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Pointless, Boring, Unconvincing
Don't waste your time

The author had over whelming case selection bias and her citations/references were atrocious (pop culture, People and Elle magazines, reality TV programming). Yes, this phenomenon exists particularly among immature females, but not to the degree she describes; it is not rampant. I found the writing repetitive, boring, and contradictory.

Testimony: A Novel by Anita Shreve
 
Interesting, Dramatic, Insightful
Uninsightful, characterless despite a multitude of characters

This was the first book I have read by Anita Shreve, and I have not been inspired to read another. The characters lack depth and did not educe any empathy from me; they were mere sketches. Her attempt to convey different voices failed in that most of them sounded the same regardless of point of view (what 20 y.o. male uses "whom", let alone correctly?). It read like a sociology students interview notes albeit not very insightful, just descriptive.
It's a quick read, and I might have enjoyed it more as a read for a long plane ride. But not a train ride- I'd rather watch the scenery.

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
 
Dark, Dramatic, Interesting
Dramaless drama

So much more could have been done with these characters. I didn't feel the drama I think was intended. Initially, I was incited to think of Heathcliff and that book's tortured passion. But this story failed me. There was no passion, no lust, no desire expressed in this story. And I felt no connection, no empathy with any but the housekeeper- and her story was not explored. I see so much potential for this to have been a fulfilling novel, but as it it, it is not.

 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Informative, Beautiful
"Romeo and Juliet" and more, much more

This is a beautifully written story. I loved the characters and the insight into an aspect of American history with which I had no connection and of which I had little knowledge- not just Japanese and Chinese American sagas in the WW2 era, but Jazz in SanFran (!?- I'm Mid-American Jazz and Blues). How's that for a melange; Jazz with African American, Chinese, and Japanese enthusiasts. There's a little "Romeo and Juliet", some "coming of age", a bit of peri/post-WW2 culture, and family drama- all goodies for an Indie film.
Spoiler alert: Everyone must love a happy ending, even if it's not what or more than you were expecting.

Secrets of Eden: A Novel by Chris Bohjalian
 
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
Don't waste your time on these characters or the story.

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