Wednesday, August 8, 2012

2012 Book review #6: Where Two Ways Met

Author: Grace Livingston Hill

Personal Rating: 4/5

From the back of the book: Handsome Paige Madison didn't know what to do. He had returned from the war and was on his way to building an exceptional career with a prominant businessman. But, though Paige couldn't quite put his finger on it, he was sure there was something wrong, maybe even unscrupulous, about his new boss. And to make matters worse, his boss's beautiful, headstrong young daughter had decided she wanted Paige-and that she would do all she could to make him want her as well.
then, in the midst of his confusion, Paige is thrown together with a lovely young minster's daughter when they try to help a family in need. Both drawn and challenged by this girls gentle faith, Paige soon finds himself faced with a vital decision.
Which girl should he trust with his most precious possession: his heart?

Personal Thought and Reflection: This book was published in 1946, so it was quite old fashioned, with old fashion goodness at the core. However, Grace Livingston Hill still wove a pretty enchanting tale! I have a few others of hers on my shelves and I am looking forward to what is coming next! If you want a good clean book with Christian themes and undertones I would go with this!

Monday, August 6, 2012

2012 Book review #5: Shanghai Girls

Author: Lisa See
Pages: 309
Personal Rating: 5/5

From the jacket flap: At it's heart, Shanghai Girls is a story of sisters: Pearl and May are inseparable best friends who share hopes dreams and a deep connection but like sisters everywhere, they also harbor petty jealousies and rivalries. They love each other, but each knows exactly where to drive the knife to hurt the other the most. Along the way they face terrible sacrifices, making impossible choices, and confront a devastating, life-changing secret, but through it all the two heroines of this astounding new novel hold fast to who they are-Shanghai girls.

Personal thought and reflection: This was my first by this author! While I have had "Snow flower and the secret Fan on my shelf now since November (it was a birthday gift from the hubs) I had not yet had a chance to crack it open, but when I was in the library and saw the Lisa See section, I started grabbing enthusiastically! I got Shanghai Girls, and it's sequel Dreams of Joyas well as "Dragon Bones". However, I found out that Dragon Bones is the third in a series, so I will not be reading it...yet....

This book was amazing! I know relatively little about the history of China and the Chinese people. However, this book enlightened me to the sufferings of those who had to flee the country,during the 1930's and the trials that were put on those who made it to America, especially from a woman's point of view. It wasn't easy and it wasn't pretty. And once they made it in, the hardships that awaited them, as they were made to live in poverty sharing a tiny apartment with many "family members" in the segregated Chinatowns in San Francisco and
Los Angeles. The hardships of women as they are sold to men as brides to pay off a family debt and made to live with strangers and call them family.

This book moved fast as I was continually wondering what hardship Pearl and her younger sister, May would have to endure next, and if they would ever get out of it, and be free. Heartbreaking and an excellent history lesson all in one!

Friday, August 3, 2012

2012 Book review #4: The Mayor of Casterbridge

Author: Thomas Hardy

Pages: 386
Personal Rating: 5/5

From the back cover: Under the powerful influence of rum furmity, Michael Henchard, a hay-trusser by trade, sells his wife Susan and their child Elizabeth Jane to Newson, a sailor, for five guineas.

Years later, Susan, now a widow arrives in Casterbridge with Elizabeth-Jane to seek her legal husband. To their surprise, Henchard is now the Mayor of Casterbridge, and following the sale of his wife, took a twenty-one year vow not to drink out of shame. Henchard remarries Susan and as Elizabeth-Jane believes herself to be Newsons's daughter, he adopts her as his own. But he cannot evade his destiny by such measures, for his past refuses to be buried. Fate contrives for him to be punished for the recklessness of his younger days.

In this powerful depiction of a man who overreaches himself, Hardy once again shows his astute psychological grasp and his deep seated knowledge of mid-nineteenth century Dorset.

Personal Thought and Reflection: This is one of the best classics I have ever read, and I am looking forward to reading more of Hardy's works. I, having studied psychology in college, saw alot of underlying psychological themes running through this piece. I kept thinking "If only I could get Henchard help! He needs a good psychologist!"
I really enjoyed this!