Book Review: Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult…

This is my 4th review of a Jodi Picoult book so you can say i like her books… a lot. i have read way more than four of her books and have liked each one. But i have only started writing reviews a few years ago.

This one took me a long time to finish because i got really emotional about the story and the characters; so much so that i had to stop a few times, take a break from it, then carry on again.

Picoult’s books are always emotionally draining to read (not a bad thing) because readers will come to care for her characters very much.

51a3hqmpafl-_sx315_bo1204203200_The gist of this story involves Paige, whose mother left her when she was five, and she always felt like she is missing something because of that. Her father tried his best but being a man from a generation which did not express themselves very much, it was hard on Paige. She leaves her hometown, hoping to get into art school in Chicago but ends up falling in love and marrying an ambitious young doctor, who seemed the perfect man. But when they have a baby, her past secrets and doubts about her self-worth and ability as a mother cause her to run as she tries to find answers in her past in order to come back a better mother/person.

This story hits close to home for me because which woman has not doubted herself when she first became a mother. i doubt myself, even now, sometimes. While Paige struggled with her doubts, i remembered how i felt when struggling with similar issues. i also got really angry at her doctor husband who seemed so absorbed in his career and his own family issues. i wished i could have gone into the book and shaken him awake, and i wished i could have said to Paige, “You are doing just fine.”.

If you are a first-time mother reading this, please know that you don’t struggle alone and that you are doing just fine.

By the time i was half-way through the book, i was begging for a quick resolution. But Picoult was not done. There was more to explore and it is worth the effort to stay with the story and worth the wait as the resolution is good.

Picoult has done well exploring the theme of motherhood, not just from Paige’s point of view but also from the viewpoint of her run-away mother and her rather famous and strong-willed mother-in-law.

i am not going to say much more about the story because i want you to enjoy it for yourself. So go read it and let me know what you think.

Here are some other reviews of Picoult’s books: 2013, 2015, 2016.

syc

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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne…

I am always slightly precarious when reviewing a very well-known author or book series. But still, i must say this is one i am quite happy to review.

Of course, almost everyone knows the Harry Potter series and a huge number of people have read it and love the characters involved. i like the series and think that J.K. Rowling is a great storyteller. She is just brilliant at weaving in little details which turn out to be a key plot point later in the story. Now she had help with this one – John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. While i am not familiar with these authors/playwrights, i know that together the three of them have written an amazing sequel to the Harry Potter series.

harrypotterCursedChild20180110We start off where we left off at the end of Deathly Hallows, on Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross station, with Harry and Ginny, Ron and Hermonie seeing their children off to Hogwarts.

i won’t give away too much (in case there are people who have not read this but still want to). i will tell you what i like about this story.

i like the variety in the characters of the children. i do wish there was more time to explore each of their little personalities but it is a play and there isn’t.

i love the idea of Harry’s son, Albus, becoming firm friends with Malfory’s son, Scorpius. This leads to Harry and Malfory having to work together to get their sons out of trouble. It is nice to see that Malfory has a number of redeeming qualities, which wasn’t clearly seen in the previous books.

There is lots of time travel involved in this one. I can never wrap my mind fully around the going backwards and forwards and how historical events are affected but if you just suspend your disbelieve and confusion for a while, simply go with it, it is an amazing ride through time.

Of course, “you-know-who” is mentioned and this time evil takes an altogether unexpected form. i still am not sure how i feel about this character (not giving too much away) who is so closely linked to Voldemort, because her motivations are still a little unclear, even at the end.

This was a quick read for me, mainly because it is a script and not a novel, which means little scene setting and descriptions, mostly dialogues. But they were good, well-written dialogues which really carried the story.

Now i just wish i could have watched this play actually performed. i’m sure the set designs were fantastic, and i would have loved to see how they manage the time-travel sequences.

One question hangs in my mind – who exactly is the Cursed Child? Was it Albus Potter? i had thought so at the beginning and Albus himself seemed to think so. But when i finished reading, i changed my mind. If you have read this already, what do you think?

syc

Book Review: The Book Thief… Markus Zusak…

This is a book i was a bit apprehensive about when i bought it. The premise is a great one, but i wasn’t sure how i would like it, hearing a story from Death himself.

thebookthief20171018i finished it. Actually, i looked forward to reading more about Death each time i opened the book. Death is such an interesting character in this story. Zusak has created a Death who is more human than many humans throughout history has shown themselves to be. And because of who Death is in this story, you believe it and are drawn into it that much more.

Of course, Liesel is the main character and i was wholly immersed into her world and her reality, which was a really harsh one, from beginning to end. i love how much books played a part in making her life more bearable; how they gave her strength and was a tool for her to reach the people around her.

Zusak has given a perspective of the Second World War which i think not many have stopped to consider before; certainly, i haven’t. He makes you so aware that no matter which side you are on in a war, there are innocent casualties on both sides; that life became hard for people on both sides, that children on both sides do suffer the most in conflict.

i’m not going to say anything about the storyline because i think it is a story worth discovering for yourself. i think it suffices to say that i was sad, i was horrified, i smiled a little, my heart stopped a couple of beats, my faith in humanity was at the same time destroyed and restored.

i hope and pray that we will never see war on such a scale ever again and i pray really hard that all the conflict currently afflicting our world will end somehow, as soon as possible. i pray for those who are currently affected by the horrors of war and i ask God to bring them peace in the midst of terrible circumstances.

syc