fiction

My Thoughts On Calling Invisible Women

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invisible

While brushing her teeth one morning, Clover looks in the mirror and realizes that she is gone. She is completely invisible. She rushes into her son’s room and asks, “Do you see me?” and he assumes that she wants to have a theoretical discussion. Absorbed in his own problems, he never really looks at his mother. He can smell her. The laundry is getting done. He can hear her. Does it matter that he cannot see her?

Her husband and her daughter also do not notice that things are terribly amiss.

But she does find great support from her mother-in-law, her best friend and her dog.

I thought this book would be a little funnier. It did go back and forth between clever and somewhat depressing but Clover is able to spin all situations for the best.

There is a little hope at the end, but nothing is tied up with a lovely bow. But it does make me wonder, with my eyes buried in my laptop or on my I-phone screen, am I really looking at — seeing — the people around me?

What I’m Reading Now: Calling Invisible Women

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From Amazon.com:

A mom in her early fifties, Clover knows she no longer turns heads the way she used to, and she’s only really missed when dinner isn’t on the table on time.

Then Clover wakes up one morning to discover she’s invisible–truly invisible. She panics even more when her family doesn’t notice a thing.

Her best friend immediately observes the change, which relieves Clover immensely–she’s not losing her mind after all!–but she is crushed by the realization that neither her husband nor her children ever truly look at her. She was invisible even before she knew it.

Clover discovers that there are others like her, women of a certain age who seem to have disappeared. As she uses her invisibility to get to know her family and her town better, Clover leads the way in helping invisible women become recognized and appreciated no matter what their role.

My Thoughts on Me Before You

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I really loved this book. In fact, it was one of the books I recommended to book clubs on NBC’s Studio 5.

Louisa has lost her job at the Café and is desperate for a new one. Her father is going to lose his job any day now, her mother is taking care of her ailing grandfather and her older sister wants to go back to school. The family is looking to Louisa to bring in a consistent salary.

Louisa leaves her comfort zone and begins working as a companion to Will, a man who was paralyzed in a horrible accident from the neck down.

The first few days are horrible and Louisa wants to give up. But eventually she develops a friendship with Will and when she discovers that he plans to die in six months, she decides to try to change his mind.

I loved the themes in this book — the idea of embracing life fully and living fully. I love how Louisa decides to be brave. I was not a fan of the ending, but I still loved this book.

Now, Jojo Moyes is British, so you do have to watch out for the language. No one swears quite like the British.

The Language Of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

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I love good books that make you smarter all in the process of entertaining you, and therefore I love this book.

Victoria Jones was placed into the foster system when she was a baby. She was abused and neglected for years until she finally found Elizabeth’s home.

Elizabeth lets Victoria know right away that there is nothing Victoria can do in order to make Elizabeth put her back into the foster care system. A daughter of an abusive mother herself, Elizabeth understands Victoria’s pain and wants to help her. To communicate, Elizabeth shares the language of flowers. Each plant, each blossom, holds a specific meaning, and Victoria finds safety and a chance to develop a new skill.

This period of time only lasts 15 months, and after a certain event, Victoria is placed back in foster care until she is 18 and has an opportunity to use this knowledge to develop a career and even find forgiveness and love if she is able to embrace the chance.

At times frustrating and heartbreaking, The Language of Flowers is worth the read.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett — My Thoughts

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I really enjoyed this book.  I loved all of the characters.  I feel that if I drove down to Jackson, Mississippi in the 60s, I would be able to pick out Skeeter, Milly, Abilene, Hilly and certainly Miss Celia.  The character development is very strong, very much like Stones From A River.

While the book is great, it was not a fast read for me.  The subject matter is heavy.  The stories shared with Skeeter and experiences in this book are heavy.  It was very easy to put down and to want a break from.

There are many stories unreolved at the end of the book.  Does Miss Celia ever find a friend?  Does Miss Hilly get ousted from her position on the League?  Does Skeeter find a fabulous man in New York?  I hope that Ms. Stockett revisits Jackson in a few years.