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review 2018-07-13 17:50
THE POWER by Naomi Alderman
The Power - Naomi Alderman

Wow! Imagine a world where the women take over. Men are controlled by women and women make the decisions. No man is permitted to do anything or go anywhere without a woman's approval. That's the premise of The Power.

I liked it. A lot. Roles are reversed. The thoughts and words have changed gender. Men control very little and only with the approval of women.

I was so into the story I forgot that it is a story that will be a novel of the time when the world changed from men leading to women leading. The set-up to and from the novel is done through letters from the author to a friend. Since he cannot tell the history as history, he does it as a novel. It works very well this way. I forgot it was a novel and was looking at it as ...hmmm, what if?

I liked how it is done by years and each year is seen from the main characters point-of-view. I liked Roxy. She's tough and a survivor. Allie started to believe her PR. So does Margot. I'm not sure whether the two of them become hinderances or return to the light. Allie's voice makes me wonder--serpent or angel. I also enjoyed Tunde and his male point-of-view of what is happening to the men and will they survive.

A well done novel that will make you question your beliefs. Lots of discussion points for book clubs. I know I'm recommending it for mine.

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review 2018-06-05 18:32
How Hard Can It Be?
How Hard Can It Be? - Allison Pearson

Title: How Hard Can It Be?
Author: Allison Pearson
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Series: Kate Reddy, #2
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five
Review:

"How Hard Can It Be?" by Allison Pearson

My Thoughts....

Well how 'How Hard Can It Be" for Kate Reddy who is close to her 50th birthday? Let's see just what all she has before her: having to lie about her age as she is returning to the workforce due to the fact that her husband [Richard] is out there where he has distant [self-centered], into self help books and bike riding [midlife crisis]. Along with this Kate's daughter has gone on internet and posted a 'inappropriate photos' of herself, then we go on to aging parents [his parents and her mom] and lastly having to deal with menopause. So, just from all of this the reader can see that a lots has been thrown on Kate. Oh, I don't want to forget to add more to Kate's woes, a person [Jack Abelhammer] from her past has come into the scene so what will that bring to this story? So, will this story be a 'recipe for disaster, laughs and some heartwarming moment?

"How Hard Can It Be?" was quite a engaging, poignant read where a lots of what Kate Reddy had to go through was very relatable for many who have tackled many of these issues. I thought this novel was a good read that was not only well written, , clever and yes very real' that I would recommend as a good read.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-06-04 15:21
Narrative Style Took Me Out of Story Also Book Wraps Things Up Too Neatly
The Reunion - Roisin Meaney

Trigger warning: Rape. 

 

I tend to not do spoiler reviews. However, I realized that I wouldn't be able to show what I didn't give this book over two stars without spoiling the book. 


Well good news is that this only cost me $.99. Bad news is that I didn't really think I got my money's worth. I have liked/loved most of Meaney's works, but this one just fell flat to me throughout the book. Ostensibly about two sisters (Caroline and Eleanor) going to their twenty year reunion in Ireland, the book jumps back and forth showing Caroline and Eleanor and their lives twenty years ago, and to the present day. I felt for both women's stories, but ended up liking Caroline's more, I just hated how her story-line got resolved. I also think that Eleanor's story-line just magically poof got better with no real repercussions for what happened to her family after she just opted out of things. 

 

"The Reunion" starts with sisters Caroline and Eleanor receiving an invitation to their 20 year reunion. Neither of them wants to go for different reasons. Receiving the invitation though has both of them remembering things that they rather not dwell about now in their late 30s. 


Meaney goes back and forth to show both women's POV throughout the book.

 

Caroline's story-line was shocking. She is raped by a family friend and falls pregnant. When she goes to her mother, her mother informs her that she will be sent to England for an abortion and even slaps her when Caroline realizes that her mother maybe harbored a secret fantasy about this family friend. I felt for Caroline and everything she went through. Her finding a real friend in her cousin Florence was welcome. Caroline is shown missing her son after giving him up for adoption. However, Meaney then throws a love interest in Caroline's story that didn't feel realistic at all. I was fine with her being a successful businesswoman. Having her in a romance that felt off to me (she meets this man when he is a young teen and they have a relationship about ten years later) and honestly it skeeved me out. 

 

Eleanor seemed to have a slightly charmed life. Dating the most handsome boy at her school who is also the son of a rich man, Eleanor sees her life with him going smoothly with them eventually marrying. He has other ideas and breaks up with her. For most of the story-line with Eleanor you know that she doesn't let this relationship go easily, and that she had a child that died. It takes a while for you to figure out who Eleanor marries. And I have to say, that romance had zero chemistry when Meaney finally shows it to us. I did feel sympathy for Eleanor for her loss, but we find out she refused to be a mother or wife to her family for 14 years after the accidental death of her child. I didn't want her to be left alone and mourning forever. But I thought how Meaney resolved things with no real repercussion to Eleanor was a freaking cop out. It seemed that for a bit there Meaney was going to reveal that Eleanor's husband sought out a relationship elsewhere, but that went nowhere fast.

 

I think the secondary characters were not developed that well. Eleanor's husband barely feels present, along with Caroline and Eleanor's parents. I thought the only character that was sketched reasonably well was cousin Florence. 


The writing was good. I was just more invested in Caroline's story. Eleanor's chapters felt bogged down to me while I was reading. Nothing much seems to happen to her until she goes off to work in a restaurant. The flow was up and down going back and forth. When Meaney goes back in time (so to speak) to show the women's lives twenty years back and then suddenly we are just in the present day it felt weird to me. Meaney does show the years/month so you know what timeline you are in. Thank goodness for that since a few times I was a bit lost. 

 

The ending didn't satisfy me at all. Eleanor's family is bailed out by a rich relation and she and her husband magically make things work. I wish we had them having more conversations with each other. Instead, we just hear how they are now sharing a bedroom again. I also wish that Caroline's mother had been made to face up to what she had done, but she wasn't.

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review 2018-05-14 22:51
THE BREAK DOWN by B. A. Paris
The Break Down - B.A. Paris

I don't normally read psychological thrillers because they trigger issues for me but this is our book club book this month so I read it.  It's a good story.  I was sucked into from the first moment (of course, I did have all the lights on.)  I guessed what was happening to her within the first chapter and I was right.  I knew her husband was up to no good and I was right.  I did not guess the murderer and was only half right on the reason for the murder.  I was guessing up to the end on how it would all fall into place.  Luck was on Cass' side and she deserved it.  I'll read this author again.

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review 2018-05-06 00:59
THE FEMALE PERSUASION by Meg Wolitzer
The Female Persuasion - Meg Wolitzer

Very timely book dealing with feminism, sexual assault, taking care of family, dreams crushed, eyes opened.  I enjoyed the book.  Cory and Zee were the most developed characters.  Greer could have been more developed.  Faith could have explained things better instead of leaving the rift at the end.  There were many story lines but Cory and Zee grow up the most and become adults during the book.  The others had some ways to go before becoming fully adult.  All lost something on their journeys and what they lost was important.  Those losses caused some to grow up while others went into downward spirals before their growing up began.  Worth the read. 

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