Thursday, March 13, 2008

Truth and Beauty

Truth and Beauty; a Friendship
Ann Patchett

4 stars

This story is a memoir of Lucy Grealy, a famous poet who wrote Autobiography of a Face. The author, Ann Patchett was great friends with Lucy and the story is a tale of their friendship. Lucy, who had survived cancer as a child, meets Ann during their college years but it isn’t until they both are moving to Iowa for a writing graduate school program that their friendship blossoms. Since both women start out as nothing and end up both published famous authors, my inner writer couldn’t help but be attracted to this book.

The book does have some language that I didn’t appreciate, honestly, if it were a novel I most likely would have tossed it to the side, but since it is a memoir and these are actual events that happened I became a little more lenient and forgiving towards some of the language and subjects.

Lucy. Lucy is such a taker. I had a problem with how much Ann gave in this relationship. She really gave so much and got not much in return. At one point Lucy pointed out to her that she loved to do it just because it made her feel like a saint. Perhaps this is true. At one point towards the end of the story Ann tells her she will “drop” or “break it off” with her if her behavior doesn’t improve. That would take guts to do – but she actually never does it. I think that would have to be one of the hardest things ever done.

The book examines self esteem and depression issues. I felt sorry and sad for Lucy during much of the book. If I had to live my life without a jaw bone and half my face missing there is no doubt that I would have self esteem issues as well. This book actually made me thankful for the knowledge and faith that I have in our Heavenly Father and our family. Lucy didn’t have faith or a strong family.

All in all I didn’t mind the book at all. I am really interested in reading some more of Ann Patchett’s work now that I’ve read about some parts of her life during the time she was formulating and writing the 4 novels she has wrote. I also would like to look into reading Lucy Grealy’s book.

Sense and Sensiblity

Sense and Sensibility
Jane Austen
5 Stars
This is the story of Marianne and Elinor, two sisters looking for and finding love. It receives 5 stars. Even though it’s not my favorite Jane Austen, it’s still a classic clean story that can be enjoyed over and over again.

Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park
Jane Austen
5 stars
I started this novel the same day I finished Sense and Sensibility. I was really enjoying the Jane Austen series on Masterpiece theatre every Sunday and thought reading all the novels would be such a fun idea. I still am really looking forward to finishing Mansfield Park but winter got the best of me in February and halfway through I put it on hold in search for something with a little more action.

Pillars of the Earth

Pillars of the Earth
Ken Fowlett
2 stars
I used to love and read each of Oprah’s book club selections. The past few years I have distanced myself from these books for various reasons but with my February winter blaws taking over I really thought I would give this one a try. I saw it at the local library and made it through the first few 100 pages before setting it down. It wasn’t hitting the spot. Not sure it ever will, but I’ll be writing this title down on my try again later list.

The Jane Austen Book Club

The Jane Austen Book Club
Karen Joy Fowler
1 star
Since I heard that this book has been turned in a movie that will be coming out soon, I thought I would try reading it before seeing the actual film. I made it halfway before returning this book to the library, I don’t think I’ll ever finish the book or see the movie. I have such a hard time with language in books. I know most readers can over look language and I usually do the first or second time. After that when I really see it’s unnecessary and overused I put the book down. It’s just a rule I have. I was frustrated with this book and that it has such high reviews. Maybe I am missing something but I just couldn’t get myself to finish it. I was really disappointed.