Tag Archive: drama



19841984 by George Orwell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is my second reading of this book. It was required reading in high school (about 1967). I remember it being very scary and prayed it would never happen. As the actual year of 1984 flew by many of us began to relax. Maybe the science fictional prophecy was far from ever happening.

Many people have recommended this book again what with rumors of Newspeak/Fake News. The book shows that anyone can be convinced of anything given the right set of circumstances. I believe that to be true, which is why I don’t believe that torture would ever bring out the truth. Many are in jails because the good cop/bad cop or other tricks of coercion have brought the suspect to admit to something they never did do. Much of the book shows how this can happen.

Regardless of which side of the political system you may stand, this set of possibilities should shout at you. You should feel free to tell your truth without worry of being tortured or demeaned in any way. After all your set of circumstances have brought you to your belief. But on the same line, we should have respect for another point of view, even if it seems crazy. If you stop that truth from coming out, you may miss a grain of truth you may need to learn to live more openly.

I relate that to the lowly dandelion and my mother. My mother was anemic and had very bad health in general. But when I was young I would see her out in the lawn digging out the dandelions and tossing them away. Knowing what we know about that so-called weed, this could have been the medicine my mother could have ingested and become much healthier, regardless of the ungroomed lawn. What gems or weeds of health are we missing by calling each other names and not learning someone else’s truth?

On another level… As scary as the world of ‘1984’ is, the misogyny of past sci-fi and fantasy is very clear here. I didn’t notice this when I was a teen. Almost all the books I read were male-heavy. I remember asking about it only once. The answer was we had to have these books because boys have a hard time learning to and then liking reading. Having watched my brothers with that very problem I didn’t think about it again. I had trouble with reading but found ways to get around the problems and I LOVED reading. (Still do.)

In this book the main character’s wife won’t give him a divorce, they had infertility problems. He gets the wet dream fantasy fulfilled in a woman who gives without requiring anything from him, not even or especially not wanting love. Finally, there is the woman out in the yard who sings with clothespins in her mouth and he finds her big hips sexually appealing though in another segment he is reminded how like his mother she is. So beyond sex and birth, it seems this generation of sci-fi writers seemed to have nothing to do with women. That should have been our biggest warning! Of all that happened to this character!!!!! I find myself feeling foolish that it took me until my 60s to figure out how little part women play in most men’s lives. I have a friend that tried to tell me this when I was still into makeup and clothes–and making my own babies. But it is because I decided to make my reading diet be mostly female writers with female main characters, and not in the romantic chic-lit stuff. More along the lines of Bechdel. (Google her) This is also how I choose to watch TV/Movies. Women have to hold up half of the sky of whatever I read or watch. Equally important. That was not the case in this book. And years ago I might not have noticed. Now I am nearly blinded by it. So if you haven’t seen it as strong as I have, try my ‘diet’. Give it a year or so. I especially challenge male to try this. When you notice the lack of human equality in reading or what you watch maybe you will be part of the change? Maybe if women hold their own in a story like ‘1984’ we may find ways to avoid that crazy kind of life.

Do read this. No matter which side of the fence, or gender, there are weeds of health here we all need!

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The Mother's PromiseThe Mother’s Promise by Sally Hepworth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Maybe if I don’t write a review, I can hang onto the charms and lessons of this book. No. That’s not right. Others need to read it and the only way to hang on to the knowledge in this book is to read it again.

I finished this book four days ago. That’s how long I had the above conversation with myself.

There is a nice blurb about this book on GoodReads. And the one on NetGalley had me seeking it out. I’m glad they let me read it. But here’s my blurb: A young teen with severe social anxiety only child of a single mother dying of cancer, a social worker who is a victim of abuse, a nurse who is finished with IVF unsuccessfully.

Sally Hepworth pulls these four females into a book that is hard to put down and hard to leave behind. And not only is it a great story, it is full of real life answers to some of the problems these fems deal with.

I want to thank NetGalley for letting me read this, again. I do plan on a second read. Please read it, especially if you have social anxiety, there are some good ideas in here and the author shows she knows how we feel who have it. There are triggers for cancer patients and abuse victims but they are handled well and give each of the other characters more depth.

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Victoria: From the creator of the ITV television seriesVictoria: From the creator of the ITV television series by Daisy Goodwin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this edition from NetGalley to read and review. It is an Uncorrected Digital Galley copy. Yet, these eyes didn’t see any mistakes.

