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Name : Mary S.

My Reviews

This is a really good read!

The Descendants: A Novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings
Dramatic, Interesting, Beautiful
This was a fun read.

Our book club did a speaker-phone call with the author which made the book come alive even more.

Interesting, Dark
The characters were very real for their setting.

We were fortunate to have the author on speaker phone for the book club and he was very receptive to our ideas and comments.

Plum Wine by Angela Davis-Gardner
I thought the book was exquisitely written.

A primary theme is not to be caught in the past.

Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson
Poorly Written, Slow, Unconvincing
Did not like depiction of Southern small town life.

Black & White by Dani Shapiro
Interesting, Dramatic, Insightful
I am not sure this would be appropriate for all groups, but our group was okay

Inheritance by Natalie Danford
Rags to riches story with another story about the Italian Holocaust and yet another story of a young woman discovering her past all woven together.

Most people know of Anne Frank, not what happened in Italy. The author puts a face to the Italian side of the Holocaust, and does it well.

light summer reading

Dream of the Blue Room by Michelle Richmond
An enjoyable read, with good characters and interesting places.

The book is as steamy as the mist that arises off Mobile Bay.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Adventurous, Dramatic, Brilliant
A Gothic novel with mystery,history, romance, even fog.

Even though very long, it was worth the read.

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Insightful, Dramatic, Inspiring
Young southern girl finds love, learns about bees, and begins to forgive her dead mother during a difficult period in this country's history.

This book can lead to a wonderful discussion about the American southern black especially now with a black president elect. Our group certainly had a lively discussion.

Dramatic, Interesting, Dark
A good story about a special needs boy and how the dogs he trains enrich his life and many other people.

If you are a dog lover, are from Wisconsin, or are interested in how the human spirit can survive, no matter what your age, this book is for you.

Dramatic, Gloomy, Interesting
unknown, ,because I did not read it

I did not read this book and did not attend Book Club

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
Book Club Recommended
Graphic, Interesting, Adventurous
The Gargoyle

Amazing book comparison of contemporary burn victims and 13th century ones with a love story which is believable even though not very logical.

Beside a Burning Sea by John Shors
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Dramatic, Beautiful
Beside a Burning Sea

It was a beautiful romantic read and the Haiku introducing each chapter was wonderful. The relationship between the diverse cultures was good, given the fact that it was war times.

The Rose Variations by Marisha Chamberlain
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Insightful
The Rose Variations

A musician composer professor caught in politics of college life and the faculty she became involved with was amazingly accurate in my experience as a faculty wife.

The Sky Below by Stacey D'Erasmo
The Sky Below

I did not even attend Book Club, which I dearly love, because I hated the book and found it totally pointless.

The Fiction Class by Susan Breen
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Fun
The Fiction Class

This book is a fun, insightful look at a young teacher of a writing class and how she and her students deal with their world together in the classroom and beyond.

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Dramatic
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County

This was a fantastic, insightful and inspiring book to read. The characters were woven into and around the story in a skillful way. The importance of acceptance in a small town is an appropriate topic in our society today.

Lark and Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Difficult, Insightful
Lark and Termite

Amazing divided narrative into 4 parts telling a story of each character with nuances between each part. Intellectually challenging but worth it.

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Dramatic, Inspiring
Sonata for Miriam

The story of Adam Anker/Adam Lipski and the story of Cecilia Hagg told back and forth and interwoven through different countries and time periods is masterful.

Hold Love Strong: A Novel by Matthew Aaron Goodman
Book Club Recommended
Dark, Insightful, Adventurous
Hold Love Strong

This is a story that takes place in a housing project in New York City with endless social, physical, and psychological problems that the characters must face every day. Some of the characters are able to Hold Love Strong because of the family and persist,no matter what life throws them. It is a dark encounter with the world even though the hero escapes.

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Optimistic, Interesting
Black Water Rising

This book takes place in and around Houston, Texas. The hero or main character of the book is very adventurous and somewhat insightful. As a reader, I got very absorbed into what adventures and what the consequences would be for him. I am anxious for a sequel.

Book Club Recommended
Informative, Dramatic, Interesting
Shanghai Girls

This is a story of two sisters who grew up to become beautiful models in a wealthy Shanghai family. Their father loses everything and sells them into marriage to two brothers. What happens after their marriages and how they survive is fantastic, informative and inspiring.

