taketimetoshine: (Have The Answer)
A nice and depressing topic here. A book that disappointed me. It took me a while to think of one but I guess the answer really has to be The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards.

I read the blurb and was really intrigued.
On a winter night in 1964, Dr. David Henry is forced by a blizzard to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy. Yet when his daughter is born, he sees immediately that she has Down's Syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect Norah, his wife, he makes a split-second decision that will alter all of their lives forever. He asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and never to reveal the secret. But Caroline, the nurse, cannot leave the infant. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child herself. So begins this story that unfolds over a quarter of a century - in which these two families, ignorant of each other, are yet bound by the fateful decision made that long-ago winter night. Norah Henry, who knows only that her daughter died at birth, remains inconsolable; her grief weighs heavily on their marriage. And Paul, their son, raises himself as best he can, in a house grown cold with mourning. Meanwhile, Phoebe, the lost daughter, grows from a sunny child to a vibrant young woman whose mother loves her as fiercely as if she were her own.

Then I read the first page of this book and thought it would be a good read. The language was beautiful and the writer clearly has talent but... well, if you've read the blurb then you've basically read all you need to know about it!

All I wanted to know about was what happened to Phoebe. The chapters about her life were interesting but I would have liked to have seen more. Norah's life was so boring I didn't care about her, and nothing was resolved whilst David was alive, so what was the point of having them in the book? More could have been made of that side of the plot if David actually met his daughter and Norah found out whilst he was alive. Paul doesn't even get a voice until near the end of the book.

It really was a shame :(
taketimetoshine: (Stitched Heart)
I rambled at length the other day when I'd finished re-reading it about my love for Pride & Prejudice so it feels like a little bit of a cheat, almost, to enthuse about it again. It is true, however, that it is one of my favourite classics - definitely the first one that came to mind when I saw the topic for today.

The other book that springs to mind is Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. I first read it at school, and still have the copy I had back then, very dog-eared and filled with post-it notes and notes written in margins in pencil (Well I wasn't desecrating a book writing in pen And, despite pulling the book apart to death, I am still in love with the story. It's so powerful.

The basis of the story is the trial of a black man who is accused of raping a white woman, in the deep south in the 1930s, a time and place steeped in racial and class prejudice. It's also the story of a widowed man raising his two children, and it's the dynamic of the Finch family I love. Atticus is one of my favourite literary heroes and I loved being able to watch Jem and Scout growing up, the innocence and empathy that they view the world around them with.

I now feel the need to move the book back up on my to-read pile...

And, for the record, I have no intention on reading Go Set A Watchman. I have numerous issues surrounding the release of the book!

June 2016

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