Tag Archive: southern



Out of the PastOut of the Past by Glenda Poulter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Do you like ghost stories? Well, here’s one with a little different take on the theme. Of course, it involves the south and the old homes found there, and the antiques. Made me wish I was actually there.

I don’t have a fear of ghosts. I feel I have seen, and even felt a couple in my days. No biggie. They are just folks with left-over things to do. So the angst and sorrow the main character shows is far too repetitive. I suppose that was to build some suspense. But I just wanted to see where the story went and get off of a poor woman in distress of apparitions and dreams.

The story kept me interested and I wanted to see how it all would work out. The thing about ghosts stories is that they are stories within stories. In this case, the antique dealers, who happen to be gay, and of the present, seek out the possessed things and places of the past. Once the stories start emerging I really grew to love all the characters and the place itself.

So if you want to go seek out the past and see what the south has to offer, check this book 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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Original SinsOriginal Sins by Lisa Alther

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First of all, let me tell you, I read books for escape. But sometimes, I might learn a thing or two. And it is with a humble acknowledgement that I gave this book three stars.

Look, I lived through the 1960s and feel that nowadays we have reverted back to the 1860s so revisiting all the bigotry and misogyny of the country through this book during a time when cops shoot kids because of their menacing faces in real life, and reading this nonsense as my escape–well, let’s just say the truth. I nearly threw this book away for most of the first 40%. Then at 43-46% I was ready to be finished as the pages were repeated and out of order. But somehow I was drawn in like vampire to a train wreck??? So much was wrong I hoped there was a single drop I could glean from it.

Okay, this should be required reading for everyone in high school. It could be used to teach English. Look, I understand making the characters sound a certain way but to continue beyond the dialogue was horrid! Then you could use the book to teach patience and tolerance about people who may seem like they are different. Then use it in a Sex Ed. class to show what not to do. Then for a feminism classes to show men and women what not to expect.

I am so glad I didn’t buy this book. I picked it up through Kindle Unlimited. I know a lot of people loved this book. It was through a book group who recommended this to me that I read it. I feel no closer to a truth or an escape having gone through this. And that makes me feel horrid. Sorry.

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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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