Thursday, November 29, 2012

I See You Everywhere

I See You Everywhere
Author: Julia Glass
Source: Mom
Days to Read: 8
Wine Pairing: N/A

I thought this book was going to be a heart-warming story of sisterly love. It didn’t quite turn out to be that type of book. Louisa and Clem are two very different people who were never really that close. Louisa seems to have some very bitter feelings towards her sister and envies her personality traits that she lacks: adventurous, attractive and interesting.

The book is about their ever-changing relationship through adolescents to middle age. When Louisa is diagnosed with breast cancer I thought there would be some profound connection or moment that would bring the sister’s together but it seemed to just fall flat.

This is one of those books that has the potential to be really good but I just never felt attached to either of the characters and to be honest, Louisa was kind of annoying (she is so negative!). The final event in the book is a tragedy and again, it fell flat and left me with many questions (but not the good, thought provoking kind).

I don’t think I will give this book a wine pairing because I don’t highly recommend it, perhaps it would go best with a light, watery beer?

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Thursday, November 08, 2012

I Know This Much is True

I Know This Much is True
Author: Wally Lamb
Source: Sister in law Jackie
Days to Read: 13
Wine Pairing: Partager Merlot

While hunting for a sombrero chip and dip platter at the local Goodwill, I stumbled upon this book for $3.00! I was with my sister in law, Jackie, who recommended it and at that price why wouldn’t I buy it?

The book is about twin brothers, Dominick and Thomas Birdsey. Thomas is diagnosed with schizophrenia and after committing a gruesome act against himself in a public library, is placed in a mental hospital. Dominick tries to fight to get his brother out of the high security hospital and put back into his regular centre but faces a lot of resistance. He begins to meet with the therapist who is treating his brother and starts his own journey of self-discovery, reliving and exploring the past.

Growing up Thomas was abused by their stepfather and was the shy, sensitive twin who had a special relationship with the twin’s mother. Through Dominick’s sessions with the therapist, he examines his relationship with his brother, his mother, his stepfather and his ever-pressing need to know the identity of his biological father.

For all of the intense and heavy material in this book, it thankfully has a relatively happy ending for Dominick. There were several parts in the book that I thought didn’t quite fit. Example - Dominick being given an autobiography of his grandfather by his mother before her death. There are exerts from the autobiography in Dominick’s story and I didn’t think that it quite fit or really added all that much. It felt like knitting a scarf and then deciding to add a new colour but then dropping the yarn so the end product isn’t woven together tightly.

This book is, like I said, somewhat heavy so I would pair it with a medium bodied, comforting red – my recent discovery a French Partager Merlot – very tasty!
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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Next Book Club Choice

Our next book club book has been selected by none other than... Kim! She has chosen J.K. Rowling's new, adult book, A Casual Vacancy. Review to come mid December!
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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

When God Was a Rabbit

When God Was a Rabbit
Author: Sarah Winman
Source: Jenna's book club choice
Days to Read: 14
Wine Pairing: Cono Sur Merlot 

I have decided, upon suggestion, to include some of my favourite wines that pair well with each book. Given the title of my blog I thought this would be rather fitting! 

Cono Sur Merlot, an inexpensive, Chilean red is one of my favourites. I like dark, full bodied reds and this one does the trick!

When God Was a Rabbit was our most recent book club choice. The consensus was it was good but kind of a downer book. I felt that it lacked a climax or overall message to take away.
In a nut shell the book is the story of Elly. Broken into two parts, the first part of the book is told by a young Elly and for the second part, Elly is an adult. When I say that it was a bit of a downer book, consider some of the events that take place throughout: Cancer, suicide, murder, sexual abuse, physical abuse, accidental death, kidnapping, assault, bombing, stroke, amnesia and last but not least, death of a pet rabbit.

The one aspect of the book I truly enjoyed was Elly’s childhood friend, Jenny Penny.  She is eccentric, bright and complex. Their friendship blossoms in their youth and when Elly moves away with her family they promise to write one another. On their annual Christmas phone call, Jenny Penny is agitated and in a rush telling Elly she and her mother are moving yet again but will be sure to send Elly their new address as soon as she can. Elly never receives the new address and only years later do they reconnect when Elly receives a letter from Jenny Penny who is serving a sentence for murder in prison.

There is also a constant relationship throughout the book with Elly’s older brother Joe. You know him as Elly’s protector and closest friend but never really understand him. You get little tidbits here and there however not enough in my opinion.

Overall the book is a decent read just be prepared for some heavy reading with a not-so-happy ending.

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