American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld follows the life of Alice from girlhood into womanhood. It is the story of how she found love, lost it, found it again, got married and how her husband, Charlie, became the President of the United States and how she dealt with that. Overall, I enjoyed most of this book. I did not realize going in that Charlie was based on George W. Bush. I felt a little turned off by that. There were no clues all along until the story flashed ahead several years to the present and we are clued in that Charlie was the president during 9/11 and has a very low approval rating, along with many other things that make it obvious that he is supposed to be GWB. I felt blindsided by that. I also did not like the way the story ended. Alice betrayed Charlie while remaining true to herself and her beliefs, but we are not made aware of the consequences this has to their marriage and what happens next. I did enjoy the beginning 3/4ths of the book. I really enjoyed the characters, writing and storyline and I thought it was a very good book (minus the GWB aspect). I still think it is a book worth reading and had great potential to be an excellent book. I just wish Sittenfeld had not copped out and had not based Charlie on a real person. Especially a person who is so polar and who many people dislike. I gave the book 3.5 stars.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Wow! I enjoyed So Long at The Fair by Christina Schwarz right up until the end. The book was written as flashbacks between the past and the present. The present day story takes place of the course on one day and focuses on a wife, Ginny, and a husband, Jon, who is having an affair with a coworker. Jon is conflicted and unsure of whether to leave his wife or breakup with his girlfriend. The past story deals with what happened many years ago, when the Jon and Ginny's parents were young and knew each other. I really enjoyed the writing style, the flashbacks, and the characters. I was really caught up in the characters and wanted to know how it would end. Would Jon choose his wife or his mistress? Unfortunately, the book had a horrible ending with no closure and left me hanging. I could hardly believe that it ended the way it did. I don't know if Schwarz was trying to let the reader choose or if I just "didn't get it", but I was very disappointed. Overall, I did like the book and enjoyed the story, I just wish it had a clearer ending so I wasn't left to wonder what happened to the characters' lives. 3.5 stars.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Tan Lines by J. J. Salem was written from three characters perspectives. Liza, a left wing feminist new talk show guest; Kellianne, a southern bell mistress to a rich old man and aspiring actress, and Billie, a drug addicted pop musician trying to make it big. These women are all old friends and decide to spend the summer together in the Hamptons. The book is about all of the drama that happens to them over the course of that summer. I did enjoy the book. I enjoyed the characters of Liza and Kellianne, but I did not like the character of Billie. I enjoyed the scandal. drama, and romance of the book. It's a good beach read and it was a fast, easy read. I enjoyed the book and I recommend it to anyone who wants a quick "trashy" read. 4 stars.
Stealing Athena by Karen Essex was told through the perspective of two women, one living in ancient Greece as a mistress to Pericles and one living in the 1700s as an ambassador's wife in the same area. The chapters alternated between the two time periods. The stories never seemed to flow together. They were too separate without enough in common to make the book work. I found the story set in ancient Greece to be more interesting than the later story, but both were very drawn out and slow. The end was particularly frustrating, because the two women's stories did not have enough resolution. I think this book had a lot of potential, but it did not live up and fizzled out at the end. I recommend it to anyone interested in ancient Greek history and art because those people may get more out of the descriptions of the art and the time period than I did. Overall, I enjoyed parts of the book and gave it 3.5 stars.