All votes and comments are welcomed!
October 25, 2016
October 16, 2016
“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know it yet.” So begins Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng.
Was it murder? Was it suicide? Or was it something else? The reader spends most of the novel thinking one thing, only to be surprised at the end with the truth. Yet, the book is more than a thriller. It is a family drama of exceptional insight with beautiful plotting and beautiful writing. By no means a ” feel good” story, it is nevertheless a book that leaves you thinking long after you put it down.
The year is 1977, the setting, a quiet all-American town in Ohio, where everyone knows one another and nothing like this has ever happened before. While the crime drives the narrative, each family member becomes more real as layers of their character are peeled back: James, the Chinese father, who has felt defined by racial stereotypes all his life; Marilyn, the Caucasian mother, whose dreams of being a doctor were shelved by the demands of marriage, family, and the times; Nathan, the older brother, whose brilliance is overlooked; Lydia, the golden child burdened with all the frustrated aspirations of her parents; and Hannah the overlooked child, a silent but keen observer of everyone in her family.
Ng creates people who are trying to do the right thing from their own perspective, and their conflicts come about because they don’t realize that situations look completely different to someone else. Although the characters are all flawed, they are presented in a nonjudgmental way that lets the reader care about their struggles and their sincerity.
Things I Never Told You moves gracefully back and forth in time, into the aftermath of the tragedy as well as the distant past, and into the consciousness of each member of the family, creating a series of mysteries and revelations that lead back to the original question: what happened to Lydia?
What did you think about this month’s book? All comments are welcomed and appreciated!
October 5, 2016
September 12, 2016
Everyone dreams. Some of us remember our dreams, others do not. But what happens when your dreams seem so real that you no longer are sure what is real and what is the result of an overactive imagination?
When Kitty opened her eyes and looked around the sage green bedroom, she had no idea where she was. The last thing she remembered was painting her bedroom a sunny yellow. This bedroom had beautiful coordinating bedding, nothing like the mismatched sheets and blankets she was accustomed to. Surely this was a dream and if she closed her eyes she would soon find herself in some other imaginary place.
But the gentle touch of a hand on her shoulder and the sound of a strange male voice told her otherwise. Someone was waking her up. Someone was calling her Katharyn.”Get up Katharyn love, your daughter needs you.”
Her daughter? Kitty Miller did not have any children. Nor was she married. But this was only a dream, and a pleasant dream at that. Why not go along? What choice did she have? She got up and walked down the hall to find her imaginary daughter, a daughter named Missy who apparently needed her. In real life Kitty did not know the first thing about taking care of a child, but in this dream world Katharyn knew exactly what to do. In this dream world she was called Mommy.
And then as quickly as it began, the dream was over. Kitty was back in her sunny yellow room. But unlike her typical dreams, this had felt real and she liked this dream world of hers. What was not to like? The Katharyn of her dreams had a beautiful house, a loving husband and children. She had everything 38 year old Kitty had ever wanted.
But when the dreams began to return and time after time, Kitty found herself living in this alternative life, it became even more confusing. Was she Kitty, or was she Katharyn? Did she own a book store or was she a stay at home mother with a handsome husband and children. Neither Kitty or Katharyn’s lives were perfect. Neither were without their heartbreaks and challenges. Could she choose which life was real? And if so which would you choose?
The Bookseller will keep you guessing until the last moment. It is a thoroughly entertaining read and a wonderful audio book!
Do you listen to audio books? Are there any you would like to recommend?
August 22, 2016
This past year has been a crazy one! Between working, weddings, grand children and parents it was difficult to find time to read and nearly impossible to find time to write.
Now, things seem to be settling down (at least for the moment) and I am looking forward to another reading season with The Friday Morning Bookclub. Can you believe we have been meeting for over 14 years and have read over 160 books together?
Our next book is anything but your typical romance novel. It is three different versions, three different “what if “scenarios. Please join us in reading The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett
March 23, 2016
…..to make way for better things to happen, because the best is yet to come!
Thank you to all of my loyal subscribers. Over the years I have enjoyed your comments and book suggestions, as well as visiting your blogs (which I will continue to do)!
January 15, 2016
Every April we have a couples meeting where we invite our husband, significant other or a book lover friend to an evening dinner meeting. It is always a challenge choosing a book that appeals to both men and women and is a good discussion book.
Some of the books we have read in the past are:
The Triple Agent
In The Garden of the Beast
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
The Plot Against America
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Devil in the White City
We do our best to keep it on the shorter side to encourage everyone to actually read the book and in the past have enjoyed some lively discussions. Of course the delicious pot luck dinner which follows our book discussion is always the highlight of the evening!
It may seem a little early to choose a book for April, but we want to give those busy men plenty of time to read. Have you read any books which you think may fit the bill? Any recommendations?
January 11, 2016
January 3, 2016
One of my many New Years Resolutions is to try to get back to The Friday Morning Bookclub Blog. I may not be as diligent about posting as I once was, but I am going to attempt to at least let everyone know what we are reading and keep our book list updated.
So hear goes……This month’s book is Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
Please read along with us!