Month: June 2009

The Sand Castle: My Review

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I am still searching for a good book.

This week I read a short, little book called The Sand Castle by Rita Mae Brown. This book is one of a series of books by the author about two sisters: Juts and Wheezie. Since this book is far into the series, the author spends little or no time on character development. It took me a long time to figure out who was who and who was related to who and there are only four characters in the whole book!

The book covers just one day when the sisters head to the beach with a daughter and grandson. It’s full of pointless dialogue and though the back cover promises “intrigue” the biggest drama occured when the grandson had his pecker injured by a crab that went up his swim trunks.

Here’s a review from In The Sand Castle, beloved American novelist Rita Mae Brown (Rubyfruit Jungle) revisits some of her most spirited and unforgettable characters—sisters Juts and Wheezie Hunsenmeir, and Juts’s precocious young daughter, Nickel—as they come together to cope with a life-defining loss.
It’s August, 1952, and seven-year-old Nickel sets off for a day at the seashore with her mother, aunt, and cousin Leroy. Everyone’s excited when they reach Chesapeake Bay—everyone except for Leroy, who is recently motherless and frightened of the world around him. Nickel delights in tormenting her cousin, but, as the group lounges on the beach and begins work on a magnificent sand castle, the sisters try to coax him out of his shell. As the sun swings higher in the sky, Nickel’s taunting of Leroy escalates and the weight of family history between her mother and aunt rises to the surface—until Leroy is bitten by a crab and all of their arguments fall away. It isn’t until years later that Nickel can see that single day at the beach for what it truly was—a life-changing lesson on family and all the pleasure and heartbreak that comes with it.

The Sister: My Review

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Have you ever waited 214 pages for a book to become good? And then it just was not worth it? Now so have I.

The Sister is the story of, well, two sisters. They have not seen each other for over 40 years and suddenly the younger sister comes home to live with her sister. With her arrival comes a flood of memories, and the oldest sister narrates the tale.

You know that there is something mentally wrong with the narrator, but it is never discussed, primarily because she is unaware of the disability herself. And you know that something sinister has happened in the house, you just do not know who is to blame until, well, page 214.

That said, this might be an interesting book club selection. I did not like the book but I have so many questions about the book. What was really wrong with the narrator/oldest sister. What happened to her while at the conference with her father? What caused the sister’s accident, or was it truly just an accident? What was the final catalyst for her final actions in the book? So if you do read it, let me know and we’ll dish.

Here’s the review from Amazon: Estranged sisters Ginny and Vivien Stone reunite after 50 years, releasing a flood of painful memories in Stone’s eerie, accomplished debut. Ginny and her younger sister Vivien lead an idyllic childhood in West Dorset, England, until Vivien nearly dies in an accident (the aftermath of which takes decades to unravel) when Ginny is 11 and Vivien is eight. Later, after the pair is expelled from school, a 15-year-old Vivien moves to London, and Ginny stays behind, covering up her mother Maud’s alcoholism while trying to assist her father, Clive, with his research on moths and butterflies. After Maud’s death and Clive’s subsequent dementia, Ginny lives alone in the massive house, a brilliant but increasingly reclusive scientist whose insular world is cracked open when Vivien announces her desire to return and live out her days with Ginny. Long-buried secrets float to the surface as Ginny narrates with scientific precision her life’s slow disintegration. Though the lepidopterological jargon and asides can slow things down, Adams expertly captures Ginny’s voice and the dynamics of a deeply troubled family as the book barrels toward its chilling conclusion.