Thursday, November 11, 2010

Celebrate! And trashing a novel

I can be a positive and happy person; I really can! For example, look at this burst of joy that is in my office:

(double click for full oomph)

A dear friend of mine, Claudette, whom I've worked with for 20 years, recently retired. But this is what she brought to our office about a week ago! I may live in North Dakota, the veritable epitome of winter, but I have this exotic, tropical, plant blooming in my office. Now, if only the friggin' building would fix its heat, now that we're in the 30s. . . .

But the better reason, the more, glorious, over-the-top, joyous reason I have to be positive and happy is that my oldest "child", Scott, is getting married in October! The hibiscus doesn't even begin to compare to the delight I feel about Scott and Elizabeth!

OK, that being said, now I can sneak in some of my negativity, and it's about this book,
The Memory Keeper's Daughter

and my view of it, posted on Goodreads:
"This book does have a compelling central conflict that does pull you in right from the beginning, but I found little else to recommend this book. Dr. David Henry and Norah have twins during a blizzard in 1964; he delivers them, and tells her that the 2nd child, Phoebe, a little girl with Down syndrome, died at birth, and instructs his nurse, Carolyn Gill, to whisk the newborn away off to an institution. Carolyn cannot go through with this, and runs away with the baby.

Obviously, there are going to be some problems, and I wanted to know the outcome, of how someone could live with this terrible deception and what it would do to the people involved.

But the process of resolving it is needlessly, laboriously, drawn out--for many, many pages. Enough pages that if you have a chunk of hours of your life that you hate, you can waste them on the middle 7/8ths of this book. Otherwise, turn it into a short story, read the first 50 or so pages, and then skip to the last 20, and call it a day!

I did not like the main characters or find them to be particular believable, interesting, or likable. The only main character who showed any promise was Carolyn, who, although still not particularly believable, was somewhat interesting. This was sadly diluted, however, by frequent introductions of minor characters who seem to show no other purpose than to allow for endlessly descriptive, dull, detours and passages that delayed getting to any kind of resolution.

The experience of reading this book is like being told that something monumental and significant is about to be announced, like you are holding the winning ticket in a contest, and then enduring a great deal of hype only to be told something anti-climactic and lame, like "you just won a $2.00 off coupon."

Seriously, read something else!"


janett said...

I didn't like that book either!!! What a let down! But at least your plant is lovely.

Yolanda said...

The plant is glorious! Congrats to your son! And the review of the book is noted-- I will not purchase this one.

Nicki said...

Congratulations to your son and his fiancee; how exciting. Your flower is beautiful and I can imagine a bright spot to your cold days.

Joanne said...

Congrats on your son's engagement!! I actually liked the book. I also saw in as a movie on Lifetime. Your plant is gorgeous! I used to have one and couldn't get the dang thing to bloom *outside so I am in awe of yours blooming inside! It's just gorgeous.

Jeanne said...

Congratulations to your son! May he and his intended have a long and lovely life together.

Your plant is gorgeous!!

Thanks for letting me know to steer clear of this book at the library.

Reds said...

Too bad about the book - congrats on your son's wedding and beautiful flower!

pat said...

Congratulations to your son! That is so exciting!! And, thanks for the heads up on this book (although I could've checked GoodReads). I will avoid it.

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Congratulations on the marriage!!!! And the plant...

But then can you just tell us how the book ends so the rest of us don't have to read it? (I ask this about movies - can you just tell me how it ends so I don't have to watch?) :-)

Maria said...

I've always thought of you as a positive individual, so feel free to trash the book all you want.

Lee and I are so happy over Scott's engagement! Congratulations again! I can't wait to see everyone at the wedding!

Barb said...

Congrats to Scott! We look forward to going to the wedding. The plant is very beautiful.