Something Old, Something New

Hey Bookworms, happy almost Friday.

This is the second installment of Something Old, Something New.

Two books. Something I’ve read (old) and something I haven’t (new).

I have way too many books. I’m not complaining at all, simply stating a fact. I only keep what I’ve read if I really loved it. So if I loved it, I want to share with you. And, since I’m continuously acquiring new books, I want to share those as well.

I read Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown about two years ago. The story of Billie Flanagan, her husband Jonathan, and their teenage daughter, Olive has stayed with me. Billie, who is an avid hiker goes on a solo hike one day and doesn’t return, only her shattered cellphone is found.

Jonathan begins to drink more in the aftermath of her disappearance, which only adds to the strain of the relationship with his daughter. As Jonathan takes on a project of writing a loving memoir about his marriage, he begins to uncover secrets from Billie’s past. At the same time Olive starts having visions of her mother being alive.

This book allows many questions to arise. How well do you know the people closest to you? Is the relationship you have real? How does being a wife and a mother define a person?

This was the first book that really allowed me to view motherhood from the atypical vantage of not letting and/or wanting it to consume you. Some women are born to be mothers, some are not, and many drift somewhere in the middle. Children are all consuming for awhile and in a good way, but after awhile it’s easy to lose sight of the women who existed before her children did. The character of Billie Flanagan is complex, I guess as we all are. This story gives you the privilege of being able to see Billie from her view, her husband’s, and also Olive’s.

There is a line that I can quote from this book to this day:

“Leave and they hate you, die, and they love you forever.” -Billie Flanagan

This story has you guessing until the very. last. page. Read it.

I’ve made this statement time and again:

I want to like the books Ian McEwan writes. I’ve tried Atonement a few times and couldn’t get in to it. I’ve tried this, On Chesil Beach, and I am determined to like it. First off, the size of the book combined with the cover design, silently scream of its elegant beauty. I realize this has nothing to do with the story inside, but it should. That being said, the few times I have tried reading it, it’s kind of gone stale. I’ve chalked it up to bad timing.

Here is the Amazon synopsis:

• It is 1962, and Florence and Edward are celebrating their wedding in a hotel on the Dorset coast. Yet as they dine, the expectation of their marital duties become overwhelming. Unbeknownst to them both, the decisions they make this night will resonate throughout their lives. With exquisite prose, Ian McEwan creates in On Chesil Beach a story of lives transformed by a gesture not made or a word not spoken •

What do you think? Have you read it? Are you a big McEwan fan? I also have The Children Act on my shelf, but it’s also unread. His last two novels, Nutshell and Machines Like Me also intrigue me, but it’s like I have a mental block when it comes to reading his books. Why?

Are there authors that you want to read and like, but ultimately struggle with? Tell me I’m not alone!

Side note, I am still reading Lonesome Dove. Since I am reading a physical copy and it’s so large, it stays on my nightstand. It’s not a book that gets read when I have a spare five minutes standing in line, because it’s not lugged around in my purse. So if you are anti-e-reading or if you’ve never considered it, this is one of the instances it comes in handy to have an e-reader of some sort. Just a thought 🙂

Sincerely,

tmc

“Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.” -&Stephen Fry

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