Book Review: 800 Grapes by Laura Dave

800grapes

Amazon | Goodreads

What is it about?

Georgia Ford returns to her parents vineyard when her life develops a major complication. Once there, she finds out that she’s not the only one going through some turmoil. This book is about relationships and the damaging effects of secrets.

Was it good?

It was a very enjoyable book. The written style was easy to sip up. See that? I made a drink reference because this book has a lot of wine in it. It has some wine making details that were very interesting to read about, but the drama is also interesting enough without the added educational bonus.

In fact, I almost decided to do this review in just grunting monkey like noises as I felt them throughout the book… page 12 “eep” page 88 “ooh” page 98 “agh!” but I lost track because the book was too interesting.

I would recommend this book as a good summer read. Despite the drama, it still feels easy to read and entertaining.

I’m personally not a big wine drinker. I usually just opt for a Riesling, but I can’t even remember which one I like because I buy them too infrequently. Maybe when I stop having babies I can develop a more sophisticated palate. What do you like to drink?

Happy Reading… and drinking! 

 

 

Book Review: A House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi

HouseWithoutWindows

Amazon | Goodreads

What is it about?

This is a story about an Afghan woman who is arrested for allegedly murdering her husband, and her American trained lawyer. It analyzes the Afghan justice system (or lack thereof) and a woman’s role in Afghan society.

Is it good?

It is pretty good. The story is told well and the drama and actual truth behind the murder is pieced out incrementally, which causes the holder to maintain interest in the story throughout most of book. However I was surprised at the end by the judge’s ruling and reasoning which seemed inconsistent with his character. Despite that I think the book was very enjoyable over all, except that it mostly made me feel sad. This is because I really felt sympathetic toward Zeba, the main character, and she understandably goes through a rough patch after being accused of murder.

Up next: Long Dark Dusk by J.P. Smythe – Part II of the Australia Trilogy. I’ve been waiting for this book for over a year and am glad it is finally available from the library! (Amazon | Goodreads)

Happy Reading!!

 

Book Review: The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce

queenie

Amazon | Goodreads

What is it about?

“That’s it, then,” said Finty. “It’s a unanermous yes vote. From now on, no one dies. We’re all waiting for Harold Fry.”

Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and writes a letter to an old friend to notify him that she is dying from cancer. She hasn’t seen or heard from him in 20 years. She received a postcard from him telling her to wait for him. While she waits, she begins writing him the letter that will explain the truth of why she left.

Is it good?

Yes! Queenie’s letter is sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes funny and happy. The patients at the hospice are a wonderful cast of characters, and the memories from Queenie ‘s past are so engaging. I found myself on the brink of tears at least twice.

You do not have to have read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, but that is also a wonderful book. They are set on the same time line and involve some of the same characters, but you can read each book individually.

Some memorable quotes:

Perhaps I took my mother more literally than she intended, but I applied her rule to my life; after all, we are all searching for them, the rules. We pick them up from the strangest places, and if they appear to work once we can live a whole lifetime by them, regardless of the unhappiness and difficulty they may later bring.

This can happen unintentionally, at first you might think ‘If it isn’t broken, why fix it?’ And then it’s, ‘it worked before, it should work again.’ Or maybe it’s only a simple superstition, but you get trapped doing the same thing over and over.

If only memory were a library with everything stored where it should be. If only you could walk to the desk and say to the assistant, I’d like to return the painful memories about David Fry or indeed his mother and take out some happier ones, please.

Yes, please! That would be so wonderful!

It did not change for my landlady or your neighbors or people I passed in the street. If it altered for them, the shift was brief, it was a hiccup, it was a missing of a step, the way the sudden removal of a person is a reminder of one’s own fragility before we resume the familiar, ordinary things that make us feel untouchable again. But from where I was looking, a seismic shift occurred. And like most seismic shifts, it cut everything open and pulled it apart.

I have felt both sides of this on separate occasions, and this is such an accurate description of how tragedy affects us.

Next up: A House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi

Happy Reading!

Book Review: This is Where I Leave You

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

TIWILY

Amazon | Goodreads

What is it about?

This book takes place over the 7 days that Judd Foxman is forced to spend with his crazy family while sitting Shiva for his deceased father. They are not a terribly close family and they all have their own emotional baggage so drama ensues. Judd himself is having some marital issues that take a forefront in the book.

Is it good?

4/5 Stars

I read this book for a book club, and I am glad I read it.

I’m not sure I liked it at first. Judd has an angry attitude due to his personal troubles and this really comes across throughout the entire narration. As the book progresses and he comes to terms with his problems, the attitude eases up a little bit and I found myself actually enjoying the book and interested in what would happen to Judd.

His family is really crazy and they get into quite a number of entertaining antics.

This book spends  a lot of time analyzing his relationship with his family, and has some interesting view points on the subject. My own family is pretty normal so I didn’t always agree with him, but I can see why Judd would feel the way he does.

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