Monday, March 25, 2019

Review: Ask Again, Yes

Ask Again, Yes Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a book that I don't really know how to review. I think I will agree with another reviewer that it has a slow beginning but moves along after that. The catalyst that really moved the story happens about then. I think why this book is so appealing is that there is no clear beginning, middle, and end. The end of the book is satisfying but it also hints of a continuation of the characters and the echoes of parents' decisions, mistakes, and triumphs. The writing is so wonderful and so perfect and so exactly right about things that I've never been able to verbalize.

"For months, conversations were drowned out by static, and she found herself having to speak louder, listen harder. She lost track of what people were saying. She lost track of what she was saying and sometimes heard herself speaking as if from across a room. Physical movements were becoming more and more difficult, like trying to swim through a vat of wet cement. But these were symptoms she only noticed after the static quieted, after the cement drained away. “It’s mostly like that for everyone,” Dr. Abbasi said. Everyone like her, he meant. It was impossible to have sufficient detachment at the most dangerous times. This was his way of saying she had to forgive herself."

"They still walked the same routes around the house, doing the same things they’d always done, more or less, but lately she felt a poverty of something—happiness, she supposed—deep inside her ribs, the place were she used to feel her joy spill over. What they’d told each other when they got married was still true, at least for her. She wanted to work, come home to him, discuss their days, eat meals together, go to bed. She wanted to watch a movie on the weekend, maybe go for a long walk, maybe go out to dinner, maybe see friends. She wanted to be able to tell him anything and have him tell her everything. And there were some weeks, still, when they did just that. If they could do all those things and pay their bills and not dread going to work each morning, coming home each night, then that was a life. That was a great life, in Kate’s view. What else could there be? If they reminded themselves that these small things were enough, she believed, then they’d always be okay. So that was part of their vows, all those years ago when they climbed the steps of city hall on a Tuesday morning, the first appointment of the day. They vowed to live simply and honestly and to always be kind to each other. To be partners."

"Criminal arrogance. Just like his father. The father more than the mother, even. At least the mother had something wrong with her. A disease, maybe. But this was a crime of the ego, a person believing he could get away with things other people can’t."

"(Female character) thought about their wedding day as a conclusion to something, where he thought about it as a beginning. Rising action versus falling action. They were reading different books."

"They'd both learned that a memory is a fact that's been dyed and trimmed and rinsed so many times that it comes out looking almost unrecognizable to anyone else who was in that room, anyone else who was standing on the grass beneath that telephone pole."

"But those are my my things. You have your things. I'm not going to take away mine just because your list is long, too."

"It wasn't that she didn't love him, he knew. It was that she loved him so much that it frightened her, loved him so much that she worried she might have to protect herself from it."

"They were great kids. Funny and weird and smart."

"We repeat what we don't repair."

Really, really well written with so many aspects to discuss. Excellent.

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Review: The Forgotten Garden

The Forgotten Garden The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Kate Morton’s writing. This is an older book I found with a compelling story that had me guessing until the very end. I loved it.

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