I enjoyed this book. Even though it was centered on an idea that already existed (the book is exactly like Jane Eyre complete with crazy hidden wife on the third floor, young romance, Jane growing up and finding herself, etc.) it was different enough that it seemed like a branch of the original story instead of a dull retelling. In this version, Jane Eyre is actually Jane Moore and Mr. Rochester is now Nico Rathburn, a world-famous rock star. Jane goes to work for Nico as the nanny of his young daughter and falls in love with him. I really like Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, and Lindner’s version gives the story of Jane a fun, contemporary twist. I’m glad someone finally decided to turn Jane Eyre into a more modern tale like all of the contemporary retellings of the classic Pride and Prejudice. Maybe someone will publish a Jane Eyre zombies version as well.
Summer is almost here and I found a good summer vacation book. It’s a love story and a mystery. Four young people in the town of Walls of Water, North Carolina are united by the mysterious body found under a peach tree. The Blue Ridge Madam is an old home that has been restored by socialite Paxton Osgood. The home was built by Willa Jackson’s great great grandfather but the family lost it after suffering financial problems. A reopening gala is planned when they discover the body under a peach tree that is being relocated. The only two people who really know what happened are the two grandmothers who live in a retirement home in town. Willa falls in love with Paxton’s twin brother Colin and Paxton falls for Sebastion. It’s a small town but they all feel they belong there. Nice summer read.
If you’ve ever gone to a store or restaurant and felt like you were invisible then you can relate to this book. Clover is in her mid 50′s and when she looked in the mirror one day and she had vanished. The strange thing is that no one noticed. Her husband and kids didn’t notice because she did all the things they expected her to do but they never really looked at her. When she saw an ad in the paper for a monthly meeting of invisible women she realized she wasn’t alone. All the women had one thing in common. They had taken several drugs from one pharmaceutical company for depression, menopause and calcium deficiency. Although Clover found out being invisible wasn’t all bad, she could eavesdrop on people, it was not going away. In the end the women gathered together to bring down the pharmacy and let the world know what they were doing. I kept waiting for Clover to reappear when she was out in public because she usually wore no clothes. But luckily it never happened.
Andi is at her breaking point. From having to deal with her parents to coping with the death of her younger brother, she is ready to give in to the sadness and anger she feels. Her pain is lessened with anti-depressants that tend to bring her life out of focus. Her grades drop as a result of the medication’s side effects and her father, concerned she won’t get into a good college, makes her come with him on his business trip to Paris in an attempt to get Andi back on the right track.
Alexandrine, a girl of the French Revolution, is torn between saving herself and saving a little boy she has grown to love as a younger brother. She too is ready to give in to the anger and fear threatening to suffocate her.
Over two centuries separate the two girls, but Andi finds an old diary of Alexandrine’s hidden in a guitar case and eventually discovers they have more in common than she thought possible. Finding solace in her words, Andi forges a connection with Alex through her diary entries, and begins to find that Alex’s life in the past can help Andi decode her own complicated life in the 21st century.
Although the beginning of this book was fairly slow to get to the point and very depressing, I grew to like Andi and Alex. I enjoyed how similar the two main characters were and how parallel their situations seemed. The story within a story writing style kept me interested in both main character’s situtations. However, the references to the French Revolution and music history were a little stuffy to me. That much detailed background (especially the names of revolutionaries and royalty) was irrelevant to the story. By the end of the book, I felt it was a good storyline. It just needed to be a little less of an historical account so it could focus more on the characters of the book.
Barb is a divorcee who has lost everything. She has no money, and the car she drives needs more oil than a Mac truck. To make matters worse, her children have been taken away from her. Her controlling ex-husband (or experson according to Barb) has taken what she wants most, continuing to lord over her even after their disastrous marriage. A series of strange events leads Barb to make more money than she would have thought possible. She moves into a house once lived in by Vladimir Nabokov and finds what she believes to be a lost manuscript of his. A very odd entrepreneurial opportunity presents itself, giving her the strength and, oddly enough, the resources, to fight back for what she wants instead of always listening to what everyone else thinks she needs.
