Monday, February 22, 2016

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

Eilis Uleashed (Love and Such)

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. A young Irish woman moves to Brooklyn in the 1950s where she forges a new life for herself.  Eilis works in a department store and attends night classes to become a bookkeeper.  Eventually she meets someone special and things seem to be going her way.  Then, news arrives from her home in Ireland, leading her on a complicated path of emotions.

These complications brought about frustrations for me, as a reader.  At times I wanted to slap her and say “What’s wrong with you? Snap out of it!” While most of the book held my interest with charm and a sense of anticipation, it later switched gears and held my interest with a sense of irritation and expectation. It left me feeling a bit ambivalent, but it also opened the door for a good discussion at our book club meeting.

My book club members thought pretty much the same thing. Two people did have a more forgiving view, which makes me wonder if I was too judgmental. Wish I could tell you a bit more, but I don't want to give it away. 

Want to join the discussion?  Read our next book selection, Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante by Susan Elia MacNeal and email your thoughts.  Review and comments will be posted on March 21, 2016.

This book met one of my 2016 Book Challenges:  Read a book set in the 1950s.

Happy Reading,


Questions or comments?  Email

Sunday, February 7, 2016

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Holiday Horror (Murder Mystery)

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.  Ten people are invited as guests or hired help on Indian Island, off the British Coast.  As they are all assembled after their arrival a voice suddenly announces that they are charged with murder indictments and the voice proceeds to list each of their victims. At this point they realize they are stranded on the island in the hands of a yet-unseen, mysterious and obviously “dangerous and probably insane” host.  This isn’t the vacation they signed up for.  They’re ready to leave.  Unfortunately the boat that delivered them has left and won’t return until the following day. 

One person quickly winds up dead, and the not-so-bright group chalks it up to suicide. They really could have used the help of Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot, but no such luck.  They’re on their own.  It takes a bit before they realize how a poem about ten little Indians is directly connected to their situation. Soon they start suspecting each other all the while hoping the boat would come back.  Again, no such luck.  The weather and circumstances have turned dicey.  And this is the time before cell phones, so they couldn’t contact anyone on the outside even if the weather allowed for a rescue mission to come to their aid. As the title suggests, they were sitting ducks, picked off one by one.  But how did they die and more importantly, who and how was the serial killer orchestrating their deaths?  You’ll have to read it to find out.

Happy Reading,


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