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Search tags: Cassandra-Campbell
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review 2017-07-12 14:14
Eligible (and Prejudice)
Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice - Curtis Sittenfeld,Cassandra Campbell

 

 

In this modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice,  the way people know that Chip Bingley, an ER doctor "in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife” is that two years before, he appeared on a Bacheloresque dating show called Eligible (without selecting either of the two female contestants who made it to the final episode).  The Bennet family in this version of P & P reside in a ramshackle Tudor home in Cincinatti, Ohio, and of course Mrs. Bennet is convinced that Dr. Bingley will be just right for one of her daughters.  Jane Bennet, who will be turning 40 in the fall, is a yoga instructor who has been attempting to become pregnant via donor sperm and artificial insemination.  Liz, age 38, is a writer for a magazine called Mascara.  Both Liz and Jane live in NYC, but they fly out to their ancestral home when their father has a health scare.  The youngest three daughters have never left the nest.  Mary, age 30, is a misanthrope working on her third online master's degree.  Lydia and Kitty, both in their 20s, work service jobs on and off, but put most of their energy into their Crossfit workouts.

 

Readers of Jane Austen's original will know the broad strokes of the plotlines, but Curtis Sittenfeld changes things up enough to keep the narrative fresh.  There is, of course, a Fitzwilliam Darcy, in this case a neurosurgeon, who must overcome his pride while Liz Bennet makes a journey to get past her own prejudice.  

 

This book was a "staff pick" chosen for week two of the Albany Public Library summer-reading program.  Onto week three (non-fiction)!

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review 2017-05-10 12:20
The Book of Summer
The Book of Summer: A Novel - Michelle Gable

By: Michelle Gable 

ISBN: 9781250070623

Publisher: St. Martin's Press 

Publication Date: 5/9/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 5 Stars

 

Storyteller, Michelle Gable returns following I’ll See You in Paris and A Paris Apartment with her latest Nantucket summer charmer (her best yet): THE BOOK OF SUMMER — a multi-generational story of family, home, the courage of tenacious women and the special memories of Cliff House.

Rich in history and character, a scandalous, emotional, and witty tale of family and saving a home. The past, loss and loves, and all the lives which connect. A perfect mix of historic and contemporary.

Based on the real-life erosion of the Sankaty Bluff in Siasconset –known as Sconset—the easternmost spot on Nantucket Island, Gable was inspired by an article in Vanity Fair (very intriguing) about the grand homes, passed down between generations now falling into the sea.

Though the Cliff House bears the fictitious address of Baxter Road, it is based on Bluff House, formerly located at 87 Baxter Road.

The quintessential Nantucket manor known as Cliff House is near falling into the ocean.

However, town shaker Cissy Codman, owner of the home is determined to remain in the house, using every trick she has to keep up the fight to save her family home. She plans on going down the ship.

Cissy is a force to be reckoned with and determined to get the local government behind her to either move the house or continue with the erosion prevention efforts.

Her daughter has been sent from San Francisco, California by her father to ensure her mom moves out of the house before she dies left in the house.

Bess Codman, a physician is undergoing a messy divorce from a complete jerk (Brandon), plus she is pregnant (unplanned) and runs into her ex-high school boyfriend, Evan Mahew.

While tasked with the job of packing up her mom, Bess discovers the “Book of Summer.” A guest book filled with recollections of friends' and family's stay at the house. Entries in the book are highlighted throughout the novel, with difficulties and challenges faced by other residents.

From 2013 and the start of World War II, we hear from Ruby Packard, Bess’s grandmother, an idealistic young bride in 1939, just before the United States enters WWII and Bess.

Bess does not understand her mom Cissy’s obsession with this house; however, the more she reads she comes to understand similarities of present and past. The stubborn women who chained themselves to complex men like the house. Bess begins to understand the unspoken expectations placed on Cissy, being the only child in a troubled home.

Loss is a part of life. Giving everything she had. A costly venture, "saving a bluff." The geo-tubes.

From family drama, lies, secrets, scandals, abortions, gays, alcoholism, betrayal, abuse, infidelity, hookers, divorce, marriage, and more – loss and love, mixed with tons of fun and humor and surprises (loved the part about the pecker-hilarious) and commentary and views from blogger— Corbie Tarbox, the Island ACKtion blog.

Loved Cissy! I related to her on some many levels. What a great cast of characters, from past and present. What is not to love about Nantucket? Have had many hotel clients over the years, and almost moved there full time to run a hotel. Always a good excuse to visit.

Michelle transports you to this charming coastal town by the sea, with an engaging story, resonating with the early writings of Erin Hilderbrand and Nancy Thayer (which I loved), before they changed, over the past few years.

The past and present were nicely done with many connections with highly charged topics. A perfect beach read and an ideal choice for book clubs and further discussion. Can you imagine losing your house to facts beyond your control?

Gable keeps getting better and better. I enjoyed reading the book; however when I discovered Cassandra Campbell was narrating the audiobook, had to pre-order. Love Cassandra Campbell (my favorite narrator).

