Mental illness is a tough topic to discuss. Barbra Claypole White, in The Promise Between Us, does an excellent job giving us insight into OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) through an entertaining story about a mother (Katie) and daughter (Maisie) who both have OCD.
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (January 16, 2018)
Forms of OCD are different, yet similar. Katie uses mantras to face down the relentless, unwanted, thoughts in her head. One of her mantras, repeated often, is:
Beartown is a story about a small town, who’s existence revolves around ice hockey. The junior team, this particular year, is headed for the semi-finals with a good chance at winning the finals.
In essence we see, when bad things happen and controversy strikes, the heavily ingrained ‘ice-hockey’ culture affects the overall views and culture of the town-folk. People begin to take sides.
It seems the entire town is explored from players to coaches, teachers, parents, students, local factory workers, the local pub owner, hockey club board members, sponsors … We learn who is on the right side and who is on the wrong side.
One observation (not a complaint) is that the author, seems to be vested in all of his characters as, in addition to the main story, many tidbits of information about the various character’s past, present and futures are included. The over development of characters works well in this small-town story.
Continuing with a tradition started with Sheila over @ Book Journey, I am selecting a new word for 2018, a word to reflect on throughout next year. This year my word is Joy! While considering this for my word, I began to see it a lot. It is the holiday season, so it’s no wonder. I was definitely feeling hints of this word last year too. I thought I would hang onto this thought throughout 2018!
Going through family medical issues for over a year and having successful outcomes, I feel we have a lot to be joyful for. I will call on this feeling throughout the new year. Being joyful, also brings on feelings of being grateful to the powers that be.
I appreciate all my friends who follow my posts. I wish you much joy this holiday season and much joy throughout the new year.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng is a well written, well thought out story. The first half is devoted to laying ground work and building characters, the second half is to the engrossing plot.
Set in the time period around 1980, I’ve tagged this novel as Historical Fiction as it describes the times of that period (making me feel old). I remember the history and time period well.
I read/listened to Little Fires Everywhere in starts and stops and found it was no problem picking up where I left off and no problem enjoy each and every chapter. The narrator, Jennifer Lim, did an excellent job.
At the heart of this story are two families, at different sides of the spectrum, one very domestic and middle-class with a mother, father, and four children and the other a mother and daughter who are nomads. The children are adolescents. The focus of the novel is the mother/child relationship. I am amazed at the number of perspective Ng manages to bring into this story.
While I have marked this novel as Historical Fiction, the 1980s were not too long ago and the issues at the heart of this novel have not changed much.
In Ng’s previous, debut, novel, Everything I Never Told You, family dynamics and disconnects were central to the story. So far, this is common theme in her work.
I listened to Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross. It is about a women, in the 9th century who becomes the Pope. It is historical fiction that has gotten high marks, but I struggled getting started with it. However, even though it has difficult vocabulary and even many words in Latin, I enjoyed the story and wondered how much of it is based on believed truths. Almost toward the end, I was compelled to look up information about this pope and got a clue to how the story ended.
At the center of this novel is the stark contrast between men and women’s places in society.
The narrator had a gruff voice and I wasn’t sure I liked it. However, she did represent the various character’s voices distinctly which helped in following the narration.
There is a movie based on this novel, that got less than stellar marks.
The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck is fairly predictable, but still enjoyable. It is a ‘Christian’ based novel. I found the religious undertones to be distracting. I think the story would have stood better on its own without some of the ‘preaching’.
Instead of magic, there is divine intervention that takes place with a wedding dress sewn with gold thread that is beautiful, timeless and fits every bride who wears it (without alterations).
Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 9 hours and 50 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Publisher: Oasis Audio
Audible.com Release Date: April 13, 2012
I tagged this review with Romance and Light Reads. This novel is not too complicated. It was a pleasant read I think, especially because of its predictability.
There is some meat to the novel as it switches between present day Birmingham Alabama, and 1912. I always like going back in time. The examination of relationships leading to marriage is also entertaining.
I enjoyed the southern setting. The narrator, Eleni Pappageorge, does a good job with the southern accent and representing both male and female characters.
So, if you like romance, light reading and can take a little preaching to, this would be a novel to enjoy.