Reviews by Carol T. (Ankeny, IA)

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The Heart's Invisible Furies: A Novel
by John Boyne
So so (6/17/2017)
This was OK. If you like John Irving, it might be down your alley.
My Last Lament
by James William Brown
Like listening to a story (3/20/2017)
I know my review title seems a little silly since this is a novel, which makes it, by definition, a story. However, it is so well-written that I felt like I was listening to Aliki (the lamenter) tell her story - she drew me in and I didn't want to put it down.
The Typewriter's Tale
by Michiel Heyns
Very.... Jamesian.. (1/1/2017)
If you are fond of Henry James, you'll find The Typewriter's Tale to be just the ticket; full of long, delicious, delectable sentences, themselves filled with admirable adjectives, fulsome feelings, and sensitive sensibilities. A good weekend's read.
Mercies in Disguise: A Story of Hope, a Family's Genetic Destiny, and the Science That Rescued Them
by Gina Kolata
Mercies and opportunities (10/30/2016)
Well-written, informative, well-developed characters. I found myself sad to see the book end. I will look for more books by Kolata.
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
by Kathleen Rooney
Walk thru a life (9/24/2016)
Lillian's New Year's Eve stroll thru Manhattan is really a stroll thru her life, the good and the bad, from her relationships with her mother, husband, son, and best friend, to how women were treated in the workplace. I was surprised that in 1935 she was able to keep working when she married. Very often women weren't able to in that era. Having to leave when she was obviously "with child" rings true for another 40 years. Excellent story telling.
North of Crazy: A Memoir
by Neltje
Excellent writer (5/29/2016)
Neltje is an excellent writer. I wish she'd spent more time on her life in Wyoming and less on her unfortunate childhood, but if you enjoy reading superior writing, this is it.
The Dark Lady's Mask
by Mary Sharratt
Dark Lady (2/7/2016)
An excellent book for those who enjoy strong renaissance women.
The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins
by Antonia Hodgson
Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins (12/22/2015)
While I found this slow going, I think a book club might enjoy the discussions that could come of it.
Fallen Land
by Taylor Brown
Fallen Land (11/1/2015)
While I found the motivations in Fallen Land to be a bit thin, perhaps that is the way of a war torn country. It is a quick read and a good choice for book clubs that want to discuss character, not plot.
Lamp Black, Wolf Grey
by Paula Brackston
Lamp Black, Wolf Grey (7/3/2015)
An easy read. If you like Brackston's other books, you'll like this one. A few key characters aren't as well developed as I'd have liked and at least one major problem was solved by a character I didn't realize could solve it, but this book has possibilities.
What Doesn't Kill Her: A Reeve LeClaire Series Novel
by Carla Norton
Good read (4/25/2015)
A little slow at the beginning, and I had trouble believing a girl who was kidnapped and tortured for 4 years miraculously recovered enough to search for her own torturer, and the torturer was very 1-dimensional thru the entire book. However, as the book went on the protagonists became more 3-dimensional and more interesting. An easy read for a rainy afternoon.
The Witch of Painted Sorrows: A Daughters of La Lune Novel
by M. J. Rose
OK, but... (3/14/2015)
The Witch of Painted Sorrows had promise and perhaps if I were "hooked" on the genre I'd have enjoyed it more, but I was lost by the constant need to "tell" me rather than "show" me and to invest every instant with symbolism and portent.
The Well
by Catherine Chanter
Promise (2/18/2015)
This might be a good book for a book club discussion, but it just doesn't click for this single reader. The writer has terrific and elegant prose, lots of promise, but the first person approach isn't working. If we're only in the protagonist's head, we should know what she knows as she knows it, but she reveals it so slowly that I often wondered if she'd actually lived through the things she was revealing.
The Rabbit Back Literature Society
by Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen
Rabbit Back Literature Society (10/26/2014)
"Elusive" is the best word to describe this book. Everything about the book is elusive. Nothing is as it first appears - and nothing remains what it seems to have been. Interesting.
Accidents of Marriage
by Randy Susan Meyers
Predictable (6/12/2014)
I'm afraid I needed more in order to really like this book - more plot, more rounded characters, and, frankly, more editing to keep up the pace. While it picked up in places, very often the book lagged and begged me to put it down. With a little more editing and more well-rounded characters, this could easily be one I recommend to friends.
Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed
by John F. Ross
All the things I didn't know (4/6/2014)
John Ross's historical research is impeccable - and his writing draws the reader in. I've lived in Iowa my whole life; we tend to claim anyone who crossed our borders or lived here for any time at all as Iowans, yet I had no idea Eddie Rickenbacker lived here to drive the Cornstalk Circuit and work/race for the Duesenbergs. There was much more to this man than being a WWI flying ace.
Mimi Malloy, At Last!
by Julia MacDonnell
Mimi survives - and thrives (2/2/2014)
My mother was born nearly the same year as Mimi, the middle of 10 children, 7 of them girls. She has never talked about her childhood and steered us away when we tried to ask. She had no missing sisters and her parents lived to ripe old age, but there is something about that era that keeps many people from discussing - or even remembering - it; whether the reasons be deep family secrets or the hardship of growing up on a farm during the depression. Hurrah for Mimi and the women in her family who, however, unwillingly, face the past so they can face the future.
Safe with Me
by Amy Hatvany
A good book for a rainy afternoon (11/12/2013)
This is one of those relatively light-in-plot-and-character books that pulls the reader in anyway. I hunger for a book with well developed characters and character/plot driven responses, but until I find the next one, Amy Hatvany's Safe with Me will do.
A Man of His Own
by Susan Wilson
Enthralling (8/11/2013)
As a dog lover, I loved it - and I don't love all dog stories, even some of the most popular have left me cold. But this one, coupled with the historical aspect and the Pax's people family, drew me in held me there. I was sorry to have it end.
The Mouse-Proof Kitchen
by Saira Shah
Excellent (6/18/2013)
Saria Shah draws readers into Anna's well-planned perfect world just as it comes crashing down -- or does it? That question keeps those same readers intrigued until Anna finds the answer.
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