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My Reviews

 
Book Club Recommended
Epic, Dramatic, Adventurous
Excellent read.

I enjoyed Ken Follett's telling of this story and it's sequel a great deal. The characters were interesting and well-developed. There was detailed information about medieval life, cathedral architecture and design that helped support the story. Plus lots of mischief, misdeeds and mayhem. Great stuff!

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Insightful, Interesting
Favorable Despite Flaws

Our group enjoyed this book. Most members felt the writing was excellent and could easily relate to the story line. We found Alice's character to be interesting and relate-able. She clearly changed a lot over 10 years but was, perhaps, too willing to let her marriage disintegrate over that period of time, while nurturing her friendship with the neighbor and indulging in the creature comforts that her husband's career-advancement and financial status provided. The additional sub-plots were interesting once we understood who was speaking, to whom and why. A couple of people had a "hard time getting into the story" and felt the author "took too long to tell it" and didn't like "having to figure out the characters." Overall, our collective review was favorable. We could see the story translated into a movie using an African-American cast featuring Kerry Washington as the lead character, Alice.

 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Inspiring
Beautiful Love Story

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was written in a diary format. The story was engaging from the start. Although there was a lot of violent scenes in the beginning of the story, it felt true and set the foundation of an exhiliarating tale and a beautiful love story. I highly recommend it!

Church Folk by Michele Andrea Bowen
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Fun, Interesting
If you're familiar with the southern black church, you'll get this story.

Impressions of this book differed within our book club. Some members liked it a lot while others were not so impressed. I was not a huge fan. I thought the author spent too much time describing the characters' clothing and what was being served at meals. Of course, this information is essential to set the scene and is important to the story line; however, it was repeated far too often for my taste. Then after building the story around a central couple's love affair, she short circuited their story by not providing any details on their subsequent wedding and pregnancy. This bothered some members more than others. I, personally, felt that the story was unbalanced and would have been more worthwhile had the editing been better. I suppose, overall, it would make for an interesting discussion. It did for our group.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Interesting
Really funny read

Our book club read this book and gave it an average rating of 3.6 out of 5 stars. Many agreed that it had laugh out loud moments - although it was slow starting for some. The diary format was favorable to some people. The second edition includes an interview with the author and questions for discussion. One question was highly debated in our group involving the relationship or intentions between Daisy and Jimmy Snow. Overall, a pretty good read.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Dark
Well done!

This book was very well received by our book club. Erik Larson successfully told the story of the 1893 World\'s Fair and the havoc that H. H. Holmes\' wrought on the unsuspecting public. His vivid story-telling placed us there with Burnham, Root, Olmstead, Ferris and many others. And although we know that the Chicago\'s World Fair actually took place, Larson was able to establish a sense of suspense and worry that indeed it may not happen. Overall, this book was a very worthwhile read. It provided those of us who were born and bred in Chicago a cartload of facts and details that are threatened to be lost in time. Our thanks to Mr. Larson for reminding us of our city\'s history, our contributions to the country and the world and, more importantly, how far we\'ve come.

Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Dark, Interesting
Enjoyed the ride!

Our book club had a lively time discussing this book. One member said she couldn\'t put it down despite schoolwork that was piling up. Our group\'s general consensus was that the book was well written, well researched and executed. The author did a fine job laying the groundwork in the first part, then took proceeded to confound and manipulate us through the rest of the story. We are also enjoyed discussing the actors in the movie which is due out in October.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
May require a second read to truly appreciate it

I enjoyed this book immensely. There was a good deal of drama and suspense, which is my favorite combination in a story. I would have given it a 5-star rating but my reading group and I agree that it's a bit difficult to follow the story. The ending reveals the author's intention. She tells the story using 3 different characters, which isn't clear for most of the book. I chose to read it a second time and enjoyed it much more because I already knew the outcome.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
Enjoyable Historical Fiction

Really good writing although there were moments that were too implausible to believe. Our group had a very energetic discussion about it. I would highly recommend it, esp. for lovers of historical fiction.

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Dramatic, Interesting
Did they do the deed?

Good romance mixed with a big dose of suspense. Our book club read this book and spent a good amount of time debating whether or not therinciple characters actually went all the way. In the main part of the book it appears that they did the deed for certain. However, the author tacked on an epilogue that stated otherwise. We\\\'d be interested in hearing from other clubs and readers on which side they fall on.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Optimistic
Another Fannie Flagg original

Good story but a bit tiresome on places. Fannie Flagg has once again brought us interesting but quirky characters that epitomize a slice of southern life.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Optimistic, Inspiring
A feel good story

This story was a favorite in our book club. it was a good mix of empathy, humor and mischief. I look forward to reading more works by Ms Hoffman.

The Darkest Child: A Novel by Delores Phillips
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Dark, Graphic
Overwhelmingly tragic

This well-written story is full of sad and tragic events but is worth the read. It inspired a prolonged discussion within our group.

The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux
 
Book Club Recommended
Unconvincing, Interesting, Adventurous
First...suspend belief

Our book club enjoyed this book despite a few flaws. The story was inspiring but there were some passages that required the reader to completely set aside realistic expectations. Nonetheless, it was an entertaining and interesting read.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Adventurous
Quirky, Dysfunctional Family Tale

The Birds are a truly dysfunctional family. Lisa Jewell provided pain-staking insight as to how this family comes apart. Some tough and unpredictable twists keeps the story moving along.

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Addictive
Okay read

Slow start, a few too many characters but strong ending redeemed this story.

Mama's Boy by ReShonda Tate Billingsley
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic
Surprising Story

Good read. Well developed characters are key in this story that reflects current events and situations.

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