Review: The Space Between Us

Thank you Lisa (Lit and Life) for hosting the read-a-long for The Space Between Us.  I'm sorry I wasn't able to post weekly - I took on more than I should have this month. 

Synopsis: Poignant and compelling, evocative and unforgettable, The Space Between Us is an intimate portrait of a distant yet familiar world. Set in modern-day India and witnessed through two compelling and achingly real women, the novel shows how the lives of the rich and the poor are intrinsically connected yet vastly removed from each other, and vividlycaptures how the bonds of womanhood are pitted against the divisions of class and culture.

Posts from earlier this month:
Chapters 1-6
Chapters 7-11

Quick Take: Highly Recommend - This is a beautifully written novel. The novel touches on so many topics, from loss/grief, secrets, abuse and economic struggles to name a few.  I was struck by Bhima's realization that not being able to read played a big role in her life. 

I know many of you haven't read this book yet so I don't want to talk about it in detail - I will say...please read this one!

I will be clicking to the following blogs today to discuss this book, feel free to join me:
Book Chatter
Book In The City
Life In The Thumb
Lit and Life
Peeking Between The Pages
The Window Seat Reader

Source: Personal copy

Review: Red Hook Road

I first read about this book last spring, it's the one book I was waiting to read this summer.  I'm reading this for EW's Summer Reading Challenge.  I think this is the only book I will read from the list - I did start one of the books last winter but decided not to finish it after reading about 70% of the book... the book is getting good reviews, just not the type of book that holds my interest.
Synopsis: Set on the coast of Maine over the course of four summers, Red Hook Road tells the story of two families, the Tetherlys and the Copakens, and of the ways in which their lives are unraveled and stitched together by misfortune, by good intentions and failure, and by love and calamity.

A marriage collapses under the strain of a daughter's death; two bereaved siblings find comfort in one another; and an adopted young girl breathes new life into her family with her prodigious talent for the violin.

Quick Take: I'm nuetral on this book.  I didn't hate it, didn't love it.  The biggest struggle for me was that I didn't care what happened to the characters other than the grandfather.

This book is a brief look into the lives of two grieving families over four summers (June/July for 4 years).  I'm not sure what I expected, rereading the synopsis... this is exactly what I got.  I just wish I connected to a character or two (there are a lot of characters in the book). 

It is a very well written and crafted story - exploring grief in detail. My family talks about everything which might have played a role in the novel, for me.  I can't imagine not talking about what I'm feeling, crying it out, hugging and wanted to know what others are feeling.  Finding a way to make it better for everyone and survive each day as a family.  I'm not disappointed in reading this book, I'm just left unsettled.

Have you read it?  Am I missing something? 

Source: Audio Book (itunes)

ANNA read-a-long: Part 7

I'm getting sad thinking that my time with Anna is coming to an end.  It's hard to believe my original post is dated back to January 2010.  I'm happy with how we have been reading Anna though - it's important to allow for time between each section (remember Tolstoy published each part seperately, this let's us read the book close to how it was read as a new release). 

We find ourselves spending quite a bit of time with the men in the novel again in part 7.  I know this novel was written for men and women but I enjoy the women the farther I get in the book.  I do read the synopsis before reading each section - this seems to help me focus on the key elements to the story.  Having read the synopsis below before reading the section I knew a baby would enter the world and Anna would die in part 7.  I'm surprised Anna dies with so many pages remaining to the end of the story.

We are using Oprah's discussion guide to help facilitate the dialog. the recap below is from her website.

Part Seven: Death Rumbles By

Review: Goldengrove

Thank you Gayle (EDIWTB) and Harper Perennial for sending me a copy of this book to read/discuss for an online book club.  Gayle was the first blog I read and I will never forget reading We need to talk about Kevin with her online book club in 2008.  It's a wonderful experience.  If you haven't read along with her, I recommend it.

Synopsis: At the center of Francine Prose's profoundly moving new novel is a young girl facing the consequences of sudden loss after the death of her sister. As her parents drift toward their own risky consolations, thirteen-year-old Nico is left alone to grope toward understanding and clarity, falling into a seductive, dangerous relationship with her sister's enigmatic boyfriend.

Over one haunted summer, Nico must face that life-changing moment when children realize their parents can no longer help them. She learns about the power of art, of time and place, the mystery of loss and recovery. But for all the darkness at the novel's heart, the narrative itself is radiant with the lightness of summer and charged by the restless sexual tension of teenage life.

Quick Take: Recommend - this is another book that leaves me wondering.  Nico is thirteen and present when her sister disappears and ends up dead.  The book takes place over a few months - the parents have little time to parent as they attempt to survive each day.  The first 100 pages do not move fast but once you get to about page 100 Nico starts a crazy/unhealthy/strange relationship with her older sisters boyfriend. 

I kept thinking about The Local News while reading this book - the parents involvement was similar and the young daughter was left alone too much.  That said, there is a lot to discuss which makes it a great book club selection. 

Click here to read/join in the discussion on Gayle's blog.

Source: review copy

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