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My Reviews

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Fun, Beautiful
Firefly Lane

The book was so well written I couldn't put it down. The story drew me in and kept me interested until the very moving ending. The characters were well developed and interesting, so realistic I felt like I knew them.

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Fun, Beautiful
Captivating Story

Kristin Hannah is an inspired story teller. She makes you feel the emotions with her characters. I found it difficult to put the book down I had to know how it was going to end. Her next book True Colors was excellent too. When I found it at the library I had to take it home and see what it was like and I was not disappointed! Thought it was an even more intriguing story.

Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Optimistic, Interesting
Unique family story

Interesting story of a young woman who approaches her life challenges with care and never ending optimism. Quirky but realistic family dynamics.

Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Optimistic, Interesting
A Tale for the Season

Charming, quirky short story easy to read. Interesting family dynamics written in style that kept you interested and relating to many of the characters

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
 
Interesting, Dark, Pointless
if you like fantasy

This book was extremely difficult reading at first. The second half was much more engaging. the content was disturbing at parts. Death seemed to be dealt with in a disrespectful way. Seemed like a twisted fairy tale with a very sad ending.

Saving Cicadas by Nicole Seitz
 
Book Club Recommended
Pointless, Dramatic, Insightful
Unexpected subject matter

From the outset I could never imagine where the story would lead from the beginning; the ending took me the reader on an unexpected journey of discovery about a subject often taboo even in society today because as Christians I believe abortion to be murder of a child. The way death was described gave me pause as well. But I am glad to have read it, I would not have bought it under usual circumstances but rec'd it in the giveaways so Thank you for the book.

One Summer by David Baldacci
 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Dramatic, Insightful
Family Triumphs over tragedy

Personally inspiring story line.

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Romantic, Interesting
Great Storyteller

An interesting cast of well developed characters, with intrigueing twists in the story line. There was mystery, romance, deception all interwoven. Mr. Baldacci is quite a story teller who writes in such a captivating manner that his books are hard to put down once you start reading. This was the first book of his I read about seven years ago. It drew me to read many of his others since.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Informative
not worth my time

At my stage of life I have read thousands of books so it was difficult to keep my attention. This writer told the story so poorly from the outset. I only made it through 198 pages in ten days. My usual speed is a novel in no more than three days. We had a lively discussion at our book club meeting it devolved into a debate more about religious ethics and our personal feelings about the death penalty. The death penalty issue I feel is what motivated this writer but she didn't make her case very well. Another member who shares my maturity had read the entire book she said "don't waste your time" and told me exactly the ending. Other club members who are fond of Jodi Picoult writings said this is not her finest work; this definitely did not convince me to read any others.

Ladies of the Lake by Haywood Smith
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
Interesting Twist on Family Dynamic

It has been 3 years since I had the opportunity to read this book; it was recommended by another book club member. I have read the authors other books about the Red Hat Club and enjoyed all of them so I seconded the suggestion. The six members in attendance last night all liked the book as well.

 
Insightful, Optimistic, Fun
My Nest Isn't Empty It Just Has More Closet Space:The Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman

To really appreciate the nuances in this book you will need to be 40 something or older sandwiched between a young adult daughter and an aging mother. I found it so entertaining I couldn't put it down. But since members of our book club range in age from 20-60's it didn't hold appeal for the younger members. Having experienced the dilemmas of letting go of a fledgling leaving home and making peace with an aging parent gave it relevance for myself, however those who have not shared these yet thought it read like an infomercial...sometimes a book with short chapters told with humor is like taking a day at the spa, just refreshing that's how I viewed this one.

Daughters-in-Law by Joanna Trollope
 
Interesting, Insightful
Daughters-in-law

Great descriptive narrative about how challenging relationships can be within the family dynamic. In the end the lesson I gleaned was you have to trust the choices your children make of a life partner, be there for them when asked only & lastly maintain interests of your own so as to not be judged a "meddling" mother-in-law.

Nightfall (Bantam Spectra Book) by Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg
 
Book Club Recommended
Dark, Interesting, Dramatic
Nightfall

I did not get to finish reading this book at this timebut it provided such a lively discussion amongst the six members of our club in attendance that I must finish it again ! This genre doesn't appeal to me at this stage of life but I read it the first time in college and found them fascinating back then.

On the Island by Ms. Tracey L. Garvis Graves
 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Optimistic, Adventurous
Moral Dilemma

Two people of different age groups find themselves in a challenging situation. Living closely together in a life threatening situation they develop an emotional bond that is not considered acceptable in society.

 
Book Club Recommended
True to life challenges in small town America

The prevailing character Bettie Shelton elicits feelings of contempt to utter sorrow as signs of her dementia are played out amongst very well developed cast of characters in this enthralling story. The story captivates as each characters challenges are told in such a manner that you can't help but feel you know them well.

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy
 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Beautiful, Slow
Overcoming adversity

When the main characters life is impacted by her impulsive life choice she must perpetuate a lie to change the course of it for the better. Each subsequent guest is fully developed as the story enfolds. Maeve is the ultimate storyteller in this which would be her last tale to be published posthoumosly.

