Saturday, February 14, 2015

Big Reading Catch-up : Part II

So - where were we?

Oh yea -

Book #5 (of 7 that I've read) was:
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (A mystery or thriller, #10 of 50) - finished on 1/27/15
I was a little hesitant on choosing this book, as it was written in the 1930's.  I had recently read The Great Gatsby (1925) and the style, of even this short novel, was dry and hard to stay interested in what was written. (scandalous, right? not liking the great F. Scott??)

This book might as well have been written in the last 10 years (outside the cultural things like a big English mansion with butlers and housekeepers...) 

When I began reading the novel (and was journaling about it at its conclusion) I couldn't remember if it was a "love story" or "mystery" category from my list... and to be honest-  it had a bit of a love story in it...

The narrator (I couldn't even think of her name after just finishing the book!) fancied herself so deeply in love with her new husband that she discovered herself willing to help him, regardless of if he was guilty of murdering his previous wife or not (she had mysteriously disappeared a few months before the narrator married him!)  Once the mystery concluded, she rejoiced at last, having previously resigned herself to run forever second string to a man's first love, tragically lost - when she learned a crucial truth of his love for her.

I love/hate the sudden ending, and in fact re-read the first many pages, a flashback from "present-time" - again in a timeless style, the reader doesn't know if it's days, months or years after the book's final events...
and did they have a happy ending, the narrator and her new husband? Did they deserve one after we learn the truth of them both??

Good mystery, never guessed the ending - doesn't quite deserve a "highly recommended" but it's definitely up there!

And since we're here:
Book #6 (of 7 that I've read) was:
Still Alice by Lisa Genova (A book that became a movie, #3 of 50) - finished on 1/29/15

So - while I could name a million books I've read that became a movie (twilight, divergent, hunger games, a bunch of james patterson books [kiss the girls, along came a spider], a bunch of nicholas sparks books [the notebook, the lucky one, dear john] and jodi picoult's my sister's keeper ((*sorry english majors and grammar nazi's, I butchered any proper listing of authors or book titles...)) ) I chose this book for this category, and now I cannot wait to watch the movie (especially after reading fabulous reviews of Julianne Moore in the adaptation).

This book, about a women diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers (which, just one word - tragic) was beautifully written.  Instinct was to say it was written from the "patient's" point of view, but this book easily accomplished something - humanizing an atrocious and merciless disease, bringing a person and a face to it... we met the family and support groups ("caregivers") behind those faces.
It also magnified the cruelty of the disease by bringing someone so far down below where they started - a Harvard PhD in, ironically, language, of all subjects.  She was rendered nearly worldless by the end - unable to name family members and objects.

The book was even written in a style that me questioning my mind, thinking at some parts, Didn't I just read this exact paragraph a few pages back?!
It so efficiently provided you even just a snippet, a quick glance into Alice and what she is/was going through.

I guess I have something with abrupt endings, as this one was as well - and when I realized ****SPOILER ALERT**** that her husband had left her in Boston and was residing in NYC, working selfishly on his own research, burdening his two daughters with caring for their mother, it made me sad - and revealed another tragedy about this disease: the ones left behind aren't always strong enough to handle it...

**Excellent book, this one IS highly recommended - can't wait to see the movie!

"Heartbreakingly real... So real, in fact, that it kept me from sleeping for several nights. I couldn't put it down...  
Still Alice is a story that must be told."                
            - Brunonia Barry, New York Times Best-selling author of The Lace Reader

1 comment:

  1. I loved REBECCA. My parents gave it to me as a Christmas gift one year for obvious reasons since they named me after its title.