Books

The World from Rough Stones by Malcolm Macdonald

The World from Rough Stones is Book One in a trilogy following the Stevenson Family written by Malcolm Macdonald.

Another book that I found wandering around Chapters.  It caught my eye and reading the back of the book saying, “Rich and exciting” from the Washington Star.  “You can’t put it down” Chattanooga Times. Well, what does Barbara McKenzie say????

I couldn’t finish this book.  There are only a handful of books I’ve never been able to finish and The World from Rough Stones will now be added to this small group.

I never felt any pull to any of the characters and the story seemed very dry and I actually skimmed through certain sections because it was just so boring.  I read about 400 pages before I gave up.  Very disappointing.

Book Review - The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalin

The Double Bind is a novel from Chris Bohjalian who wrote another book, one of my “Best Reads” called Skeletons  At The Feast.  

Fact and fiction become indistinguishable in The Double Bind.  The story centers on Laurel Estabrook, a young social worker and survivor of a near-rape, who stumbles across photographs taken by a formerly homeless client and tries to understand how a man who'd taken snapshots of celebrities in the 50s and 60s might have wound up on the streets.  When Bobbie passes away he leaves no possessions other than a box of old photographs. Since Laurel has some knowledge of photography, her supervisor suggests she find out a little about the photos and have an art show for the agency’s benefit. Little does she know, just how much Laurel is about to discover.

I can’t really break down too much of the story because of how intertwined it is and this book is too good to have it ruined by a review.  You may feel once you've reached the last page, you want to go back to page one and begin again. I say this not because it's a bad story, but because it's that good. The twisted ending which leaves you compelled to go back and absorb the story again, which I plan to do.

The book contains black and white pictures that were taken by once homeless man named Bob “Soupy” Campbell.  The pictures are real but the story about Bobbie Crocker is fictional and Chris Bohjalian does an amazing job creating unforgettable characters.

Two Of My Favorite Things....

I'm working on a photography project called 365, where I take a picture every day of the year.  I've decided during the course of the year I'll photograph the book that I've just completed and provide a review.  Here is my first book review.

The Lake of Dreams is the new novel from Kim Edwards who wrote the best-selling book The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and I have so been looking forward to her next book, The Lake of Dreams.  I finished this book and I must say I’ve got mixed feelings about it.  

The story follows Lucy Jarrett, who left her family and small town after her father dies in a boating accident.  She seems to be at a loss and haunted by the past.  While living in Japan with her boyfriend Yoshi, Lucy decides to make a visit home and when she stumbles upon items from the distant past in a window seat, she starts a journey of her family’s history and starts to find peace at The Lake of Dreams.  I love the letters that Lucy finds that takes you back to the past and sheds light on Lucy’s family history.

Lucy also has to come to terms on how life at Lake of Dreams has changed and the people she loves are changing and moving forward.  Her mother seems to be finding romance again.  Her brother Blake has decided to join the family business with his uncle.  Her teenage love Keegan has moved back to town and started a successful glass blowing business.  While Lucy has been travelling the world, she still doesn’t seem to be moving forward with her life.

Like The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Kim Edwards has created some wonderful characters.  Her writing is so detailed so when you’re reading it’s like you are actually standing in Japan, living through the earthquakes or riding down the lake on the Keegan’s boat.  I was slightly disappointed by it.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good book but it doesn’t meet the expectations I had of it.  It’s hard to put my finger on it but worth the read. Like The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Kim Edwards has created some wonderful characters.  Her writing is so detailed when you’re reading it’s like you actually standing Japan, living through the earthquakes or riding down the lake on the Keegan’s boat.  I was slightly disappointed by it.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good book but it doesn’t meet the expectations I had of it.  

My next review will be The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian.