I grabbed Eligible without even looking at what it is about simply because I love Curtis Sittenfeld. She’s smart and funny. But i have to admit i was a little bit disappointed once i realized that Eligible is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I mean, hasn’t that been done before, like, to death? And the horrible truth is, I’m not a huge Jane Austen fan. Continue reading
300 Days of Sun by Deborah Lawrenson was the perfect book to read during my 10 days of sun on Spain’s south coast. I knew from having read The Lantern by Lawrenson that 300 Days of Sun would be a pager turner that wouldn’t lack in intelligence. And set mostly in Faro, Portugal, it wasn’t too far from the Costa del Sol. Continue reading
The broken up image on the cover of All That Followed perfectly captures how the story is told: In bits and pieces told from different points of view that will eventually fit together to reveal the whole story. That’s a narrative style I love because it reveals so much about the characters and leaves the reader feeling a little bit unsure – what’s going on? who can I trust? Continue reading
Sometimes Ian McEwan works for me, sometimes he doesn’t. It’s kind of a crap shoot. With Sweet Tooth he works for me. That, no doubt, has to do with the setting – MI5 during the Cold War, 1970’s London, a young woman making her way in the big, bad city. And like the best of McEwan’s novels, it has a great ending. Continue reading
Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants) is a writer who I’ve always heard great things about, but I’ve never read her because none of her novels appealed to me. Until At The Water’s Edge. It’s set in the Scottish highlands and tells the story of three young Americans who, during World War II, come in search of the Loch Ness Monster. I like the time period, I like the setting and I like the Loch Ness monster. Continue reading
My reading has been far from multicultural lately. Brits and white North Americans seem to be dominating. This is a situation I usually try to avoid, but when a novel about a dysfunctional family comes my way I have a hard time turning away. Enter The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney.
And the Plumb family is definitely dysfunctional. The four siblings have had to wait until the youngest turns forty for their inheritance. But that has not stopped them from spending it. All are caught up in financial and familial turmoil that a large lump sum of money could potentially resolve. But life is never that simple, is it? Oldest brother Leo does something (but what?) that means the windfall will not be going to his siblings. At least not as much as they had initially anticipated and built their lives around.
My only complaint about the book, which i loved, was the ending. Everything is wrapped up a little to neatly for me. They don’t get the money, but everyone lives happily ever after, or at least comes to terms with their state of affairs.
Who will like this book? If you like dysfunctional families as I clearly do, then The Nest will be a winner for you. It fulfills Tolstoy’s adage that each family is unhappy in it’s own way. There’s lots of lies and deceit and the kind of scandal that rocks life in suburbia. Oh, and Amy Poehler is blurbed on the cover, so you know it’s good.
Don’t let the fact that it took me a while to get around to reviewing Kristopher Jansma‘s latest novel Why We Came To The City deceive you. I loved it. I loved it more than his debut novel, The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards (review). It’s a novel that’s stuck with me and that I’ll be pushing into quite a few people’s hands. Continue reading