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My Reviews

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

Romantic, Fun, Insightful

Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Dramatic, Insightful
Sarah's Key

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Inspiring, Interesting
Left Neglected

Loved this book. Story about a women who suffers from a tramatic brain injury but really a story about life. Reminds us all of what we have and how we let life take over and forget what is really important.
The author was able to make us feel Sarah's pain without it being depressing. Like her previous book "Still Alice" it is worth the read and very informative! Loved it!

Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful

Twelve VBCC members gathered on Wednesday, June 18th to discuss “Room” by Emma Donoghue. There were many varying opinions on this book. Several members found the childish dialogue difficult to read. Some found the first part of the book tedious and slow. On the other hand there were members who loved the book and thought the relationship between the mother and child quite astonishing and the dialogue very believable.
After all the votes were in we gave the book a 3.5+.

Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Informative, Beautiful
Lovely Love Story

I found the book a bit slow in the middle but the ending made up for any deficiencies. I think it would have been more realistic had the main characters been a bit older....perhaps in their mid teens. I did enjoy the book and would recommend it to others. Probably a lot to discuss at our next meeting.

Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Adventurous
Good but confusing

Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Informative, Interesting
Still Alice review

Seventeen women discussed Lisa Genova’s Still Alice on the men’s patio at Valleybrook. The book was universally liked, given ratings of 5 by all but one, yielding a 4.95 overall. Many book club members related Alice’s travails with Alzheimer’s to people in their own lives, making the story very personal and meaningful. A number of themes emerged from the comments women made.
• Readers became immersed in Alice’s story. The consequences of Alzheimer’s disease were vividly and humanly portrayed. We learned that forgetfulness is only one symptom of this relentless disease. Alice developed perceptual distortions that limited her independence along with losing a myriad of roles that defined her as a person. “Book Wormers” were very moved by Alice’s story, finding humor and joy in her life as well as empathy for her condition. For example, the speech Alice gave was uplifting as was her relationship with her daughters, especially Lydia.

• Readers reported feeling discomfort in reading about the topic. Alice’s early forgetfulness makes us feel anxious and vulnerable about our own memory shortcomings. We wondered if we could pass the diagnostic tests Alice had to undergo (John Black…).

• Alice’s family was a common topic. The children were viewed in a positive light, but the husband was not. Some women found him to be selfish while others tried to understand his position. He was especially disliked for wanting to move Alice to New York in a career change for him.

• The book prompted some discussion about whether or not one would choose to or should know about carrying a genetic disorder.

Seducing Mr. Darcy by Gwyn Cready
Romantic, Difficult
Seducing Mr. Darcy

You asked for it...and we got it. A light, sexy, summer read. Most of our members admitted that this was really not their cup of tea and had a hard time completing this book. The author, Gwen Gready from Mt. Lebanon, attended our meeting and led a very interesting discussing on how she began her journey as a writer to where she is now. She showed us her "Rita" award that she won for this novel and entertained us with many stories relating to the writing and publishing process. We did not rate this book as a group!

Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Dramatic, Informative
Wormburners to Bookworms on "Unbroken"

Our bookclub enjoyed this book although many thought it had a slow beginning. We gave it a 4+ rating and would highly recommend to others. It is a good Book Club selection as it lead to a lively discussion on man's ability to be cruel in the worst of times. A must read for anyone who is not versed in the Pacific happening in WWII.

The Paris Wife: A Novel by Paula Mclain
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Insightful
The Paris Wife

Linda Connelly lead our discussion of The Paris Wife. She did a lot of research into the history of Hemmingway which answered our questions on how true to facts this fictional story could be. We gave the book a 3.3 rating and almost all agreed that although we enjoyed the book it was not a "page turner". Several commented on the fact that the title of the book was not representative of the true content as we came away knowing more about Hemmingway than we did about Hadley. As to whether or not she became pregnant on purpose or not, we can now verify after some brief internet research that there was reliable birth control in the years covered in this book.

Amy & Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting
Amy and Isabelle

Look Again by Lisa Scottoline
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Adventurous
Look Again

We all liked this book and rated it a 3.8. Unfortunately the book, however, leaves little to discuss at a book club event. Other than the question of "what would you do", this is a predicatable story that we all agreed was an interesting, light read. Scottoline writes well but will probably not pick her books for a book club discussion in the future. Individual reading; sure but not a group read!

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