This book was rather odd. I didn’t love it, but the messages within the book were good. What was interesting for me was it was written in the voice of Barb. It is almost like the ramblings that go on inside your own head, so although she did come off as sounding a little crazy, it wasn’t too strange, as everyone has those crazy inner thoughts. It presents Barb as a 40 year old mother who is trying desperately to fit into a community that sees her experson as a god. She is just a woman who wants her children back, and is willing to try anything to make that happen. I liked the parallelism between Barb and how the book was written. In the beginning of the book, the writing seems very unorganized, as is her life. As the story progresses, Barb begins to understand herself and what she wants in her life. The book becomes more structured and clear, which to me was an interesting way to write a book.
Cassia is just a normal teenager excited about growing up and finding love, getting a job, and starting a family. The only problem is, she will never have the freedom to choose any of that. The Society, through decades of shaping and perfecting a sophisticated Matching system based on character traits of each individual, chooses everyone’s life for them. Utopia in disguise, the Society’s decisions are all a ruse to fully control the people of the different Provinces within Society. When Cassia receives her ideal husband at her Match Banquet, she can’t believe her luck. However, a small Society mistake makes her question whether their choice for her lifelong love could be wrong.
A 2012 Gateway Readers Award Nominee, this book is a strong reminder of how valuable the ability to choose in life is and how it feels when that gift is taken away.
The Postmistress is a story about two women during WWII before the US gets involved. Frankie is a war correspondent in London and Iris is the postmaster in a small town in Cape Cod. It’s a time when mail was an important way of communicating around the world. Frankie sees all the horrors of war in Europe while Iris listens to her radio broadcasts and waits for the US to decide when to send troops. They eventually meet in Cape Cod and both have a secret they have been keeping. It’s a sad book but that’s how most war stories are.
I’ve been a long-time fan of Ellen Hopkins’ work. Of course, the vast majority of it is teen/YA oriented, so naturally I was curious to read her foray into adult fiction.
Here’s the basic storyline: 3 women, all very different, come to a place in their lives where nothing is as certain or easy as it once was. Holly is married with several kids and has the picture-perfect life. Except for the fact that she regrets marrying early and not finishing school. This sense of lost time sparks her to explore the extra-marital world, allegedly “research” for the erotica she’s beginning to write . Her best friend, Andrea, a divorcee with a teenaged daughter is mostly privy to Holly’s colorful lifestyle but neither particularly supports or condemns the choices Holly makes. Andrea is more concerned with her daughter who is on the precipice of adolescence. Finally, there is Marissa, Andrea’s sister. Marissa is unhappily married with two children. One has a degenerative disorder that will ultimately end her young life. The other is gay, which both parents are still attempting to come to terms with.
The story cycles through each woman’s point of view and their stories begin to intertwine. I’ve always been a fan of Hopkins’ prose-poem style of writing, which she continues to use here. It works well in this context, though less observant readers may find themselves confused as to which character is speaking. I personally had trouble relating to these characters, mostly because I’m not yet married and have no children. Also, I’m about 10 years younger than they are. In fact, aside from Marissa, I’m not even sure I really liked the characters. I wouldn’t exactly recommend this to teen readers of Ellen Hopkins; this is definitely an adult book. I’m so used to reading teen fiction that I found myself blushing at some of the more intimate scenes. It is, however, probably a very good choice for mothers of teenaged children as the relationships presented between the mothers and their kids is particularly well done.
This was a nice light romance and a good start on a new trilogy for NR. These trilogies all kind of follow a formula, but it is a formula that works pretty well. We meet the three Montgomery brothers and their potential love interests in this book. I liked all the characters; they were well developed and had their own distinct voices. I can definitely see how the romances are going to play out and it should be interesting. The story was a good one; I liked the rehabbing of the inn as the main plot point. I also enjoyed the supernatural plot…the ghost in the inn. It worked with the story and didn’t seem too out of place. I didn’t think the whole stalker storyline worked though. It just seemed like it was thrown in there to add tension that I don’t think the book needed. It seemed out of place with the rest of the story and I didn’t think it worked. I don’t think every romance needs some psycho to strengthen the bond between the couple. It was working just fine without it, but NR does like to throw in a psycho or two so I guess it couldn’t be helped. Otherwise the book was fun and enjoyable.