Book Reviews by Robin

Yes, you are getting lots of book reviews! When I am traveling I have to set up my blogs in advance! But enjoy – there are some great books out there.

The Stranger by Camilla Läckberg: Get past the first 75 pages. I almost put the book down several times. This author overwhelmed me with the number of characters introduced. I felt like I needed a cheat sheet to track them. Then, suddenly, I knew who everyone was, how they fit together and the story took off. Captivating “who-done-it” with lots of great foreshadowing. My hyper-critical part found a few glitches, but for the most part I really liked this story. Based on a reality television show coming to a Swedish town, my heart went out to Patrik Hedstrom, police detective investigating several murders in his town. The constant changing point-of-view was well done, and once past those first introductions, I didn’t have any trouble keeping track of the characters. Rate: 4.0

The Round House by Louise Erdrich – This story takes place on a reservation in North Dakota, and is first person from the early teen son of a woman who is brutally attacked. He joins his father in trying to find who has hurt his mother. In the beginning I didn’t like the style – too many “I” statements, too descriptive/lecture to provide the reader with background information. Once the story got going, there was less of this and the flow improved. By the end I couldn’t put it down. Erdrich uses the funky no quotation marks style, which I find confusing. This might be one of the reasons for the slow start on this novel. But in spite of that, the character develops quite well, and I was soon engaged. Rate: 4.0

Girls in Trouble by Caroline Leavitt – I’m almost done reading all her work. And I did sign up for a class! This book (which I suspect I read a few years ago) does a nice job of building the two sets of characters – the sixteen year old pregnant Sara and the couple who adopts baby Anne. There is a nice pace to the story arcs and crisis. The timing is right for the fast forward to later in their lives. Rate: 4.0

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. Okay, here is another one who produces books so rapidly I just imagine her at her desk all hours of the day and night. This is a nice twist on a genre historic romance. From the point of view of Carrie, a writer, we move back and forth between her life writing the story and the story itself. Fun way to tell a story. Kearsley has a nice voice and no loose ends. She also is good at slipping in the historical facts without sounding like too much of a lecture, it doesn’t hurt that the handsome Graham actually is a history professor so he can get away with telling the reader quite a bit. A nice relaxing read, Rate: 4.0

The Rosie Project by Graehme Simsion. I have been on the wait list for a while for this one and I can see why! As someone who worked with Autism Spectrum students, I am always interested in books written from that perspective. A clever, well written book, a love story and more, I worked hard not to overanalyze what I know about the ability for someone with significant obsessive behaviors and change, because, this is a novel, and of course we want the hero to change. Rate: 4.5 stars

When Women Were Birds – Fifty-Four Variations on Voice by Terry Tempest Williams. Several strikes against this one, a book we did not select for our book club. One – it is non-fiction, which I don’t read much of, Two – it is a memoir, which I really have only ever read one I kind of liked, and I can’t even remember the title, and Three – I didn’t finish it. Not a bad writer or anything like that, just not enough to hold my interest. It was a bit poetic, which means that things are repeated. I got what Williams was doing, and she did accomplish it, but it just isn’t my kind of book. No rating.




  1. Robin Rice says:

    Marlene, It is because if I’m not liking a book lately, I toss it aside and don’t finish it! So, yes, you are going to read about the one’s I liked.

  2. Marlene says:

    I was beginning to think you like every book you read with the first ones all with high rating. So, I hate to admit but was glad you did find one book you didn’t recommend. So, why am I complaining? Because my list of books to read is getting way too long! Thanks for the reviews..

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