Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The {April} Book Report

Another productive reading month! Rain in the first half of April set the pace but with the sun comes more outdoor time so I suspect a slower reading season is upon us. Let’s dive right in, shall we? A small commission may be received if you purchase an item through my links. Thank you for supporting my blog!

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
The {April} Book Report from Work it Mommy blog
Goodreads Synopsis:
A tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that, despite its profound flaws, gave the author the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever. 

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home. 

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms. 

For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. 

Thoughts:
This is the year of memoirs for me which I’m now needing to take a break from this particular genre; too heavy for me! This was a beautifully written tragedy. It breaks my mom heart to pieces and also shocks me to think about such an upbringing. I am very interested to watch the movie adaptation now.

Stars:
4 out of 5

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The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell
The {April} Book Report from Work it Mommy blog
Goodreads Synopsis:
In this smart and enthralling debut in the spirit of The Weird Sisters and Special Topics in Calamity Physics, the only remaining descendant of the Brontë family embarks on a modern-day literary scavenger hunt to find the family's long-rumored secret estate, using clues her eccentric father left behind.

Samantha Whipple is used to stirring up speculation wherever she goes. As the last remaining descendant of the Brontë family, she's rumored to have inherited a vital, mysterious portion of the Brontë's literary estate; diaries, paintings, letters, and early novel drafts; a hidden fortune that's never been shown outside of the family.

But Samantha has never seen this rumored estate, and as far as she knows, it doesn't exist. She has no interest in acknowledging what the rest of the world has come to find so irresistible; namely, the sudden and untimely death of her eccentric father, or the cryptic estate he has bequeathed to her.

But everything changes when Samantha enrolls at Oxford University and bits and pieces of her past start mysteriously arriving at her doorstep, beginning with an old novel annotated in her father's handwriting. As more and more bizarre clues arrive, Samantha soon realizes that her father has left her an elaborate scavenger hunt using the world's greatest literature. With the aid of a handsome and elusive Oxford professor, Samantha must plunge into a vast literary mystery and an untold family legacy, one that can only be solved by decoding the clues hidden within the Brontë's own writing.

A literary adventure from start to finish, this vibrant and original novel is a moving exploration of what it means when the greatest truth is, in fact, fiction. 

Thoughts:
I discovered and fell in love with the Brontë Sisters in high school. Any retelling of favorite authors gets a read and this one was a surprise. I liked the spirit of it and the different points of view but... it just didn't leave a lasting impression.

Stars:
3 out of 5

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Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
The {April} Book Report from Work it Mommy blog
Goodreads Synopsis:
Despite their differences, Erika and Clementine have been best friends since they were children. So when Erika needs help, Clementine should be the obvious person to turn to. Or so you'd think.

For Clementine, as a mother of a two desperately trying to practise for the audition of a lifetime, the last thing she needs is Erika asking for something, again.
But the barbecue should be the perfect way to forget their problems for a while. Especially when their hosts, Vid and Tiffany, are only too happy to distract them.
Thoughts:
Moriarty has a gift for storytelling. I know I am in good hands when I read on of her novels, she always ties up all the loose ends in a satisfactory way.  And just to brag Big Little Lies is filmed in my hometown ❤

Stars:
4 out of 5.

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The Excellent Lombards by Jane Hamilton
The {April} Book Report from Work it Mommy blog
Goodreads Synopsis:
Mary Frances "Frankie" Lombard is fiercely in love with her family's sprawling apple orchard and the tangled web of family members who inhabit it. Content to spend her days planning capers with her brother William, competing with her brainy cousin Amanda, and expertly tending the orchard with her father, Frankie desires nothing more than for the rhythm of life to continue undisturbed. But she cannot help being haunted by the historical fact that some family members end up staying on the farm and others must leave. Change is inevitable, and threats of urbanization, disinheritance, and college applications shake the foundation of Frankie's roots. As Frankie is forced to shed her childhood fantasies and face the possibility of losing the idyllic future she had envisioned for her family, she must decide whether loving something means clinging tightly or letting go. 

Thoughts:
This is my second Hamilton novel and by far my favorite. Her writing is wonderful and this gives me all the feels about childhood, the wonder of the everyday, innocence, poignant thoughts far beyond your years. It is like reading Ramona Quimby but for an older audience.

Stars:
5 out of 5

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Book Counter: 19 out of 30

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4 comments:

  1. Loved big little lies but the glass castle was soooo tough for me. I found myself getting so mad at the mom. Ramona as an adult? Yes, please

    ReplyDelete
  2. I loved Truly Madly Guilty and Big Little Lies!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You impress me with your reading! I need to read Truly Madly Guilty!!

    ReplyDelete

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