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review 2018-01-21 13:17
In every life a little rain must fall.....
THE RAINBOW (illustrated, complete, and unexpurgated) - DH Lawrence

In essence ‘The Rainbow’ is a family saga, which examines the journey of three generations of the Nottinghamshire-based, Brangwen family. In particular, several of the most interesting characters are strong women of that clan - mothers, partners, daughters.

 

Published in 1915, this novel assumed some notoriety following a prosecution, by the ‘Public Morality Council’ for obscenity and the first clash between Lawrence and British censorship. However, a century on, the contemporary threshold for public outrage is calibrated more liberally and enables the reader to engage with the much bigger themes present in the book. So, rather than becoming exercised by lewd sexualised behaviour and implied impropriety, of equal interest to the modern reader may be the backdrop of early industrialisation, the rise of capitalism and the attendant social consequences for women and, to use the modern parlance, social mobility.


The chapters are quite long, which seems to be Lawrence’s style and often the description of nature is beautiful though laboured. Yet, it does contrast the starkly grey and grimy towns to which the working class are increasingly tethered to populate mines and factories and satisfy the demands of mechanisation and progress. Indeed, arguably Lawrence has used the Brangwen’s as a metaphor for the urbanization of the midlands and a wider movement from a bucolic existence to a form of industrial serfdom, but transforming also social attitudes and the norms, which had hitherto maintained the status quo. Thus, the apparent loosening influence of traditional institutions (church, marriage, community) is portrayed by Lawrence as having potentially liberating effects, or at least challenging the hypocrisy of conventional moral rectitude.


Still, within the personal lives of the main characters are also the tensions, trials and emotional turmoil that appear ever-present in families, whatever the era and some interesting parallels to twenty first century life. First up, Lydia Lensky is the daughter of a Polish landowner, but a widowed single parent, when she receives a proposal of marriage from farmer Tom Brangwen. The couple go on to have a son, but Tom also raises Lydia’s daughter as his own and fashions a strong and special, though volatile relationship with ‘Anna’, in part to fill a perceived deficit in his marriage.


Anna, in turn, marries William Brangwen ('step cousin') and in some senses replicates the turbulent relationship modelled by her parents, but the couple go on to have a large family and Anna revels in her matriarchal role. The rapid succession of babies though also has implications for their eldest daughter. ‘Ursula’ is called upon to help tend her siblings, but in the frenetic bustle of the household fosters an especially close relationship with her father, to step outside of the care of four babies. Moreover, Ursula’s subsequent education and aspirations show burgeoning feminist tendencies and her resistance to the historical templates available for women – “…why must one inherit this heavy, numbing responsibility of living an undiscovered life?”- mark her out as the most interesting character in this book.


Ursula’s revolutionary leanings are expressed in her pursuit of independence, but Lawrence deliberately touched a nerve, by including the young woman’s developing sexual awareness, as a component of her rebellion. “She knew that she had always her price or ransom – her femaleness……In her femaleness she felt a secret riches, a reserve, she had always the price of freedom.”


The challenge posed by D.H.Lawrence to the sobriety of his time might seem less inflammatory today and yet the aspiration to be “proud and free as a man, yet exquisite as a woman” retains a familiar contemporary echo. The fact that this book precedes its better known sequel ‘Women in Love’, which continues to follow the lives and loves of Ursula and her sister Gudrun Brangwen, may also suggest that Lawrence was ahead of his time in more ways than one and can still speak to the multi-title, 'boxset' generation.

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text 2018-01-07 04:43
Reading progress update: I've read 59%.
Fangirl by Rowell, Rainbow (2014) Paperback - Rainbow Rowell

Loving this so far!

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review 2017-12-23 00:18
Kisses, Cute Boys and Cliché - A 'Meh' Christmas Short Stories Book
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories - Rainbow Rowell,Holly Black,Laini Taylor,Myra McEntire,Kiersten White,Stephanie Perkins,Gayle Forman,Matt de la Pena,Jenny Han,Ally Carter,Kelly Link,David Levithan

Its Christmas soon and what better way to be in the festive mood than to read a book about the season of giving? So far, I had two and I pick them up one year after the other but I never read them and they were on my shelve for until last Friday I read one of them and I pick this one. So I started to read this last week Friday and managed to finished it early morning today. Here's the thing - I love short stories. They are precise, simple and short. Can be fun, dramatic, romantic and whatever that was meant to be in a genre. So when I read My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, I was looking forward to 'TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES'. As it turns out - it should be change to 'Twelve ROMANTICHoliday stories' instead. And as I know, its under young adult and although I do want to read Christmas stories, I should have bought 'A Christmas Carol' instead. My fault because I should have known what I am getting myself into.