The Smart One by Jennifer Close
 
Dramatic, Slow, Difficult
Too much negativity

All of the characters lives were full of flaws. True life is filled with challenges but the mother was such an enabler it was amazing any of her children could function. Finished the book hoping for some redemption but it just never got better.

 
Interesting personal account

Autobiographical story by Julia Sweeney, some amusing anecdotes. But mostly written in a matter of fact tone of lifes challenges and how one gets up each day to face them.

 
Book Club Recommended
Tale of Family Created in a Different Fashion

Well told story of author's family built on adopting this dog mutilated beyond belief then adopting twin boys and how they grew into a family unconventionally but filled with love and care. The fortitude that Oogy possessed inspired all who came to know him.

Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn
 
Dramatic, Dark, Interesting
Unnecessary vulgarity, vile tale...

The entire tone of the book spoke of pure evil. The "f" bomb was overused, wholly uncalled for. One member refused to read but a portion of the book for that reason, I felt the same but got through the story as moderator for the club I feel compelled to read materials that I would not ordinarily choose. The subject of marriage was made a complete mockery in this authors tome. The underlying theme of EVIL made it downright distasteful.

 
Book Club Recommended
Slow, Poorly Written, Unconvincing
Triumph over Tragedy

Told in an honest no holds bar manner of the challenges faced by an entertainer and how her fame impacted her family in negative ways. She doesn\'t make excuses or gloss over but tells an often sad but moving tale of how they worked through the tough times and survived the ultimate loss of her daughter. The story is uplifting in some ways though you should have a box of tissues nearby.

The Kitchen House: A Novel by Kathleen Grissom
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
Historical Tale told as current saga

This story was related in such a spellbinding fashion it was impossible to set it aside. The last half of the book kept me awake til dawn because i had to know the outcome. The characters were so well developed I cried when each met their fate by illness or treachery. All the issues of the era, slavery, discrimination, women being treated as chattel the heroine Lavinia had to be stoic thru it all. Learning that her brother died shortly after being separated from her, betrothed to a man nicknamed \"mr. Boring\" ending up married to a man tortured by his own demons who took out his evil on her. This author is to be commended for making it feel contemporary.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Beautiful, Inspiring
Creative Family solutions

When Capt. Smiley announces an upcoming deployment his sons express that they will miss him at their family dinners. Thinking of his empty chair at the table he suggests they invite friends or neighbors to dinner. One son replies \\\"may i invite my teacher\\\"? So begins this heartwarming account how the Smiley\\\'s; a military family spend the year in a creative manner inviting political figures, athletes, teachers, and others they want to learn more about to share simple meals and end up enriched by their experiences. Sarah\\\'s recounting of the challenges she faced not only that of military wife but working mother who is finishing her master\\\'s degree as well. Reading this touched me deeply as a member of two military families I could relate to the story in many ways.

Time Flies: A Novel by Claire Cook
 
Book Club Recommended
Can you ever really go back?

Two friends face the age old question "do we attend our high school reunion or not?" One of them is in the process of getting divorced which has her asking even more about what direction to take with other life issues. This story is told with humor, compassion and humanity. It kept me interested til the very end. And the author brought it to a realistic end which I enjoyed very much.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Pointless, Insightful
Revisit the 60\\\'s in parochial school

Refreshing to take a look back on my childhood in an era where the world was changing rapidly but we were still insulated in our grade school world more sheltered from sex, violence etc. than our children are today with it all just a touch away on the internet. An innocent time filled with angst caused by those whose parents insisted their child was \\\"the best\\\" at everything. Throw in caricatures of nuns who believed in absolute control at all cost and enjoy the simple humor of one boys experiences in this time period. Having several brothers plus two grown sons it was relatable for me. And two of the nuns reminded me of former teachers.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fantastic, Fun, Insightful
based on discussion of book by club members

perhaps I should not be the one entering this info as I did not get a chance to read it myself. the lively question/answer session at our recent meeting convinced me that I Should read it. the title suggested western fiction to me but to my surprise that was not the subject matter at all. but rather an interesting interpretation of life after death so to speak. in the Christian vernacular comparing Purgatory to \"the Office\" and how one might be elevated out of that position or left lingering. This book incited the most dialogue we\'ve ever had. Wish I had read it so I could offer better personal insight but as someone who reads a very diverse catalog of material I am intrigued by this story.

 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting, Informative
Well Told Account of Indian History

This novel captured my sense of adventure and kept me reading into the night by the rich characters so well developed I could picture them and hear their voices in the different dialects. Every detail of everyday life explored in depth of life on the prairie as members of actual indian tribes, somewhat gruesomely graphic at times.

Bettyville: A Memoir by George Hodgman
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Interesting
Touching Narrative on life with Aging Parent

Author explores life with his aging mother when he returns to small town America from NY city and reflects on his relationship with his father as well as a gay man. An emotionally moving story the chapter on his sexual exploration after college was unneccessary to the overall telling of his mother's final days and his acceptance with living a slower paced life in Missouri.

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