This was very interesting. I thought at first that I wouldn’t like it. I neither like history books nor Romance novels. There is both ‘herstory’ and romance in this book. But not a lot. This is more a queen’s coming of age story. In that, I thought it well done and an interesting read.

I loved watching this young person, in her teens, deal with the angst we all have gone through with our parents and breaking out into our own lives. Except, most of us don’t have to assume the responsibilities of the throne and a whole nation while going through these growing pains.

In the acknowledgments at the end of the book, the author mentions she wrote this while making the television (I think it was) show. I will be looking it up to see it. I think it could be done well.

Though not the best book I’ve read, I think you will find this an interesting read.

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Taxi - Tuxedo (Book 6)Taxi – Tuxedo by Sophia DeLuna

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love visiting with my friends, Carmen and Ulrike. In this episode, Carmen has tickets to the opera and as the title suggests a tuxedo is involved. Some of us just can’t do dresses!

Do you want to know why I love these little book events? The writing is so flawless. The dialogue and situations are quite realistic. The troubles this couple encounter are also lifelike. And the way the author handles these situations are sometimes mature and responsible, sometimes not so much, but, real. What couple handle things beautifully every time? Most of us just muddle through our problems. We learn to talk it out, but some of us are better at that communication thing than others.

Most often I relate to Carmen in her ways of dealing with things. But in this chapter I related more to Ulrike. For me that is a grand feeling as I wish I was more like Ulrike and the ways she deals with the world.

Anyway, I highly recommend this series to those who want to read of lesbian relationships. The erotica is minimal, so if that offends, don’t worry. Some of us would like more, but that kind of book is a dime a dozen. These gems are about how this couple navigate being in a relationship. I was fortunate to have received the last few from the author but, when I get a few dollars ahead, I will buy them for others. After all, you can tell the work Sophia DeLuna puts into each and every story. By the way, you can find them on Smashwords. Most are $.99 or less. Check ’em out!

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Five Minutes in HeavenFive Minutes in Heaven by Lisa Alther

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a ride! Not exactly rollercoaster, but not merry-go-round either. From the beginning, I like the main character, Jude. She is one who doesn’t belong in the world, but finds her way, anyway. She is flawed and confused, with good reasons. I wanted to root for her to win each of her obstacles.

From Tennessee to New York to France and back, Jude struggles with her demons, longing for love to return to her as pure as she put it out. Rarely does it find her. Mostly because of her own insecurities and lack of role-models, love floats out as a fantasy. Never to be achieved.

I picked this version of the book up from Amazon, Kindle Unlimited (which is in fact limited, as you can only have ten ‘checked out’ at a time). I kind of wished I had the Audible version or the Whispersync to go along, but I managed okay without.

My biggest complaint is the French. Not the people. Just the use of the language with no definitions available to the reader. If you only took Latin, Spanish and German in your language classes, French isn’t a language you even have books for. At least that’s how it is in my house. So I had to ignore the language and hoped to get the gist. I hate when authors do that to the reader. It stinks of a superiority to the reader. It wasn’t necessary. If you are conveying a story to the reader. and most of the book is in English, why not continue in that language in the last third of the book?

And the ending? Wish I had been given a grown up, matured, version of Jude when she comes home at last! The last part ended in the same way, that the other two sections had ended. Wondering what next. Still, it was worth the read.

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Light, Coming BackLight, Coming Back by Ann Wadsworth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For once, I was glad that the font was too small for me. It meant that I had to savor my moments with the story. This was like the fine wine, dark chocolate, aged cheese kind of book. I cherished every moment with it. It wasn’t the kind of book that left you tense or anxious in any way. In fact, I felt very little tension in the book. That goes against what I have been taught about writing.

The main character, Mrs. Mercedes Medina, is in her sixties. Her husband is 20 years her senior. I love the depth of relationship they have. The author, Ann Wadsworth, did a wonderful job creating the couple and each individual. They were wonderfully human characters with faults and follies of their own and a comfortable chemistry between them. But as life is changing and Patrick, the husband, starts failing in health, Mercedes, is trying to figure out her own life.

Since I am in my sixties, I found her life to be interesting. It is far from my own life. I felt like I moved in with this couple and lived a different life for a while. Isn’t that the best part about books? You can step into someone else’s life, their cities, their adventures, their music. Mrs. Medina’s life is rich while she is searching.

