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Name : Lori R.

My Reviews

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

This is a beautifully written contrast between a woman who has everything and a woman who has nothing. The dramatic scene on a beach in Africa where the two women meet is nothing short of spectacular. It's hard to think of other single scenes in fiction that present such a clear moral dilemma - the characters are believable, the ramifications far reaching. Great for discussion.

Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Adventurous
Page turner

Great read; page turner, interesting to see the author's cultural views reflected in the lives of the characters.

Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
Unusually written - something different

The subject matter is dark; the five year old narrator is not. It reminded me of the film, "Life is Beautiful." It's good for discussion on many levels - the writing itself, the narrative voice, or the issues it raises: how children see their mothers, how we cope with trauma, the media, our families. There's a lot going on in this one.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Gloomy
Linked short stories

For a break from novels, these linked short stories have a plot; it's just not linear. But the character of Olive is revealed in episodes, which is a different approach that I found wonderful. She's not particularly likable, but she is interesting. Good for discussion, to compare notes on your conclusions drawn from each story.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Interesting
I wanted to like it...but I didn't.

It's probably a good book for discussion purposes, but I didn't find it nearly as insightful as I'd hoped. The characters were a bit stereotypical and I didn't think it offered anything new. I was disappointed.

Secret Daughter: A Novel by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Informative, Interesting
A bestseller in Canada

This is a sleeper hit - it's a great discussion book about mothers, daughters, adoption, crossing cultures, marriage, living with our choices. It's a quiet read that pulls you in. I thought the characters were well drawn and the tensions were real.

It's a Canadian bestseller; I always like to see what's catching on in other places. This one is well deserved.

Book Club Recommended
Slow, Boring, Insightful
See whether your book club thinks this is a literary masterpiece

It's long. The characters aren't easy to love. But Franzen is deeply insightful about personality quirks that you may find embarrassingly true. I thought it was a very comprehensive snapshot of a certain lifestyle, a certain contemporary sensibility that was worth the read. It's been called a literary masterpiece. If your book club is full of serious readers, it's a good pick. But it's not a light, easy beach read, so may not be for everyone.

Book Club Recommended
Epic, Dramatic, Difficult
A new classic

This is a beautifully written tale that captivated me right away--It has one of the all-time great first lines in literature. For those who appreciated Moby Dick, this is a vivid reimagining of the other side. Sena Naslund is a brilliant, audacious feminist. There's a lot to discuss here.

Ape House: A Novel by Sara Gruen
Interesting, Informative, Unconvincing

For such a fascinating topic, this novel didn't deliver. We were very disappointed to see such poor character development, the near-satirical treatment of media and pornography, the haphazard inclusion of research studies for shock short, many missed opportunities to make a thoughtful commentary on modern life.

We suspected just hearing her talk about her experiences researching the book might be more interesting than reading the novel.

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