Monday, October 11, 2010

Her Fearful Symmetry

Her Fearful SymmetryHer Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Audrey Niffenegger writes so eloquently of the lonliness of missing someone you love, of how much characters long to be together yet for some reason can't, that it brings me to tears every time. It is refreshing for characters who ache to be together, rather than look for ways to escape their relationships.

Niffenegger does a great job introducing us to 2 sets of twins; Elspeth, one of the eldest twins has died and she has bequethed her estate to her twin neices. Elspeth slowly realizes she is a ghost and begins to try to communicate with her neices. Niffenegger does a brilliant job fleshing out these quirky characters. Elspeth's progression as she learns of her powers as a ghost are organic and realistic. The tone of the book, set in and around Highgate Cemetary is both appropriately dark and hopeful. And the plot, with it's secrets is original without being overwrought.

But then 3/4 through the book, it's like she had to wrap things up for a deadline. After the climax, things seemed hurried and too neatly wrapped up.

My favorite part is the side story of Martin, the neighbor with OCD, who slowly takes back control of his life in order to reclaim his wife whom he loves so much.

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Waiting to Exhale

Waiting to ExhaleWaiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

We are introduced to four black women in the early '90's in Phoenix. They are in various stages of their life: Bernie just found out her wealthy husband is divorcing her to be with a white woman; Savannah is moving from Denver to Phoenix to further her career and change her scenery; Gloria is a single mom who comforts herself with food instead of lust; and Robin is a single girl who will sleep with any fine man she finds in hopes of finding Mr. Right.

And then the book meanders through their lives. They meet men. Mostly they are jerks. They break up. They meet more men. They are new, different jerks. They are part of a Black Women's Organization that is explained in way too much detail, that then does nothing. But then nothing really happens in the book. They just complain about how boring their lives are. That makes for a pretty boring book--realistic, maybe, but boring.

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