Friday, July 27, 2012
The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
We are so lucky in this world; every month new classic novels are being created by brilliant minds. Margot Livesey is a new classics author, her novel The Flight of Gemma Hardy is impeccable and beautiful, a tale that should be savored. “Wow, Margot Livesey can write” was my thought as I finished the novel. As a non-author, those thoughts do not accurately convey my enthusiasm at the beauty, simplicity and skill with which Livesey imagined this novel gem.
The novel and the story will seem familiar to the reader, and the author admits it is based on the tale of Jane Eyre; there are many similarities. When her loving uncle dies, a young girl’s life is thrown into chaos. First Gemma is moved from her room to the attic, losing her place in the family, soon she is seen as a maid that the family deigns themselves to cloth and feed. A private school is where she is sent when her Aunt no longer wants her at all; Gemma is now an unwanted charity case. Gemma survives all that the oppressive world throws at her, despite being a penniless child in dark and unforgiving times.
I struggled with the timeline as this novel is set in 1960 Scotland, a setting that was hard to imagine as I envisioned an Oliver Twist/Jane Eyre era. Gemma is set adrift in a lonely world, where schoolgirls bully each other, where the evil headmaster reigns and friends are not an option. Cleaning and cooking and memories soon fill Gemma’s days, as do desires to go to school and eventually make a living on her own. Eventually the penniless Gemma will get a job as an au pair in the remote Orkney Islands, having to take the only job offered to her.
This is truly a novel that you will want to share with friends, family and your book club.
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Thursday, July 19, 2012
An Opinion: Movie-makers are not keeping up with reader/moviegoer desires
Egad! Ugh! Really? They are making another Superman movie, and I am so not stoked about it, how many men have played superman at this point? And didn’t Toby McGuire just step out of his Spidey costume like last year and here we have a "new" Spiderman movie? Really? And I still remember The Great Gatsby with Robert Redford, now I hear that soon it will star Dicaprio-umm ok. Why are we constantly remaking the old—I want to see a new voice at the theater. I vote for freshness in a movie experience and here are some of my top book picks—listen up screenwriters and movie moguls! What do movie goers want? (HINT no more tired comic book heroes please)…
Hawke by Ted Bell, stolen directly from my husband’s nightstand, would translate into a great action adventure movie. There is so much story and action in this book, plus a great new character of Hawke, an interesting jack of all trades spy guy! A perfect action hero with a new story!
Beach Road by James Patterson-- I chose this Patterson novel because it is a one off, it is not an Alex Cross novel. Beach Road is a combo of action, legal thriller, and drama with a twist. It could really be something at the box office if they cast the right male lead.
The Night Circus is so visually vivid and creative-- I want to see this luminous and magical book come to life. Much CGI and a great costume artist will be needed.
The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Society, I loved the book, this is a must! I have written about this book before, and have told the reader to get over the title and read it. Set in WWII, the story follows Julia a budding journalist and her letters to the small island of Guernsey. And, I just Googled it, it will be a movie in 2013! Right now Kate Winslet is slated to star (love her!) YEAH! Thanks for listening Hollywood!
Arcadia Falls, I chose this because fairy tale movies are so hot right now, and this has a great back story. Arcadia Falls is a wonderfully woven fairy tale which combines a modern tale and a past mystery with an intertwining changeling story. I’d love to see the cinematography as it flits between the past and present as they start to interlace…this could be eerie and magical!
What books would you like to see on the big screen? Some other books that would translate well to the big screen include: Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, Sister, The Seville Communion (I hold out hope that Brad Pitt will take the lead role as a priest).
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale by Lynda Rutledge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As far as the townspeople are concerned, Faith Bass Darling has always had a perfect life. She lives in the largest mansion in town and comes from money, her hair always perfect, her outfits coordinated. However Faith knows that perfection on the outside might mean turmoil on the inside, her life has not been a fairy tale.
Faith Bass Darling, former Southern Belle, has lost her mind. She has determined that God has spoken to her and she must sell all of her family heirlooms in a garage sale today. Gawking locals are buying up her precious Tiffany lamps, for whatever they can afford to pay, often $20 a lamp.
Bobbie knows that Faith must be stopped before she can give all of her belongings away. Bobbie became an antiques dealer in the small town because as a child she dreamed of the Darling Mansion and longed for the precious contents therein. When she sees the antiques strewn across the lawn, her heart lurches and she knows that she must call Faith’s long lost daughter.
The long lost Claudia arrives home, having been gone for twenty years, to find that her mother has aged and that her inheritance is being given away in a yard sale. Claudia really only wants one item, an heirloom ring, she hopes that her mother hasn’t sold it yet. How can she close down this sale and who will assist her against her determined and still formidable mother?
The story follows Faith and the townspeople throughout the day of the garage sale, becoming more about the townspeople than Faith alone. I adored this sweet little novel, and loved Faith as a character. The novel states the question we as readers must ask ourselves, “do our possessions possess us?”
Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale will make a great light pick for your next book club.
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