Monday, July 27, 2009

In Case You're Wondering

Instead of blogging, I've been vacationing!

From Greece July 2009

We spent 15 days in Greece on an amazing tour. We traveled from Athens up north to Meteora in Kalambaka, then into the Peloponnese to Delphi, Olympia, Epidaurus, Mycenae, and Nauplion, then over to Mykonos, Delos, and Santorini. We had a wonderful time, saw incredible scenery, visited numerous archeological sites and museums, ate terrific food, met some great people, and had a strenuously relaxing time! I say strenuously because we climbed and walked more than we thought possible in temperatures from 95-109°. I'm jet-lagged and have over 700 pix to go through, and mounds of laundry to finish, but it was so worth it! More later!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

And Here's Another One!

Shanghai Girls: A Novel Shanghai Girls: A Novel by Lisa See

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this book. Pearl and her sister May are "beautiful girls" in pre WW2 Shanghai. They pose for commercial artists, and enjoy life as "modern" Chinese women. Then their father goes bankrupt and sells them to his main debtor as brides for his American sons. Pearl and May find themselves caught in the midst of war with Japan as they begin their married lives with husbands in America. After a traumatic and tragic journey they arrive in Los Angeles to discover that their rich "Gold Mountain" men are actually struggling to survive as immigrants in a where being Chinese is being the dregs of society. The novel traces Pearl's struggle to come to terms with her life and circumstances, and follows her as she tries to figure out what she wants to keep of her Chinese identity, and she wants to adopt as American.

This is a side of history that is not well-known in mainstream American culture, and Lisa See evokes the terror, cruelty, and hardships faced by Chinese immigrants well.

I was disappointed in the ending - it felt rushed, and left me hanging, but the rest of the book was compelling and fascinating.

View all my reviews.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Jody Picoult's Newest

Handle with Care Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jody Picoult once again raises a moral/ethical dilemma that challenges a reader's beliefs. Did Charlotte's ob-gyn and best friend, provide the appropriate standard of care or did she miss a diagnosis she should have caught? If the diagnosis had been made earlier, what would Charlotte have done? Willow has OI or brittle bone disease, and by the time she is 6, she has already suffered over 100 broken bones. How has her illness affected her parents' marriage, and her older sister Amelia's life?

I really liked this book but . . .the ending annoyed me. It felt like a total copout. I found the central conflict very compelling and that's what kept me reading.

View all my reviews.