I have been thinking about what I would write about this book since I started it. There are no words I can come up with to do it justice. I wish everyone could read it. I don’t want to let it go. That’s how much I loved it. I registered the book on BookCrossing. BCID: 71813027955 Β Please read it if you get the chance.

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Sing You HomeSing You Home by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was special!

I was lucky enough to get both the audio CDs and the large print hardback from the library. I highly recommend reading it like that. As a music major, who thought seriously about moving into music therapy, I found myself relating to the main character, Zoe.

Not only was this well written, there were songs sung in the narration! The narrators’ voices were well done. And the a capella singing voice is angelic!

It was depressing to me to give the book back to the library. I loved it so much I know I will be buying the Kindle/Audible combo to enjoy again in the future.

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KinflicksKinflicks by Lisa Alther

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was recommended by a GoodReads group I belong to.

Once, again, I finished a book when I wasn’t able to write the review. Now in the midst of the current read, I have to remember the feelings of the previous literary adventure.

Let’s work backward. I felt the ending left much to be desired. Even though this is a hefty novel, I wanted to know what happened next. Is it possible there is a part two out there?

Okay, now it is coming back to me. I remember this getting off to a slow start. I wanted to move on to other reads. But there was something about the main character that had me curious to see what this was all about.

Oh, and the problem of POV and changing from first to third person. Argh! I couldn’t figure it out. It seemed like a mistake but then I read some of the reviews on GoodReads and realized that it was a tool used to separate then and now. Still, I could have done without that shifting.

I loved the dark, death themes that this family seemed involved in. Notice the word ‘seemed’, as in the end that might be questioned.

This was a coming of age story. Yet it involves a lot of the human experience, old amd young alike. I would think this would be best read by new adults or older, younger readers might not recognize the rebelious nature presented.

And we’ve come full circle… In the end, I was very glad to have read it, experienced life from another’s eyes. Now I need to see if I can get ahold of a sequel.

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Coming to RosemontComing to Rosemont by Barbara Hinske

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, this was a quick read. And entertaining. Perfect for reading after a darker read, that left me nightmare prone. It is light and inspiring. My faith in ‘humane’ beings is restored.

I loved the main character and her passion for life and doing what is right. I loved that she was a senior citizen who has a great relationship with her grown children. I love that she was able to move out on her own and follow her path.It sure is a relief to read this after so many Young Adult books which can give the impression that only the young deserve a story. And though this book is about an older person, I think YA’s would like it as well.

So why, then, am I giving it only three stars? It was well written. It kept me engaged until the end. All I can come up with is that it left me feeling like I just watched a Lifetime movie. Not enough depth, too predictable, and far more fiction than my favorite sci-fi’s and fantasies. Or have I become far too cynical that I thought I was? Okay, I have just talked my way to a four stars. After all, a B- is still a B. And the thing is… I think I am curious enough to want to see what happens in book 2.

By the way, this was a free-from author read for a buddy read. Thank you for the opportunity.

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Tapestry of Fortunes: A Novel
Tapestry of Fortunes: A Novel by Elizabeth Berg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Road trip!

Look, I see a lot of negative reviews of this book. That’s sad because this one actually met my goal. It is a story about older women (sixty and younger) written by a female author. It was a fun read. A great read for someone who is rather stuck at home during the winter. I got my travel bug up and ready for being a vagabond. At least the older females were thought of!

Could the book have been deeper? Yes. In fact just as it all seemed to be fun the story took a turn and ended. It was as if the author didn’t know what to do with a bunch of women having an adventure. Sure, there was drama, but bits that I wanted to explore got left by the wayside. Too bad. The worst part? When at 50% read the book ended. BOO!

Well, the second book in this bundle was a bit of a surprise. Who expected one more book? Open House wasn’t as good as Tapestry of Fortune. The woman was younger (in her forties). It was an agonizing tale of divorce and all the emotions attached to that. I still found it interesting and found myself rooting for the main character. But this all brings up why I prefer sci-fi and fantasy. If I wanted real life, I’d live it! Oh, wait, I already do! In both of these books I was disturbed by the hokey romantic notions. Can’t a woman just find herself and enjoy all the relationships in her life? Do they have to be looking for the ‘one’? Geez! There is nothing wrong with sex or romance. It just left behind the growth of the woman.

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