Thursday, August 28, 2014
Thursday, August 7, 2014
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
'The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love.
But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them.
An unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life and when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.'
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was another one of the books pulled off the shelf for me by our librarian when I begged for assistance with picking some decent books.
I enjoyed it.
I think the style seemed to change mid-book, from a drama (coming-of-age, rising-from-adversity, girl-conquers-terrible-childhood) to a more standard girl-meets-boy-and-eventually-get-it-together-after-overcoming-obstacles/misunderstandings/sheer-pigheadedness-with-a-not-so-subtle-twist romance.
But that's okay. It is chick-lit. It reads like a movie script - but the sort where they change the end when they actually make the movie. It won't change your life but it will give you a few pleasant hours of escapism. We all need that sometimes.
Monday, August 4, 2014
Coal Creek by Alex Miller
'The new novel from Australia's highly acclaimed literary treasure is an extraordinarily powerful exploration of tragedy, betrayal, the true nature of friendship and the beauty of lasting love.
'Me and Ben had been mates since we was boys and if it come to it I knew I would have to be on his side.'
Miller's exquisite depictions of the country of the Queensland highlands form the background of this simply told but deeply significant novel of friendship, love, loyalty and the tragic consequences of misunderstanding and mistrust. Coal Creek is a wonderfully satisfying novel with a gratifying resolution. It carries all the wisdom and emotional depth we have come to expect from Miller's richly evocative novels.'
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was picked out for me by the local librarian when I was whinging about not being able to pick anything that appealed to me. It was handed over with the warning that some people find the language and style a little hard to get into - but this was far from the case for me.
This reads as a memoir with a unique style and rhythm - the rhythm of the man and the rhythm of the land. It is sparse and measured and has the ring of truth to it. The only disappointing thing about this book is coming back to yourself at the end of it and remembering that it is a work of fiction not an actual autobiography.
It isn't a light read but it isn't very demanding either. Beautifully written and carefully crafted by an author that I will seek out again.
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
'An epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted readers of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.
King says he wanted to know what happened to Danny Torrance, the boy at the heart of The Shining, after his terrible experience in the Overlook Hotel. The instantly riveting Doctor Sleep picks up the story of the now middle-aged Dan, working at a hospice in rural New Hampshire, and the very special 12-year old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.'
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I bought this while on holidays and then kept getting cranky with the family for expecting me to put it down and spend time with them (the things we do for the ones we love...!).
I must be the only person in the world that has read this but not read The Shining (or watched the movie) but that really didn't matter. In fact, the trips down memory lane may possibly get annoying if you had read it fairly recently.
I enjoyed it. It is classic Stephen King. Entertaining, a bit gruesome, a bit creepy, enough going on to keep me turning the pages but also simple enough to dip in and out of holiday-reading-style without losing track of the plot or the characters.