Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Testaments

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood is the sequel to The Handmaid's Tale.  The book is great.  It, too, will probably be in my top three for 2019 (along with Olive, Again). 

The Testaments (Barnes & Noble Book Club Edition)The Testaments takes place fifteen years after The Handmaid's Tale.  The story is told in chapters that vary from being written by Aunt Lydia and testaments written by two women, one from Gilead and one from Canada. Aunt Lydia's chapters tell the story of her life and her accumulation of power in Gilead.  (You will be surprised to hear of her life before Gilead!)

The book is almost like a spy novel in that someone was a mole in Gilead. And the order in Gilead began breaking apart.

It's a rather big book, but I read it in just over two days.  It's that fascinating!  I would certainly recommend that one read the Handmaid's Tale first (it's a great read, too).

Olive, Again

Let me just say this right now....this book will be in my top three for the year 2019!  Do you remember Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout?  Well, Olive is back again, older, wiser and still a bit cranky.

Olive, AgainOlive, Again is told the same way that the first book was written-as short stories featuring Olive's life in her 80's.  She goes through her time getting involved, whether she likes it or not, with other people in the small town of Crosby, Maine.

It's a great book that really touches on love and aging. I don't want to tell anything more about the book, other than it is beautifully written and one that I carried in my thoughts for days.

Read it.

Two okay books

These two books below are ones that I read in October.  One I liked, the other I didn't.

1) A Life Without Water by Marci Bolden.  This was a book group choice and has had mixed responses from the members.  Carol and John had divorced twenty years ago, after Carol fled town.  She moved away and began a new life.

One day John unexpectedly showed up at Carol's office wanting to see their daughter for her thirtieth birthday.  Turned out that John was dying and had both amends and promises that he wanted to work on, and Carol was a central part of what he needed to do.  Against her better judgment, she and John took off on a journey long overdue.

I found some of the story rather unbelievable and thought that the writing was more of a young adult style.  It's not a book I will be keeping.

2) The Child by Fiona Barton.  This book was better than the one above, but not good enough for me to keep.  It is a mystery that kept me interested.

The author brought back her character journalist Kate Waters in the story.  Kate came across a short blurb in a newspaper that was about a construction site where bones of a baby were discovered.  The short piece caught Kate's attention and she began to investigate the story.  It eventually led her to two other women one of whom had had a baby kidnapped from the hospital right after birth.  Kate had to search out people that had lived at a certain housing area in the 1980's to begin to piece the whole story together.  It's quite a good mystery!