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Rise and Shine: A Novel by Anna Quindlen
 
Timely topic about life, love and sisterhood

The Literary Lyres Book Club enjoyed this book over brunch. We rated it a 7 on a 10 point scale (10 being perfect). We used the book discussion questions as provided by Random House.

We found the book to be engaging and well written. The writing style allowed the reader to visualize the locations (New York, Jamaica, etc) and to mentally place themselves in the various locales.

The story flowed easily with characters that were realistic and identifiable. Through the various plot twists, the reader was able to follow along the journey and feel the bonds of friendship and sisterhood.

If we were casting our dream movie version of the book we chose Rosie Perez or possibly Queen Latifiah for Tequila, Marcia Cross or Laura Leyton for Meghan, Julianne Moore for Bridget and Dennis Farina for Irving!

Talk Talk by T.C. Boyle
 
Insightful, Dramatic, Fun
A cautionary tale of identity theft

The Literary Lyres rated this book 7 out of a possible 10. We had trouble understanding the vigilante attitude of the protagonist, Dana and her boyfriend, Bridger. We understand anger but especially in this
day and time. What were they thinking they were going
to accomplish when they found the thief?

We felt a little betrayed by the author when in the
very beginning the statistic regarding the high
divorce rate between hearing impaired people who marry
normally hearing idividuals was mentioned. We feel this
gave away the end and I was waiting for the
relationship to end throughout the rest of the book.

We were a little frustrated with the "chip on her
shoulder" attitude of Dana. Perhaps we don't understand
the frustration of trying to belong in a society that
does not acommodate those that are different. She was
unwilling to open herself up to Bridger on an
emotional level enough to sustain a relationship.
It was interesting to see both of the realationships
with the mothers in the story. It is amazing how no
matter what age we are, we immediately revert to some
past place with our mothers in which they take control
and we give in to their authority. It only seems to
change when the parent becomes very old an vulnerable
that the adult child can finally be in charge and the
parent welcomes this.

We were also hugely disappointed in the ending. After the dramatic, dangerous cross country trip, the final confrontation was a let down. No clear resolution.

One member of our group had an interesting insight into the names of the characters parallelling character traits. Peck: "pecked" away at the identities of individuals until he had conquered them and made their identities his own. Dana Halter was a sometimes "halting" character trying to fit into a hearing world. Bridger tried to "bridge" the gap for Dana between the hearing and non hearing world.




Digging to America by Anne Tyler
 
Timely topic

Well written, interesting story. We rated it 7 out of 10.

 
A deeply layered portrait of love, loss and redemption

This book is one of our top three all time favorities. The reader is immediately hooked and the plot unfolds into a rich tapestry of love, struggle, and survival. Beautifully written. The author was able to participate in our book club event via email which made our discussion even more meaningful. Highly recommended. The reader will not be disappointed.

The Descendants: A Novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings
 
Dramatic, Interesting, Beautiful
Timely topic, beautifully written

Exquisitely written book about love, loss, loyalty and family. Highly recommended.

 
Interesting, Dark
Psychological murder mystery

Plum Wine by Angela Davis-Gardner
 
Poetic book that shows the potential for history repeating itself if mankind does not learn from its mistakes

Beautifully written poetic book about love, loss and loyalty. A young American woman, Barbara, goes to Japan to teach at a university. She is taken in by an older Japanese teacher. The older teacher dies, leaving a Japanese tansu chest stocked with bottles of homemade plum wine to Barbara. Barbara learns that each bottle is covered with parchment that the older teacher has used to write down and document the events of her life over the last thirty years. The author's writing style is very visual with the reader easily being able to picture the locations, the food and the experience of life in Japan in the 1960's. Highly recommended for book club.

Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson
 
Poorly Written, Slow, Unconvincing
Interesting point of view of southern life.

 
Fun, Informative, Interesting
Charming tale about the redemptive quality of reading

Humorous tale of the Queeen of England's awakening to the joy's of reading. Our group enjoyed the book and found that the story humanized the monarchy. Would recommend as light reading.

Black & White by Dani Shapiro
 
Interesting, Dramatic, Insightful
Deeply layered, psychologically gripping

Inheritance by Natalie Danford
 
A deeply layered story of love, loss and betrayal.

 
An entertaining story of love, loss, and sisterhood.

Dream of the Blue Room by Michelle Richmond
 
An engrossing and luminous tale of love, loss and loyalty.

A beautifully written tale of one woman's journey to find herself through a richly layered tapestry of grief and desire. The plot sizzles with dramatic twists dealing with obsession and loss all set aboard a cruise ship in China. The writing style is lyrical and evocative. This was a real page turner. Recommend this book highly.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
 
Adventurous, Dramatic, Brilliant
A richly layered coming of age story

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
 
Insightful, Dramatic, Inspiring
A beautifully written, coming of age story

 
Dramatic, Interesting, Dark
An emotional saga of a communication impaired young man, his family, the dogs they breed and raise and the events that unfold during the course of their lives.

Overall, we enjoyed the book. We all agreed it was too long. The story could have been effectively told in fewer pages. Most members were disappointed in the ending.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
 
Informative, Fun, Interesting
A creatively written story of life in German occupied Guernsey during World War II

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
 
Graphic, Interesting, Adventurous
An intensely rich tale of love and loss that travels across time

Beside a Burning Sea by John Shors
 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Dramatic, Beautiful
A World War II Story of Love, Loss and Survival

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Dramatic, Interesting
Wonderful book

This book immediately grabbed my interest. I followed the story intensely. Absolutely engrossing. Recommend it to other readers as well as to other book clubs.

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