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My Reviews

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
 
Informative, Dramatic, Insightful
Engrossing Story-Many-Faceted Characters

Hosseini has an uncanny ability to draw the reader into a world completely removed from his/her own. The story is one that both repels (physical/mental abuse) and draws in (a coming together of generations due to horrifying circumstances). A great read!

A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell
 
Informative, Adventurous, Insightful
Many characters makes for tedious reading

The story is good, but sometimes difficult to follow due to all the characters (some of whom are the same person, but you don't know that at first).

 
Dramatic, Informative, Insightful
After all the hype - a disapponting read

Our book club chose this book because we felt it was an important story and because every review claimed it was eloquent and moving. What a disappointment!
While I WANTED to like this book, the story-telling was puerile, and I never grew to care about the characters or what happened to them.
Though I still believe the topic of children at war is an important one, this is NOT the way to hear it.

 
Fun, Insightful
12 year old's hard life on a desert horse farm

While the narrator of this book, 12-year-old Alice, is by turns naive and wise beyond her years, this book is an interesting and eye-opening look at the hard life of a working show horse farm.
Alice is familiar with adults who leave her; her teenaged sister runs away and leaves her with a mother who is emotionally and physically shut up in her bedroom and a father only interested in hard work and the business of capturing the glory and money a show horse can bring.
The only adult in her life that she can talk with openly is a male teacher who takes her calls at all hours of the night. Their relationship is based on Alice's lies about who she is and the teacher's deep distress over the loss of a love.
The hardest parts of this book are the passages about the horses and how they are forced to live. The cruelty is palpable, staying with you even after the book is finished.
Overall, this is a good first novel, but lacks the morsel of hope necessary to balance the bleakness of Alice's life.

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