August 2019 Book Reviews

Resistance by Anita Shreve.  Recently on some of my FB writers groups the talk has been of fear of showing a work in progress to others because they might “steal” the idea of the story. As I read this novel I knew that either 1 – I had read it before or 2 – I had read something very similar. I still can’t figure it out. I knew certain things were going to happen which lends weight to #1, but then the ending was not what I remembered. Which introduces #3…my memory is just combining two novels! Anyway, this story is of the crashed pilot and the Belgian farmer’s wife who saves him, and it is a love story and a historic story and well written. Even if I read it before, I enjoyed reading it again! Rate: 4.0

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman.  Author of “A Man Called Ove,” Backman has written a short tale, originally published in a magazine but reproduced in a tiny book for all to enjoy. All though it is a sad story that leads you thinking about your own mortality. Hard to rate, but as a short story goes I give it a 3.5 star. I’m not going to say much more because anything I say gives the story away.

Intrusions by Ursula Hegi. I don’t read many books more than once (except by accident!) HOWEVER, this is the third time I have read this book. It is so unique and so funny. Hegi twists the writing of the novel into the story, with the point of view hopping from author to characters to readers. It probably isn’t quite as enthralling if you aren’t a writer, but even so, the humor is fantatic. Rate: 4.5

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman. Another book by the author of “A Man Called Ove,” this is somewhat like an adultish James and the Giant Peach. I LOVED the very eccentric Britt-Marie. You have to smile as she marches forward with the changes in her life and the coincidences and events that roll her way. Rate: 4.0 (but I don’t think this kind of tongue-in-cheek is for everyone)

Children and Fire by Ursula Hegi. Very, very different than “Intrusions.” I think that this historic fiction is what Hegi normally writes, and it was only by chance I read her “stepping outside the box” novel first. I liked this story of a young teacher dealing with the early issues in Nazi Germany. Hegi takes us back and forth from present (1933) to Thelka’s childhood and the story of her parents. Rate: 3.8

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn. All while I read this I kept thinking “this would make a very scary movie.” Intense. Tension. False leads. I don’t want to give away any spoilers. I thought I had guessed what the twist was going to be….and Finn did a great job. That’s all I can say. Rate: 4.2  And the movie will be released in October of 2019!

Key for my personal rating system:

5.0 – A book I will never forget, will quote, will tell everyone I know they MUST read it.

4.0 – An excellent book, but doesn’t quite make the best books of all time list.

3.0 – A recommendation, good read, decently written

2.0 – Some redeeming qualities, I finished it, but I’m not likely to seek out more by the author.

1.0 – Don’t wast your time.