Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Spring Reading Thing 2007

In case you hadn't heard about the Spring Reading Thing 2007 challenge, I highly suggest you get your cursor on over to Katrina's at Callipidder Days to find out more about it. You'll find over 200 bloggers who have committed to reading something this spring. Your list can be as few as one or as many as you deem doable for you. The point is to get reading!

You don't have to review your books, but I like to do it because I know there are other readers who value my most astute and scholarly opinions about books. Okay, so we know that's not the case... Let's just say that it gives me a reason to post and leave it at that, shall we?

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards was an intriguing tale of one man's desire to withhold pain from his family and one woman's charge to right a wrong.

In 1964, Dr. David Henry, upon delivering his twins - one healthy son and one Down's syndrome daughter, sent his daughter away to an institution, thinking that she hadn't a chance to live. Recalling first hand the grief and pain endured by his parents who lost a child, he solely thought of the welfare of his wife and the avoidance of loving a child only to lose her in a couple of years. When his wife awoke from delivery, David told his wife that they had twins, but the daughter did not survive.

The nurse assisting with the late night delivery and in charge of taking the girl to the mental ward decided that she could not, in good conscience, leave the girl in such a dreary and mal-conditioned place. She determined to bring the girl up as her own, so she left everything behind and started over in a new city with a new daughter that no one else wanted, save her.

The story continued over the decades, showing how that one instant decision made on a wintery night affected the lives of so many involved. Grief for a daughter never known, questions for a sister who died on the day he was born, a weary heart over a unchangable decision, and love and hardship to raise a girl against the prejudices of society are viewed throughout the novel. Every life and relationship was altered one way or the other on that fateful night.

The debut novel was explosive and emotional, weaving the reader through waves of anger, frustration, laughter, tears and hope. The author had a good grasp on leading the reader from one situation to the next without allowing them to wallow too long in them. Edwards was able to make the readers feel for the characters and still have hope for them. I would definitely recommend this book, and I'll be looking forward to the next showing from her.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield is another debut novel, this one being a novel of gothic suspence and mystery. What would you do it you were a reclusive, unknown daughter of an antiquarian bookseller who just received an invitation from the most famous writer in the world, asking you to write her autobiography - a past that she had purposely obscured and riddled with falsehoods to keep every other reporter in a quandry?

So began the story of Margaret Lea and her quest to find the truth from the master of storytelling, Vida Winter.

I want not to give away anything from this spell-binding book; therefore, I shall just tell you to get this book and read it. Seriously, it was a page-turning, a thought-stealing magical journey through the past of Miss Winter and her tumultuously odd family. And even I, sleuth and twist-guesser extraorindaire did not discover or imagine the ending. I do not think you shall be dissatisfied at all when you are at the book's end.

Lastly, there is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. What shall I say about this book... Let me just put it this way: Do not read this book unless you are married and have your husband around to satisfy your *ahem* needs... several times over. Good night nurse! Why didn't anybody warn me about this book!!! Well, it got my blood running, so it had to be good for me somehow... it was quite aerobic in that sense. The story (yes, there actually was one!) was entertaining and lively and filled with wit and humor, but really, it was just something to have between the sex scenes. But I'll give Gabaldon one thing about her novel: all the bedding is between one husband and one wife - who are married to each other. It wasn't with several characters and adulterous left and right. That was a surprise... I mean other than all the sex itself.

(Now you watch, there's going to be a run on that Outlander book starting today...)

That's it for the reading so far. I'm in the middle of The Boleyn Inheritance, Dune, Eldest, and my selected Bible reading (and a couple of other books not on the list... come on! I had to read them! They forced me at gunpoint...) So I should be able to have another recap for you shortly.

Until then, go vote and then riddle me this: what are you reading that you think I should check out too?

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