Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt is a non-fiction novel about the death of gay prostitute Danny Hansford. The novel describes the life of Danny Hansford and his lover Jim Williams in Savannah, Georgia. The novel does not read like a non-fiction at all! It reads more like a fictional retelling of non-fiction activities.
Honestly, I felt that this novel was all over the place. I couldn’t even nail down what was going on in the story. I found myself easily distracted during my read-through. Not a suggested read. Not well written and uninteresting. I expected more from such a widely talked about novel.
-The amount of times this past weekend that I just completely and utterly forgot what I was talking about. I forgot entire conversations in the course of a few minutes. It takes talent to do what I do.
-My body not getting enough sleep lately. It keeps trying to talk me into doing nothing but sleeping after work. The exciting weekend and lack of sleep have my body ready for a break [re: a full week of nothing but sleep].
-My best friend Shelly and her fiance Phil surprising me with a visit this past weekend for our wedding shower!?!?!?! BEST WEEKEND EVER!!!!
-Blackberry wine from Oliver Winery. YUM YUM YUM!
-I GOT A NEW JOB!!! Wowza. Fantastic raise and an exciting new job! I’m super excited to start down this new path. So many changes in the month of August!
-Fantastic dreams about being in a real life Sherlock Holmes situation!? =)
Emma Donoghue‘s Room is the incredibly heartbreaking fictional story of a young boy who is born and raised inside of a single room in a shed where his mother is held captive and raped on a nightly basis. Wow. No way to avoid the blatant truth of the story.
The story is told through the young boy’s eyes and his attachment to his mother’s own personal hell is hard to take. He feels safe in room, with their Sunday treat and sleeping in the closet so Uncle Nick (their captor) can’t see him. His mother really struck me as a strongly written character. She was written in a very realistic manner and I found myself understanding her mood swings and occasional bouts of depression.
The poor little boy is just coping in his room, with tv and his books and toys. His focus is on their daily allotment of food and his mother really focuses on giving her adequate nutrition and education in their limited surroundings. Eventually, his mother comes up with a grand plan to escape, but she will need the little boy’s help. He is not interested in leaving the safety of room, but he goes along with his mother’s desperate plan to free themselves from the shed in Uncle Nick’s backyard.
This story is hard. Hard to read. Hard to swallow. Hard to think about and imagine what women who have lived in similar circumstances to this fictional novel have gone through. As a novel, I found it dragged a bit in the middle… just a lot of monotony, but the overall message was fantastic! Definitely a great novel, but have some tissues at the ready!
I finally got with the program and decided to check out Veronica Roth‘s Divergent. I know this review will be lame and WAY behind the times for some of you, so bear with me. I didn’t know what to expect from Roth’s novels and I’ve got to say, having finished the entire series, I’m less impressed than I thought I would be. But I digress…
Divergent is the story of a dystopian city set in an future Chicago where emotions and original thought have been deemed dangerous and anyone who showcases divergent thinking or behavior is singled out and made to conform. There are five different factions each sixteen year old must choose between: Abnegation (focus on selflessness), Dauntless (focus on bravery), Erudite (focus on knowledge), Amity (focus on peace), and Candor (focus on truth). Anyone else see the similarities to the Harry Potter houses? The Dauntless would be Gryffindors, the Erudite would be Ravenclaws, the Amity would be Hufflepuffs, and Candor would be Slytherins (though Candor doesn’t fit as nicely in the Slytherin box).
Beatrice Prior was born into an Abnegation household, but on her choosing day, she chooses to join Dauntless, even though her aptitude test showed her to be divergent and fit into a multitude of factions. The Dauntless training is rigorous and death defying and Beatrice, who now goes as Tris, finds herself struggling to stay in the top ten initiates group.
I would have liked if Tris’ strength was more inward, but I feel like she needed a man (the Dauntless trainer who goes by Four) to keep her head above water. I felt like the romance was a bit forced and odd, BUT despite that, I liked the twist at the end. I felt like the twist gave the plot more structure.
Overall, I’d say 4 stars for originality maybe 3 for content. It was a new and interesting story, but I wasn’t all that attached to Tris. I like to feel emotionally attached to my characters.