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text 2016-12-04 04:37
Love transcending
The Story Hour - Thrity Umrigar

In the Story Hour, an arrange marriage finds Lakshmi, a woman from a small town in India, working in her husband's restaurant in the American midwest. She is exhausted, unhappy, isolated. She attempts suicide and comes under the care of Maggie, a psychologist and African American.

 

Maggie is married to an Indian, Sudhir, who came as a student and stayed on to become a professor and American citizen.

 

Maggie and Lakshmi are from different cultures, have different family dynamics but their similarities as women, indeed as human beings transcends the patient doctor relationship and finds them becoming friends.

 

Gradually understanding grows and with Maggie's help and guidance economic disparity between the two diminishes.

 

But when secrets are revealed both judge each other unfairly in the most part because, despite their affection for each other, it's impossible for each to overcome the biases ingrained by culture.

 

The relationship seems irreparably damaged but one woman is prepared to risk everything for make it right again.

 

Author Thrity Umrigar really shines a light on how our background and different cultures frame the way we see ourselves, our fellow human beings and the world around us. It's also a realistic, compassionate and hopeful look at the lives of millions of immigrant women from third world countries who come to reside in the west.

 

The story has depth, humour, passion and compassion and remarkable insight. A true novel for the twenty-first century.

 

 

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text 2016-02-02 07:53
Finished — Stolen Chances: Ughhh this book was terrible
Stolen Chances - Elisabeth Naughton,Elizabeth Wiley

I mean terrible. 

 

Besides the the hero forgiving the heroine immediately it turned into a schmaltzy love must conquer hate! mess. It drove me nuts. And of course it was all coming from the asshole heroine. OMG, let him go, for us, our love must overcome his hate, nevermind he'll keep coming after us OOPS he kidnapped me again! Argh!

 

Then, of course, a ton of time was spent with the hero and heroine together being all lovey-dovey like I give a good god damn. The man list eight years of his daughter's life I WANT TO SEE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FATHER AND DAUGHTER!!!!! Instead she was barely in the rest of the book.

 

*SEETHES*

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text 2016-01-31 22:31
Seven Hours – Fuck your secret baby stories!
Stolen Chances - Elisabeth Naughton,Elizabeth Wiley

Seriously, it is the worst trope out there. The only thing I can think of that is worse is the falling-in-love-with-her-rapist trope. I would like to take all the secret baby books, put them in a pile, and make a huge bonfire.

 

The heroines in these stories are flaming trash piles, with few exceptions. Terrible human beings, and yet I'm supposed to believe in an HEA let alone root for one?

 

The heroine in this book is no different. Terrible excuses for not telling the hero when she could. And had the nerve to sleep with him before being forced to come clean! Coupled with the heap of other lies she was keeping. I know I'm supposed to be horrified that the villain knocked her the fuck out. But seriously I was just glad someone did what I had been aching to reach through my speakers and do. Because that'll be the only comeuppance she gets. 

 

Of course, much like all the other heroes in these stories he comes up reasons to forgive her. He understands her lame-ass reasons, and even takes blame upon himself. Gaaaaahhhh! *rips out hair* All so they can end up together when they shouldn't. I always wish the heroine would die or just fuck off in some way that the hero can claim his child and they can live happily ever after.

 

I hate this trope so much. HATE. The story for me becomes all about what the hero has missed in his child's life. He never gets any justice for that. It's never an HEA for me.

 

New rule: I flounce the hell out of secret baby books instead of trying to power through. The rage isn't worth it. I may stick around long enough to ascertain what the heroine did to try and find/notify the hero. But if it's not enough, or later she doesn't tell him when she has the opportunity I'm out.

 

To add insult to injury in this book the sex was so graphic. I liked this series because they were decent romantic suspense, light on sex and not graphic. Actual romance sex scenes. Then somewhere between the second and third book "cock" became Naughton's favorite word —judging by how much she uses it in her PNR series — and so now it is said constantly in this book. It's obnoxious as fuck. Romance doesn't need such graphic euphmisims. 

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review 2015-11-25 00:00
Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire
Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire - Eric Berkowitz Interesting look at Sex and the control of it over the years. Starts with ancient history and moves to the late 19th early 20th century. It concentrates on western culture and the effect Christianity had on pre-existing European culture after looking at Classical Greek and Roman society. A mess was made of various societies by the attempt to control people and their reactions to people they are attracted to.

Sex and sexuality is complicated and we still haven't resolved a lot of our issues with it but this is an interesting romp through 4000 years of judging desire.
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review 2015-10-25 23:06
DNF at 64% – The Horrors of Domestic Violence Is Not the Horror I Was Looking For.
Ghost Road Blues (Pine Deep Trilogy, #1) - Jonathan Maberry,Tom Weiner

Jonathan Maberry is real hit or miss for me. I like the Joe Ledger series even though I generally hate his writing style. But I still keep giving him a chance. This book won the Bram Stoker Award so I thought I was in for something good here. If this is what they honor, then I don't actually get what the BSA is about.

 

Once again Maberry has about fifty million characters and we have to jump to all of their POVs. It didn't feel like there was any sort of cohesive story just random vignettes that pull together separately. It was all slow as hell. There were hints at horror elements, but not enough for there to be anything called horror, really. There was more of the human crime element.

 

Even the people that were obviously supposed to be the good protagonists weren't in my opinion. Everyone knew this guy Vic is beating on his 14-year-old stepson but no one does anything about it because Vic is friends with cops or some such nonsense. Our "hero" Crowe calls himself doing something by befriending the kid, Mike. On this night Mike had already gotten into an accident and was injured and Crowe knew that sending him home with his stepfather was a bad, dangerous idea but did it anyway because the Mayor told him to. When he leaves the kid to do the job he was tasked with and comes back to be told by a witness that Vic came to get Mike and full on punched him in the gut before tossing him in the car, Crowe was pissed. And that was about it. We're then treated to a very extended and graphic scene of Vic beating the ever-loving shit out of Mike. It was horrific and supposed to somehow be ameliorated because Mike realizes that Vic is nothing more than human during the beating? What the?

 

Back to Crowe and the very next thing he's thinking about getting home to his girlfriend and the meal she cooked him. That's when I was done with this book. There are no good guys in this story if they just let something like that go on and do nothing. He didn't even bother to go check on the kid! Then he realized said girlfriend was probably in trouble and that's all that mattered. Speaking of the girlfriend, the topper on my DNF was her running back to the farm where the killer who had kidnapped her and her family was instead of trying to get any sort of help.

 

I don't care about these characters at all. Except Mike and since he isn't getting help I can't stand to read/listen to more. I don't care about what's coming, if anything is coming because the whole thing has been boring as hell. And long as hell. I actually groaned out loud when I was halfway through because there was still another seven hours left! I tried, but it's not worth my time. I'm super disappointed. I was hoping to have a fun creepy/scary trilogy to get me through the rest of October.

 

ETA: I forgot to mention that the narrator was pretty awful as well. I actually ended up getting used to him eventually, but he was in no way good.

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