What I’m Reading: Unbecoming

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I just finished up Unbecoming: A Novel by Rebecca Scherm.


Being I was in the quilting room much last weekend I was able to finish a book.  It was a treat for me as my book consumption has really slowed.

So how was the book.  It was pretty good.  Great?  No.  The story was interesting…as little slow though.

Here’s what Amazon had to say, “On the grubby outskirts of Paris, Grace restores bric-a-brac, mends teapots, re-sets gems. She calls herself Julie, says she’s from California, and slips back to a rented room at night. Regularly, furtively, she checks the hometown paper on the Internet. Home is Garland, Tennessee, and there, two young men have just been paroled. One, she married; the other, she’s in love with. Both were jailed for a crime that Grace herself planned in exacting detail. The heist went bad—but not before she was on a plane to Prague with a stolen canvas rolled in her bag. And so, in Paris, begins a cat-and-mouse waiting game as Grace’s web of deception and lies unravels—and she becomes another young woman entirely.”

The desciption makes the book sound like it’s a thriller.  I didn’t see it as that.  I saw it more as a illustration of a life gone bad.  I saw it as a story of someone wanting something so bad and trying to get only to found they really didn’t know what they were looking for until they lost it and it was too late to get it back.

Amazon readers say 3.8 stars.  I’d say that I’d agree.

What I’m Reading: Leaving Time

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It’s been a long time since I read a Jodi Picoult book.  She used to be my favorite author.  I loved her books The Pact: A Love Story, Plain Truth, and My Sister’s Keeper: A Novel.  But somewhere in there I just feel like she lost her ability to be an amazing writer by adding in all sorts of “ghost and spirit” elements into her books.  I’m just not a ghost, spirit or supernatural gal so her books with those elements are just not something I want to read.  Honestly, the books listed are some of my favorite ever books…I’d likely put at least the first two on my top favorite 50 books ever list.

My oldest two girls were also huge fans of hers but more or less quit reading once the “ghosts and spirits” were added to the stories.  Well I broke down and selected one of her books to give it a try. I picked Leaving Time: A Novel.  Had it not been available for free from the on line library I would never have selected it as the “ghost and spirit” thing is just not me and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend money on a book that I didn’t feel comfortable just tossing aside.


Here’s the news…I didn’t just toss it aside.  Did I love it?  Yes and No.  I still love her writing.  I still love how she can bounce from character to character and slowly peel off layers of the story.  I love how she can go from past to present…I still don’t love the super natural elements though.  Thankfully this book doesn’t include them until the end.

Here’s what Amazon had to say, “For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe she was abandoned, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts.
 
Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest: Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons, only to later doubt her gifts, and Virgil Stanhope, the jaded private detective who’d originally investigated Alice’s case along with the strange, possibly linked death of one of her colleagues. As the three work together to uncover what happened to Alice, they realize that in asking hard questions, they’ll have to face even harder answers.
 
As Jenna’s memories dovetail with the events in her mother’s journals, the story races to a mesmerizing finish. A deeply moving, gripping, and intelligent page-turner, Leaving Time is Jodi Picoult at the height of her powers.”

I have to say I loved-totally loved-learning about elephants.  The information that was woven throughout the story was wonderful.  In fact, even with the super natural stuff, I didn’t hate the book.  I’m just not a gal that believes in any of that so the story looses appeal.

Amazon readers say 4.3 stars out of five…I’m more on the 3.2 level.  That’s actually very high for me considering that my eyes typically never touch the supernatural.  I liked the story and the elephant info lots and lots right up until the “ghost” part of the story raised it’s ugly head.

Anyone else a former  Jodi Picoult fan??

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