She was exceptional and a perfect fit for THE BOOK OF SUMMER. Engaging, absorbing, and entertaining! The audio experience, actually bumped up my review another star, making this a 5-star reading experience.

Highly recommend the book and the audio. Love the subject material with the erosion problem which I am very familiar with highly relatable issues— residing in a coastal area.

Here in Palm Beach, (Breakers Hotel), as well as the Southern area of Palm Beach (Phipps Ocean Park and Beach), the continued erosion along the project area threatens upland structures & recreational beaches. The sand placement and groin & mitigation construction cost millions and designed to last only three years. Very costly, temporary and ongoing environmental issues.

Fans of Mary Alice Monroe, Dorothea Benton Frank, Joanne DeMaio, and Hazel Gaynor will enjoy THE BOOK OF SUMMER.

A special thank you to St Martin's Press and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/02/01/The-Book-of-Summer
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review 2017-05-01 02:22
Lost Landscape
The Lost Landscape: A Writer's Coming of Age - Joyce Carol Oates,Cassandra Campbell

 

 

Although I have read quite a few of Joyce Carol Oates's works, since she is so prolific, I think I've just barely scraped the surface.  One of the things I admire about her is her eclecticism.  She doesn't confine herself to any one genre nor fall back on any sort of a formula.

 

Probably the first book of hers that I read was Them.  I recall it was on my parents' bookshelf.  My dad was in her graduating class at Syracuse University, and he used to tell me with some pride that he and she were both on the school paper, The Daily Orange.  While I was a PhD student in the 1990s, she gave a talk at my university, and I was lucky to be chosen to attend the post-talk dinner.  She couldn't have been a more gracious dinner companion.  And no, she didn't remember my dad, but I didn't necessarily expect her to!

 

I enjoyed this memoir, and it made me realize how little I knew about Oates's personal life.  One of the things I enjoyed was the afterword, in which she makes a distinction between "memoir" and "autobiography" and explains which elements and details she had changed in order to protect the privacy of some of the people she wrote about.  She also described some of the people and events she did not include and explained why she made that choice.  Ever the teacher, she teaches her readers about the text they have just read.

 

The narrator of the audiobook has a very pleasant voice, though it often struck me how unlike the author's voice it is.  Like the word "demure."  I recall at the talk she gave at my university, Oates sharing with incredulity that people are always expecting her to be demure.  And her pronunciation of the word, in her Western New York accent, sounds quite different from the narrator's rendition.  Still a good reading, though.

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review 2017-03-19 16:18
The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin by Stephanie Knipper
The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin - Stephanie Knipper,Andi Arndt,Cassandra Campbell

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was really a great story. I wasn't sure what to expect when I started listening to this audiobook but I soon found myself hooked. The story touched on so many difficult topics and everything worked together in a way that I wouldn't have expected. I really liked that the story was told from multiple points of view and I thought that each perspective really added an important piece to the overall puzzle. I really ended up enjoying this book.

This is a book that is really about a lot of things. It is a book that tells the story of two sisters, Lily and Rose, mending their relationship. Lily and Rose have seen very little of each other in the years leading up to the start of the book but when Rose needs Lily, she comes to help. That is just one part of the story. This book also focuses on a little girl with disabilities who has a special gift.

Antoinette was a great character. She is nonverbal but she still says so much. She is her mother's world and the feeling is mutual. She is a caring child that doesn't want to see anyone or anything ill or in pain. She is willing to do anything she can to help take care of those that she loves. Unfortunately, Antoinette's gift comes with a price that those who love her work to protect her from.

I loved how so many different elements came together to tell this story. I loved the parts from Rose's point of view that really demonstrated her love for Antoinette. Lily's struggle to fit in and the things she struggles with in her life every day was very well told. Seth and Will both added to the story with their actions in the present and they both had really interesting pasts. I enjoyed the magical realism elements that helped to tell this story.

I loved the narration. I have listened to Andi Arndt several times in the past and have always enjoyed her work. This was the first time that I have listened to Cassandra Campbell and I thoroughly enjoyed the parts of the book that she narrated. I think that using two narrators really added to the impact of the story. Andi Arndt did narrate the bulk of the story but they both did an equally wonderful job. This was an emotional story and both narrators really did a great job expressing a lot of strong feelings.

I would recommend this book to others. This is the first book by Stephanie Knipper that I have read and I am really impressed by her ability to write wonderful characters dealing with a lot of difficult issues. I would definitely like to read from this author in the future.

I received a review copy of this book from HighBridge Audio via LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Initial Thoughts
I enjoyed this story. The narration was great. I really liked the little bit of magic that made its way into the story.  

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review 2017-03-11 02:41
Gripping story, makes me want to read more books in the series
Haunted Moon: Otherworld Series, Book 13 - Yasmine Galenorn,Cassandra Campbell,Recorded Books

This is the second story in the series that I have listened to. Camille is finishing her training to be the priestess to the Moon Mother amidst zombies, bone walkers, spirit demons, and much more. I find her strength and that of her family worth the time as they fight for the good of all. I recommend this story and the series.

I received this audio version as a gift, and this is my unsolicited review.

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