Paula-Loves-Marla's Blog

Observations about Art, Movies, Books, etc.

Holiday Reading – Book Reviews

During the weeks before Christmas and during the holiday break I’ve actually gotten back on reading again, which is nice. I picked up a couple of books I ordered over the past couple of months. Honestly, I have so many books crammed into our house that I need to start reading my way through my collection and then jettison them out into the world. I’ve made a little pact with myself to keep book ordering to a minimum until I can cull down my collection. I’ll probably pass some of the newer books on to office mates and sell the classics on eBay (where I purchased them to begin with).

Anyway, the first book I read was “The Hamiltons” by Catherine Cookson. I liked the general story line and writing style, but as far as the way she treats her characters, she’s right up there with Stephen King as far as brutality goes. Yikes! – Physical and mental abuse along with animal cruelty and pyrotechnics just for good measure.  Cookson is a talented writer, but I will not pick her up as a light read again. Also, it galled me just a little bit that the main character was depicted as being so needy that she’d readily jump from one marriage in order to stave off loneliness.

The second book I picked up was much more enjoyable for me: “Sister” by Rosamund Lupton.

It took me a little while to get into the voice of the main character addressing her dead sister, but once I got into the “dialogue” I was able to progress easily through the book. I very much enjoyed the twists, turns and characters in this book as well as the merging back and forth between interviews, mostly one-sided conversation and descriptive scenes. Lupton did a wonderful job of weaving the plot line throughout changes in narrative.

I am not a fan of the medical/hospital mystery. It’s been years since “Coma” was written but I still remember how much I disliked the cold, clinical, sinister feel of that novel. I had read another book that was sort of like it about a doctor who was transplanting fetuses in an effort to further medical strides in infertility. I didn’t like that one either. “Sister” does venture into the medical research vein as part of the plot line, but it never becomes cloying with clinical menace (for which I am glad).

“Sister” was an enjoyable read and though I hate to sound cliché, I really did not want to put it down. Amazon currently has the paperback listed at $7 for a used copy (don’t forget to include postage).

I’m off to read “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” and am hopeful that I won’t be disappointed after coming off of such a superior read as “Sister”.

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