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Book Reviews

Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson – Book Review

Prepare your tissues as this book will not leave you dry-eyed. Full of love and more love and more love and a lot of loss, the book follows two couples who have something in common. Matt has been with both women and both have a baby.

This change-of-pace love story is a powerfully moving novel about families, loss, and new love. When the man Kate loves disappears, he leaves behind a diary, a letter from a new mother to her baby son about how she and the boy’s father met. An unforgettable piece, at once heartbreaking and full of hope. “Compelling… superbly enhanced by Baker’s narration… highly recommended.”—Booklist

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Book Reviews

Chicken Soup for the Mother’s soul * 101 Stories

I read this lovely book while sitting on a 2h commute and I think I laughed and I cried and I felt like having a baby just here and now.  I recommend this book to any new mother to be – either by adopting, using a carrier mommy or even by carrying the little bundle of joy to term. The stories are about the pains of giving birth, the love of a new human being and how tough the first few months are while the new mom struggles with the massive difference between the idea of perfection and the messy reality of having a baby. It’s not only new moms that are features but also new dads, those little talked about parents who impact a little baby’s life so profoundly.

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Book Reviews Stephen King

Stephen King * Carrie

Carrie stood among [the girls] stolidly, a frog among swans. She was a chunky girl with pimples on her neck and back and buttocks, her wet hair completely without color.

Imagine you were an ugly duckling in school and your mom was a religious fanatic who thought that pregnancies were the direct result of sex and any sex is sinful. Imagine you are going though puberty with no liberty and no-one to tell you what a period is. Imagine Carrie.

 

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Book Reviews

Margaret Atwood – Life before man

Look, I’m smiling at you, I’m smiling in you, I’m smiling through you. How can I be dead if I breathe in every quiver of your hand?

– Abram Tertz (Andrei Sinyavsky), The Icicle

Oh wow, what a book this has been. I read it in short bursts and I must say it’s one of the best stories from Margaret Atwood (Besides the Blind Assassin and The Edible Woman) dealing with the dissolution of a marriage post infidelity from one of the partners. It reminded me in spots of Hausfrau but while the heroine from Jill Essbaum committed suicide in the end for not being able to break through the boredom of the daily married couple, Margaret’s wife decides to live on, for the children.

Imprisoned by walls of their own construction, here are three people, each in midlife, in midcrisis, forced to make choices–after the rules have changed. Elizabeth, with her controlled sensuality, her suppressed rage, is married to the wrong man. She has just lost her latest lover to suicide. Nate, her gentle, indecisive husband, is planning to leave her for Lesje, a perennial innocent who prefers dinosaurs to men. Hanging over them all is the ghost of Elizabeth’s dead lover…and the dizzying threat of three lives careening inevitably toward the same climax.

Nate and Elizabeth are an unhappily married couple, with both husband and wife involved in extramarital affairs. Lesje, pronounced ‘Lashia,’ is Nate’s lover of Ukrainian ancestry and works along with his wife in the museum of natural history as a paleontologistfascinated by dinosaurs, giving the book its title. Elizabeth, said to have been inspired by Shirley Gibson, ex-wife of Atwood’s partner Graeme Gibson,[1] also takes a lover, Chris, who recently committed suicide. All three of the novel’s main characters influence the narration, with each chapter presenting events from a particular character’s perspective.

We have a very interesting love triangle going on. Elizabeth is married to Nate. Elizabeth has had a string of lovers, but she always told Nate about them just before she was ready to let them go. Until Chris came along and Chris killed himself because he could not be with her. Elizabeth plunges into nothingness and is unwilling to keep living normally, just passes the days in a stupor. Nate falls in love with one of Elizabeth’s coworkers, exotic Lesje and has an affair with her, dumping his previous par-amour Martha.

Elizabeth, notices the increased interest in Lesje, and comes out to fight for her marriage again. She breaks Lesje and her boyfriend William up, thinking that they will make up and leave her husband alone, but Lesje decides to move out and move in with Nate. Let the divorce proceedings begin.

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I loved the book as it delved into each of the people’s backgrounds, motivations and ideas and you can see and understand why each person moved the way they did over the chessboard that is life. But in the end, the Queen takes all.

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Book Reviews

Bluebeard’s Egg * Margaret Atwood

This was my first time reading a short story collection by Margaret Atwood and after the phenomenal 20’th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill, I was surprised by the very natural – almost memoir-type of writing some of the stories.

“When my mother was very small, someone gave her a basket of baby chicks for Easter. They all died.”

You know you will have a good read when a story starts like this. But it got a bit boring and then a bit exciting, and then a bit boring again, and then boom – in the middle of the book, this gem of a story called “Bluebeard’s egg” which left almost a visceral reaction show on my face as I was reading it. I loved it. And then a bit of boredom again. All in all, the book is a 5/10, more stories about relationships, growing up and growing apart.

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Psychology

The Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (with Sharp Objects Excerpt)

Recently I read the chilling tale of a murderous mother in Sharp Objects and I was interested to see what I could find regarding the Munchausen syndrome. The Americans had the city of Kansas and the story of the Wizard of Oz (a bit different from the Wizard of Glass). The Germans had The Baron Of Munchausen (1785 book Baron Munchausen’s Narrative of his Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia)

he fictional Baron’s exploits, narrated in the first-person, focus on his impossible achievements as a sportsman, soldier, and traveler, for instance riding on a cannonball, fighting a forty-foot crocodile, and traveling to the Moon. Intentionally comedic, the stories play on the absurdity and inconsistency of Munchausen’s claims, containing an undercurrent of social satire. (Wiki)

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Book Reviews

White Oleander * Janet Fitch

WhiteoleandercoverWhat would you do if your mother was taken away? Just before those precious years of adolescence, your dear and beloved mother would be jailed for killing her lover. For poisoning him with the stems of the Oleander flower.

What would you do if you were cast from house to house, from foster family to foster family and you would discover the true nature of yourself and the deadly nature of your mother. The poison keeps dripping still.

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Dean Koontz Excerpts

About Child Abuse – Excerpt from The Door to December – Dean Koontz

 

2f590d1a06e5d88172ba5ce1e9adc4fdWhen I read The Door to December (1985) by Dean Koontz, the following piece struck a chord in me. So many children are abused and the monsters doing it to them rely on the child keeping silent and making them feel like it was their fault.

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Book Reviews

Son – Lois Lowry – Last Book of The Giver Quartet

“Fear dims when you learn things.”

7e4cbd_666d08f219244434bbabc928532f8597They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist.

That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew.

What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of the Newbery Medal winning book, The Giver, as well as Gathering Blue and Messenger where a new hero emerges. In this thrilling series finale, the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry’s epic tale culminates in a final clash between good and evil.

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Book Reviews Dean Koontz

The Servants of Twilight * Dean Koontz

To his mother, Joey seems an ordinary six-year-old boy – special to her, but to no one else. To the Servants of Twilight, however, he is an evil presence who must be destroyed – an Anti-Christ who must die. This is a scary could-be-story about the power of cults and how they cannot stop once a maniac sets his mind to kill someone.

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