Monday, November 25, 2013

Margot and Disgrace-Two books

In trying to catch up on my blogging (as usual) I am writing about two books in this blog.  Both were read for my November book group meetings.

Margot by Jillian Cantor sounded so intriguing that all of the book group was excited to read it. 
Turned out to be somewhat of a let down.  The premise of the book is fascinating, but the writing left much to be desired.  And I hated the very predictable ending.

Anyway, the book is based on the premise that Ann Frank's older sister, Margot, had survived the war and was living in Philadelphia as Margie Franklin, hiding her identity.  She worked for a law firm and led a quiet, unassuming life.  As the film The Diary of Ann Frank came out (1959), Margot began questioning her life, past and present.

Sounds good, right?  I really struggled with the writing...I just didn't like it.  While at book group, I looked the author up online and learned that she has written several young adult books.  Aha!  That is what the writing reminded me of.  If the novel had been presented as a young adult book, it would make sense that it was written more simply and ended so predictably.  But that is not how the novel has been presented.

So fair warning...if you find the premise interesting and want to read the book...think of it as a young adult novel.  It will make much more sense to you.  

The other book that I read for November book group was Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee.  I had not read The Human Stain in the past few months and loved it so much, that this book just didn't compare to it for me.  However, the themes were similar.
anything by this author, although he has been a prize winning author in the past.  I will admit that he is a very good writer, but I didn't enjoy this novel.  Some of that may have been because I had read

David Lurie was a fifty-two year old divorced professor at a university in South Africa.  He seemed to have no positive regard for women and when he became involved with one of his students he was dismissed from the university. Upon his dismissal, he decided to go visit his daughter Lucy who worked a small farm.  David and Lucy clearly had a distant relationship.  One day three men came to Lucy's farm and an afternoon of violence ensued.  David attempted to become closer to Lucy but he seemed clueless on how to do that.

I know that this is not a very clear review of the novel, but I just didn't find it that good.  It did make for an interesting discussion at book group, with the women finding David utterly unlikeable and the men finding some redeemable qualities.

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