Perfume (MTI) by Patrick Suskind
Book Club Recommended
Dark, Unconvincing, Dramatic

This book is a disturbing part historical,part mysterious journey of 18th century Paris on an olfactory level. It is informative and insightful, but a very dark look into the mind of a criminally insane perfume maker.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Interesting, Beautiful
The Time Traveler's Wife

This is a story of a young man who time travels and a young girl he meets. Love develops through the years and they marry. Clare, the heroine, spends much of the time waiting and develops amazing patience and understanding as the hero, Henry, comes and goes.

Mathilda Savitch by Victor Lodato
Interesting, Insightful, Slow
Mathilda Savitch

This is a story of an adolescent who tries and is trying in her dealing with her sister's death. Her mischievous behavior makes her an unsympathetic character. Even though she is a teen, she lacks forms of decency which would make her likable.

Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Fun
This is Just exactly Like You

When the mother of a special needs child walks out and goes to live with her husband's best friend, the child's father becomes a better father. That friend's girl friend then moves in with the father. Despite the rather unusual circumstances, the special needs child thrives and all turns out well. There are some memorable funny moments.

A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Dark, Scary
A Friend of the Family

This is a very dramatic, graphic, and somewhat dark story of an American family in crisis. These are educated, upper class folks who get involved in life situations that are not always of their making, but have to handled. The author is a skilled writer who keeps the characters in turmoil and leaves us with lots of questions. Therefore, the book can provide good discussions.

Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Adventurous, Informative
The Day the Falls Stood Still

This is an adventurous, informative and inspiring story, much of which is based on historical fact. It has incredible details about Niagara Falls, but it is also a love story.

Still Life: A Novel by Joy Fielding
Book Club Recommended
Graphic, Dramatic
Still Life

This is a novel by a well published author who pulls out all the stops for a real page turner. There are twists and turns which make the story about a lady in a coma addictive reading and very dramatic. The question becomes whether the lady's condition was because of an accident or attempted murder.

Book Club Recommended
Gloomy, Insightful, Dramatic
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

This is a story of a young girl who has a Danish mother and an African American GI father and how she deals with life after she falls from a roof. The circumstances are mysterious surrounding the fall of the young girl and the death of her mother and two brothers. The story is dramatic, informative about being black and white, and insightful and poignant because the author is both black and Danish.

The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Dramatic
The Girl She Used To Be - by David Cristofano

This is a dramatic, informative, insightful book about a young girl who is a witness to a murder and gets swept up into a witness protection program. What happens to her as she continues to be moved about, with name, address, and total identity changes,is riveting. When she gets captured by the people she is trying to avoid, the book gets even more exciting.

Little Bee: A Novel by Chris Cleave
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Interesting
Little Bee by Chris Cleave

This is a wonderfully written book about globalization, civility, and ethical choices. The story takes place in England and Nigeria and is about what happens to a young girl who migrates from her home country to another. The contrasts of her life and how she is treated are dramatic, informative and very insightful.

Book Club Recommended
Graphic, Informative, Fantastic
Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show

This narrative takes place in Ireland in the early 1930's. It has beautiful descriptions of Irish countryside and is a coming of age story of a young man set against a political background.

Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Informative, Beautiful
Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

I recommended this book to our Book Club because I thought it was fantastic, inspiring, and romantic. It has the age old conflict between father and son, but it is so much more. It is a historical fiction, a love story,and a story of friendship and survival. A Chinese young boy and a Japanese young girl meet and life throws them some very difficult circumstances.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Interesting
The Help

This book takes place in Jackson, Mississippi, in the early 1960s and is informative and insightful. It is about courage and relationships in the early civil rights movement. The movie, with script written by a friend of the author, does justice to the book.

Night Road: A Novel by Kristin Hannah
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Interesting
Night Road

Night Road is a novel about a helicopter mother, Jude, of twins Mia and Zach, who spends her life hovering over her family and their friend Lexi, until disaster strikes. The ideal family, who has everything, is torn apart by an accident caused by driving while intoxicated. What happens to this family and how everybody handles the tragedy are the primary concerns of the novel. The author explores many aspects of the characters with dignity, understanding and sensitivity.

Book Club Recommended
Informative, Beautiful, Adventurous
The Last Chinese Chef

This is a book about a family of chefs who cook amazing food. When a gourmet food editor goes to China to meet one of them, it becomes a love story too.

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