 

The question is - is this book worth reading? As you can see the rating above from this review... mehhh.

 

There are a total of twelve short stories here from today's known young adult authors and so far, all twelve of these stories has the same kind of formulate story you must have read or even watch on television. I mean, there are some nice funny ones and I do enjoy Holly BlackKiersten White and Ally Carter ones but the rest, I just didn't feel it. The worst one was Laini Taylor because to tell you the truth - at the beginning of the story I had no idea what was going on. Its cheesy, its cliché and it gives no reason why the girls want to kiss the boys first. Although The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer and Polaris is Where You'll Find Me stays out of its modern themes, every single one of these stories must have 'a kiss with a guy' in any way it has to be written. Seriously, I felt it is forced upon. Why? Because... the guy is cute. That's the reason. Whether the guy is a figment of imagination, a God, an elf... the male counterpart is cute. For me, that's what I remember most.

 

Did I hate it? Not really. Did I love it? Not really. Its just not really the kind of holiday stories I was expecting to be cliché about. Would I recommend this? To teen readers (girls) who love cute guys. Other than that, no.

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review 2017-12-04 13:00
My True Love Gave To Me Edited by Stephanie Perkins
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories - Rainbow Rowell,Holly Black,Laini Taylor,Myra McEntire,Kiersten White,Stephanie Perkins,Gayle Forman,Matt de la Pena,Jenny Han,Ally Carter,Kelly Link,David Levithan

Here is an old review of mine, perfect for the holiday season!

 

An overall rating is hard to come by, because I feel like it is not fair to everyone. I rated stories for many different reasons. The lower ratings do not come down to bad writing by any means, but to my tastes, and what type of stories I like. I applaud all these writers and thank them for creating this collection of stories. I will give this a score of 4/5, for all the stories I really enjoyed and all the writer's hard work.

1.  Midnights by Rainbow Rowell *****

This is the first thing I have read of Rainbow's and it gave me a really good heartwarming feeling. I wish there was more story for the characters in this short story. 5/5 stars. I read this story on 12/12/15.

2.  The Lady And The Fox by Kelly Link **

2 stars does not mean I disliked it, but that it was okay. It was a bit too odd for my tastes. 2/5 stars. I read this story on 12/13/15

3.  Angels In The Snow by Matt De La Pena ****

I thought this was cute and I loved the parts the cat was in. I did think the romance part felt rushed. 4/5 stars. I read this on 12/14/15

4. Polaris Is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han ***


I like the writing style, but the story fell short for me. I felt like there should have been more to it. 3/5 stars. I read this on 12/16/15

5. It's A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins *****

It is no surprise that I really liked this story. I love her writing style. This had me in all smiles and gave me the warm fuzzies. 5/5 stars. I read this on 12/16/15

6. You're Temporary Santa by David Levithan ****

I liked the story. There was a sadness to it though. 4/5 stars. Read on 12/18/15

7. Krampuslauf by Holly Black ***

I enjoyed it, though not as much as some of the others. 3/5 stars. Read on 12/18/15

8. What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth by Gayle Foreman ***

I liked it, but not the romance. Too rushed. 3/5 stars. I read this on 12/19/15.

9. Beer Buckets And Baby Jesus by Myra Mcentire ***

One year later, I am resuming this book during December/Christmas time. I really enjoyed this story, but I think I am not a super short story sort of person because I really wanted more details and for it to be longer. However, it was cute. 3/5 stars. I read this on 12/02/16

10. Welcome To Christmas, CA by Kiersten White *****

I loved this story. It was cute and sweet, had drama and a happy, romantic ending. 5/5 stars. I read this on 12/02/16

11. Star Of Bethlehem by Ally Carter ***

Interesting concept for a story, though its been done before. I feel with more details, it would be better. 3/5 stars. I read this on 12/03/16

12. The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor ****

I really enjoyed this one and thought Taylor's writing style was wonderful. 4/5 stars. I read this on 12/03/16

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text 2017-11-23 04:17
Reading progress update: I've read 5 out of 320 pages.
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories - Rainbow Rowell,Holly Black,Laini Taylor,Myra McEntire,Kiersten White,Stephanie Perkins,Gayle Forman,Matt de la Pena,Jenny Han,Ally Carter,Kelly Link,David Levithan

Noel is to cute

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