Saturday, June 25, 2011

Book Review Saturday (Edition 14)

I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but well, things have been rather crazy here the last several weeks Somehow though, I have managed to get in quite a bit of reading since I last did a book review post. Must be those 14 hour plane rides that I don't sleep on :o)!

Brother and Sister by Johanna Trollope. My mom picked this book up at one of our local thrift stores not knowing if it would be a good read or not, but the fact that it was about adoption had her intrigued.This was a very interesting read. Some of the language was a little course at times, but I ignored it because the story line was too valuable. This book is about two domestically adopted children and how they come to terms with their adoption in their adult life. There was a quote in the book that I wanted to write out, but of course I can't find it now. I found it interesting how the two of them dealt with their adoption in two very different ways, how their birth moms reacted to their children's desire to meet them and how they felt after meeting their birth mom after never knowing who they were for the first thirty-something years of their life. Even though it is written as a novel, there is much to be learned from what is written in this book. In fact, despite the coarse language in places, I am going to hang on to it for our girls. It just might be a very appropriate read for them many years down the road from now.

Typically, I love Dee Henderson's books, but this one fell a little flat for me. It reminded me of those Christian dime romance novels. You know the ones. Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Girl likes boy, but neither knows the others feelings. Finally the light comes on and they get together. First the girl has issues about whether or not she can handle a relationship. Then the boy has relationship issues. It almost ruins their relationship altogether and they stay apart sad and lonely until one of them has another light bulb moment and they pledge their undying love to each other and live happily ever after. It was a very typical, very predictable plot line.  Her O'Malley series and Uncommon Heroes series are far more interesting as they are action packed and suspense filled. It was a very fast read, but personally this does not go on my, I recommend reading it list. However, you may have very different thoughts about it. If you have read it or are going to read it, I would love to hear your thoughts about this book. Just because it wasn't my favorite read doesn't mean you might not enjoy it!

 This classic well-loved book. Is well-loved for a reason. Written from the perspective of the horse Black Beauty, it tells the tale of several horses' lives. How they lived well and how they were mistreated. It documents the lives of these horses from their perspective -- Black Beauty's life in particular -- from his birth to his retirement back at a place where he was well loved and cared for. What makes this book extra special is that it was written to make its readers aware of animal abuse in a time where talking about animal rights was virtually unheard of. Being a big animal lover, I couldn't help but commend Ms. Sewall for writing a book that encourages it readers to be kind to their animals. It was a very enjoyable read!

This book was on the Oprah Winfrey reading club list and an award winner. I didn't choose it because Oprah recommended it, but rather because it sounded very interesting. It's a story of a 17 year old pregnant girl who overcomes the odds of growing up lower class who with some hard work and a lot of big dreams, makes something of herself. Through the love and care of several individuals in the small town she ends up in at seven months pregnant, she manages to keep her baby, work at a job that enables her to have some benefits and time with her child, to discover and pursue her passion for photography, go to school and study some other interests, and to truly enjoy her life and fulfill her dream of owning her own home with a front porch. Some of these dreams are fulfilled at a price, but through it all, Novalee reveals that with a little luck, and lots of grit and determination, you can make your dreams come true. Beneath Novalee's story, the theme of  the book tells us that just because you are born poor and living in a not so great situation, you can still overcome the odds. The mid-western United States is filled with many women like Novalee Nation who work hard to overcome the odds and in the end manage to come out on top!

 Hasn't everyone read this novel in one from or another? As a story book style, an abridged version, or the actual novel itself. Earlier this year we had rented the recent release of Alice in Wonderland. You know, the one with that strange, but oh-so-very-talented Johnny Depp in it. Watching the movie, intrigued me enough to want to read the book (again? I really don't remember reading it as a child). Perhaps reading it (again) as an adult is better anyway because now one understands the witty humour that Lewis Caroll intertwined to masterfully throughout the book. I loved Alice's confusion and her frustration with the characters. Truth be told Alice's feeling reminded me a lot of characters in real life. Can't we all be a little frustrating and confusing at times? I know I can! I can also get a little frustrated and confused with those around me :o)!

That's it for now! What are you reading these days?


  1. Hi Deborah! Wow, you must love reading. Those books all sound really good. If you don't mind the long comment, I'd like to write about each book.
    Brother and Sister: This books sounds interesting, and I think it would be a great idea to keep for your girls.
    God's Gift: I've read a lot of those predictable romance books. If you don't recommend it, then I think I'll pass.
    Black Beauty: I've read this book about 3 times. I love it! The movie is very good too.
    Where the Heart Is: I have actually never read this book, but the movie is remarkable. I don't know how close they stayed to the book, so I'll just have to read it.
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: I have seen the cartoon movie, and real-life movie. I will definitely be checking this book out at the library.

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    P.S. I've been wanting to read some good books this summer! :)

  2. There is a movie of Where the Heart is!? I'm going to have to see if I can find it! I'd love to watch it to see how close it did come to the book. Thank you for letting me know, Michlyn!


  3. Yes there is! The actress who plays Novalee, is Natalie Portman. If you recommend the book to your oldest daughter, Peach, then I would have you watch the movie (If you find it) first. It has some scary and adult scenes in it. Your very welcome! (:



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