Tuesday, November 26, 2013
I had never read any Graham Greene before, but I heard good reviews from friends, so I decided to read this short novel set in Vietnam prior to the Vietnam war (or as my Vietnamese friend refers to it, the American war). Though it was interesting to read about the attitudes and skirmishes that led up to the escalation of war in Vietnam, I can't say I loved the book. There are three main characters: British journalist Fowler, American operative and rival Pyle and Phuong, their Vietnamese love interest. Of the three characters, Fowler is the only one with any depth and he's not entirely likeable either. In this book, Greene has written some very astute observations about international relations and evocative passages about the Vietnamese landscape/culture, but if you like character-driven novels, this isn't one I can recommend.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Alice is a 40-something mother, wife, married 20 years - wondering "is this all there is?". She signs up for an online marriage questionnaire "Marriage in the 21st Century". Her online name is Wife 22, and her caseworker is Researcher 101.
Somehow, answering questions about her life, her marriage broadens her thought process about her husband, her relationships, and how she deals with her children. At the same time the book is funny, wistful, and wise.
How would you answer question #90 -- Write a letter to your spouse telling your spouse what you can't say in person.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Stella Bain is in a British nurse's uniform, but is American and has no memory of who she really is, or why she is in France.
She leaves for London searching for her identity - she only knows she has to find the "Admiralty". A kind Doctor and his wife take her in and help her shattered brain figure out her real name. She remembers she has children in America and a husband, but another man in London holds a key to her healing.
A lovely story of World War I, a determined woman trying to find the life she had, find her children, and find which direction her life should take her.
Thursday, November 07, 2013
There is a difference! Gemma took me a weekend to read, Jane took almost 3 weeks. I had forgotten the vocabulary involved, the words I should have looked up, the size of the very small print. There is something very quaint about sitting with a cuppa and the very small volume of Jane Eyre, almost Victorian! I picture a lovely young woman, her hair carefully pinned up, with a porcelain teapot at her side, reading in her favorite chair by the window in her prettiest dressing gown. Lovely story - visit it again.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
The book starts out in 1952 as we are introduced to Claire Pendleton, a British young woman newlywed, recently relocated to Hong Kong with her husband. She takes a position as a piano teacher for the young daughter of a wealthy Chinese family, the Chen family. When the Chen family invites Claire and her husband Martin to a party, she meets and begins an affair with Will Truesdale, the Chen chauffer and a long-time British expatriate.
Then the reader is taken back to 1941 for a love affair between Will and Trudy. Trudy is a spoliled Eurasian who has a numerous connections with the Hong Kong community. When WWII strikes Hong Kong, Will ends up in a POW camp, and Trudy forms alliances with the Japanese Army in order to keep him alive and as safe as possible.
Between the stories Janice Y.K. Lee shows us how the Japanese mostly interrupt the lives of those living in Hong Kong during WWII.
Posted by Hygieia at 10/31/2013
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
her fiancee sends someone with a note 20 minutes before the ceremony -- he needs time to think about this. sorry. Upset though she is, she finally leaves the church, getting a ride home from the elderly minister who was to perform the ceremony. While sitting in his car talking, the church blows up with a huge explosion.
Someone wants Nina dead. A bit of a mystery, why anyone would want her dead?
A bit of a love story, she falls in love with the policeman investigating the case.
Entertaining, a bit of a twist, and a fun read
dies, Gemma realizes she is sort of a "Cinderella", with the appropriate
stepsisters. Gemma is sent to a boarding school - Claypoole - but as a working girl aka unpaid servant. Gemmas' life changes after the school goes bankrupt and she is working as a nanny, and falls in love.
Further adventures await! This novel takes place in the 60's & 70's in Scotland, and is a modern day Jane Eyre. I loved it, and now I'm re-reading Jane Eyre, just to compare the two.