Monday, August 22, 2011

Raven Stole the Moon

I chose this book because I liked The Art of Racing in the Rain so much and wanted to see if the author could hit another home run with me.  I thought I was picking up a newer work but it turned out to be an older work republished.  Not that it matters. 

Mr. Stein wrote a compelling story of a marriage trying to survive the death of an only child.  The story begins two years after the boy's death.  The couple, Jenna and Robert, are having difficulties in their marriage, Jenna not able to get past her grief and Robert not able to acknowledge his.  In a moment of impulsive action, Jenna finds herself on her way to Alaska, to her grandmother's village near the resort where her son lost his life. 

Although the story at this point turns to the supernatural as ancient Indian beliefs manifest themselves in the village Jenna is in, I found the characters and their actions very believable.  The author admits to perhaps taking liberties with the Tinglit theology and legends, but I very much enjoyed their inclusion in the story. 

I have a bit of a hard time recommending this book because of the oddness of the Tinglit legends come to life. Even accepting the legends as real, there were aspects of it that I couldn't make sense of.  However, the relationships and the insights gained of them through the events of the story made it a worthwhile read. 

Four of five shots.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Me & Mr. Darcy

Me & Mr. Darcy
by Alexandra Potter

I have to start this review with a rather embarrassing confession:  I have never read Pride & Prejudice.

There.  I’ve said it.

I’ve seen it in several movie formats and loved it, but as to Jane Austen’s pen & paper story, I am still a Fitzwilliam Darcy virgin.  Scandalous!!

That being said, you may have some reservations about my stating that “Me & Mr. Darcy” is a modern day Pride & Prejudice story centered around or within the Pride and Prejudice story.   It definitely falls into the genre of Chic Lit and is a lot of fun to read, but I think I may have enjoyed it even more if I was one of the many many women who have read Jane’s pen & paper book and fallen hard for Mr. Darcy time & time again.  I have fallen for Darcy, but only once or twice and specifically in the body of Colin Firth.  Sigh.  *Hand waving coolness to face.*

The book starts with Emily finishing up a disastrous date from hell.  (I’ve had worse, myself, but this is about Emily, not me).   She declares she is done with dating and prefers to enclose herself in her job as a bookstore manager, my dream job, right?  Her employee and best friend will have none of that and insists she join her for a post Christmas trip to Mexico for singles.  To avoid going to Mexico, Emily books a Jane Austen tour in England for the same time period and begins her Mr. Darcy adventure. 

Like most Chic Lit, it’s pretty obvious from the git-go who the real love interest will be and the big mystery is how the story gets there.  In M&MD Emily meets the *real* (yet fictional) Mr. Darcy and falls heartily for him, all the while dismissing her *real* (flesh & blood) “Mr. Darcy.”  Ms. Potter writes a good story leading us to question whether Mr. Darcy is truly as wonderful as we’ve believed all these years and keeps us enchanted.  By the time the story comes to its ending I was left to wonder if Jane Austen’s England was truly enchanted & magical or if sleep deprivation was at work.  You think you might know the answer to that question and yet…  some questions cannot be explained away. 

Very fun book to read.  I give it four shots of five.