Henry's family and the deteriorating sanity of his wife through the eyes of two of his daughters, Patsy and Ann. The first half of the book is told from Patsy's point of view and the second half from Ann's.
And again I'm reading childrens books. It's possible I need to work on that. I've been reading Ann Rinaldi's books for years, since I was 8 or 9 I believe. Since the time I SHOULD have been reading them. But I loved them so much and so I continue to add to my collection.
I am in many ways a nerd, and have always loved reading and learning about history which is why many, if not most, of the books I read are historical fiction, and this book is no exception. My favorite part of Ann Rinaldi's books are the end. After she's written her story, she writes and author's note where she goes through everything she's written and separates the fact from the fiction so the reader knows what actually happened and what the author has imagined.
I wasn't thrilled when halfway through the book it switched narrators. I kept forgetting and thinking that Patsy was talking which was somewhat annoying, though I imagine my own fault. The story itself was a little slow; quite a bit was spent worrying about who would inherit the "bad blood," though that did lead to quite a bit of character development. I went through the book quickly and for what it was quite enjoyed it.