Thursday, October 30, 2008

Books read this week

Rather than try to start ten months ago with my reviews, I am going to start with the most recent and go backwards. Hopefully I will better be able to remember those which are fresher in my mind.

So, for my most recent reads:

Bookends by Jane Green
Rating: 3.5/5
Grade: D (18 and up: language, sex, and heavy themes)

A December Wedding by Anita Shreve
Rating: 4/5 (for good writing though I probably won't read it again)
Grade: D (18 and up - no language or graphic sex, but themes of adultery, cancer, accidental death, and graphic disaster images)

I read these two books at the same time. The very interesting thing to me was that both of these books I started on the day I had been thinking about an old college friend whom I have not been in contact with for nearly ten years; and both of these books were about that very thing. A very strange coincidence, I thought.

A Wedding in December is a very beautifully written book about a group of highschool friends who are reunited - after twenty-seven years - for the wedding of two of the group who had been a couple in highschool, but had married other people. The book was slightly difficult for me to get into at first, mainly because there are so many narrators and veiwpoints, and there was a long, short story woven through the book; which I at first found to be distracting, yet later was compelled by. Tragedy ran through the book, disolutionment was one of the key themes, and yet I felt that it ended with a feeling of hope that life can be good even though it is not what we thought it would be when we were young.

Bookends was much heavier in subject matter than I had expected. Homosexuality was a major theme, as well as HIV. Jane Green always has more sex in her books than I would prefer, and some profanity. And yet with all of this, she is able to pull together a good story, with laughter and lightness, as well as life lessons. Even if the book had been less deserving of credit, I have to give it something for the life dream and job of the main character; she opened up a great little bookstore with a coffe shop. A dream which I myself have had fullfilled and lost. As I mentioned before, the beginning and a large theme of this book is the freindships forged in college days, and the story revolves around the reunion with one of the friends they have not seen in ten years, and how this changes and disturbs everything. In this book it is in a funny way that this happens, instead of a grave and tragicish way as in A wedding in December.

And that is all that I have time to say, because it is way past my bedtime, I have a full day with taking five kids trick-or-treating tomorrow, and I hear the baby waking up on the baby monitor and must go get her back to sleep before she really wakes up and I am up all night.


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