Wednesday, September 3, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. For this meme, bloggers post what they finished last week, what they're currently reading, and what they plan to start this week.
My comments are not meant to be recaps of the story lines as I include a link to Goodreads for their synopsis of the book. I am merely stating how I felt about the book without giving any spoilers.

Finally getting caught up after a month of travelling.

1 ABANDONED - title?
Thirty Girls


The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)
Synopsis here.

I enjoyed it, however, the writing did feel like she was still writing for young adults. I haven't read The Casual Vacancy but I do have a hard copy of it sitting around.
Her writing is too formal, I had to keep reminding myself that the story was taking place in the present time.
Who says "oh my" and "goodness".
I liked the story line even if it dragged at times. Will I read the next in the series...not likely.


When Lily Hayes arrives in Buenos Aires for her semester abroad, she is enchanted by everything she encounters: the colorful buildings, the street food, the handsome, elusive man next door. Her studious roommate Katy is a bit of a bore, but Lily didn’t come to Argentina to hang out with other Americans.
Five weeks later, Katy is found brutally murdered in their shared home, and Lily is the prime suspect. But who is Lily Hayes? It depends on who’s asking. As the case takes shape—revealing deceptions, secrets, and suspicious DNA—Lily appears alternately sinister and guileless through the eyes of those around her: the media, her family, the man who loves her and the man who seeks her conviction. With mordant wit and keen emotional insight, Cartwheel offers a prismatic investigation of the ways we decide what to see—and to believe—in one another and ourselves.

The author states this is "loosely" based on the Amanda Knox true story. I would say it was "tightly" based.
I liked her writing style but felt very little empathy for any of the characters, especially the main protagonist  Lily.
Night Swim

"Sixteen-year-old Sarah Kunitz lives in a posh, suburban world of 1970 Boston. From the outside, her parents' lifestyle appears enviable--a world defined by cocktail parties, expensive cars, and live-in maids to care for their children--but inside their five-bedroom house, all is not well for the Kunitz family. Coming home from school, Sarah finds her well-dressed, pill popping mother lying disheveled on their living room couch. At night, to escape their parents' arguments, Sarah and her oldest brother, Peter, find solace in music, while her two younger brothers retreat to their rooms and imaginary lives. Any vestige of decorum and stability drains away when their mother dies in a car crash one terrible winter day. Soon after, their father, a self-absorbed, bombastic professor begins an affair with a younger colleague. Sarah, aggrieved, dives into two summer romances that lead to unforeseen consequences. In a story that will make you laugh and cry, Night Swim shows how a family, bound by heartache, learns to love again."

Compelling and a sad view of the 70s, a coming of age in that period. It is not only about that time however, even today there are women who struggle with who they are as wives and mothers.
Beautifully written but it ended too suddenly.

Someone Else's Garden

The eldest of seven children,born low-caste and female in rural India,Mamta is abused and rejected by a father who can see no reason to “water someone else’s garden” until a husband is found for her. Seeking escape in matrimony, Mamta begins her wedded life with hope—but is soon forced to flee her village and the horrors of her arranged marriage to the bustle of a small city. Saved from becoming one of the nameless and faceless millions of rejected humanity by the salvation of sublime love, Mamta struggles to find a precarious state of acceptance and make peace with her past.

Powerfully affecting and uplifting, set against a vivid and colorful background of Eastern life, Dipika Rai’s Someone Else’s Garden transcends geographical divides and cultural chasms to brilliantly expose the commonality of the human condition, compelling us to seek answers within ourselves to humanity’s eternal questions: Is life random?Do we have a destiny?

Yet another book I've read this year that is about the plight of women in other countries. I must be naive but I am appalled by the inhuman way these women are treated both by the men and the other women who think that this is the only way to live.
I really got caught up in this book.

The Weight of Heaven
When Frank and Ellie Benton lose their only child, seven-year-old Benny, to a sudden illness, the perfect life they had built is shattered. Filled with wrenching memories, their Ann Arbor home becomes unbearable, and their marriage founders. But an unexpected job half a world away offers them an opportunity to start again. Life in Girbaug, India, holds promise—and peril—when Frank befriends Ramesh, a bright, curious boy who quickly becomes the focus of the grieving man's attentions. Haunted by memories of his dead son, Frank is consumed with making his family right—a quest that will lead him down an ever-darkening path with stark repercussions.

Filled with satisfyingly real characters and glowing with local color, The Weight of Heaven is a rare glimpse of a family and a country struggling under pressures beyond their control. In a devastating look at cultural clashes and divides, Umrigar illuminates how slowly we recover from unforgettable loss, how easily good intentions can turn evil, and how far a person will go to build a new world for those he loves.

The author has a knack of creating such realistic characters that I long to reach in and hug Ellie. Frank not so much.
Another story of the plight of women both impoverished and not.

I loved this story even though it is terribly sad and frustrating at times, however, the turn of events towards the end left me stunned.

The Network (D.I. Sean Corrigan # 0.6)

DI Sean Corrigan is not like other detectives. The terrible abuse he suffered as a child has left him with an uncanny ability to identify darkness in others. Early in his career as a Detective, Corrigan is approached for an undercover assignment. He must take on the identity of a prison inmate and befriend a suspected paedophile, then on release infiltrate an early internet child abuse ring. Can he tap into his dark side for long enough to uncover the identities of the abusers without serious harm to himself?

I didn't realize this was a short story when I borrowed it from the library. It was an ok quick read. I enjoyed the undercover assignment that made me nervous and wondered why someone would undertake a job assignment like that.

Crying Out Loud (Sal Kilkenny, #8)

An abandoned infant on her doorstep is the last thing Manchester private eye Sal Kilkenny needs. Sal's client Libby Hill is trying to put her life back together after the brutal killing of her lover and the conviction of petty criminal Damien Beswick, who confessed to the murder. But now Beswick has retracted his confession--exactly what game is he playing?

Book eight in a series, but it didn't impact the story. 
Enjoyable but unmemorable.

Before We Met
Hannah, independent, headstrong, and determined not to follow in the footsteps of her bitterly divorced mother, has always avoided commitment. But one hot New York summer she meets Mark Reilly, a fellow Brit, and is swept up in a love affair that changes all her ideas about what marriage might mean.

Now, living in their elegant, expensive London townhouse and adored by her fantastically successful husband, she knows she was right to let down her guard. 

But when Mark does not return from a business trip to the U.S. and when the hours of waiting for him stretch into days, the foundations of Hannah’s certainty begin to crack. Why do Mark’s colleagues believe he has gone to Paris not America? Why is there no record of him at his hotel? And who is the mysterious woman who has been telephoning him over the last few weeks? 

Hannah begins to dig into her husband’s life, uncovering revelations that throw into doubt everything she has ever believed about him. As her investigation leads her away from their fairytale romance into a place of violence and fear she must decide whether the secrets Mark has been keeping are designed to protect him or protect her .

1 comment:

  1. In regards to A Casual Vacancy, I tried getting through a hundred pages of it, and gave up. It was just so relentless depressing with no character worth investing in.


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