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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A Reading Weekend

We had no big plans for the fourth so I spent the weekend reading and cross stitching. Every now and then it is fun to just do what you like to do!! So I have two book reviews for you this morning.

While I was browsing in Barnes and Noble the other day, a young man who works there recommended this book to me. He pointed out that it was a bargain as it was on sale. I have enjoyed several dystopian series, The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Giver to name a few. As this book is about two years old  I am late to the party as ususal!!  The Age of Miracles is told from the view point of 11 year old Julia. Her life is ticking along with school and soccer practice when suddenly the scientists inform the world that the earth's rotation is slowing. At first it was just a few minutes then an hour and by the end of the book, a day lasted 50 hours.  To keep order, the world leaders say that everyone should just keep going by the clock no matter what it looked like outside the window.  Soon there were factions of Real Timers  who set up colonies where a day was a period of light and darkness.( An interesting fact was that the Jews who kept the Sabbath, became Real Timers to practice their faith. ) Soon there are all kinds of problems to deal with as a result of the "slowing". The theme of the book is adaptation and resilience. That in spite of hardship, the desire to survive and thrive is alive and well. The science is a little sketchy...my husband, the physicist, was skeptical about some of the "effects". But hey, it is a fiction novel and it provided a good distraction for me this weekend. I give it a three out of five stars.


This is a book that most of my friends have read so once again I am last to read it!!Hey, I use the library and sometimes it takes a while to get a good book!! This book was a little uncomfortable for me because I am that person who loves to gaze into houses on the street at night and make up stories about the people who live there. I am the person my late mother in law was so wary of! The minute the lights went on in her living room, the blinds were closed to the outside world. "You don't want any one looking in!" she would say. And to this day in our own home, we close the shutters at sundown in her memory!!:) This book is about three women. Rachel is the first young woman we meet. She rides the train to work in London every morning and on her way to work, she likes to look at the house she used to live in with her husband, Tom. She also notices a house down the street that is inhabited by a loving young couple who could have been Rachel and Tom had Anna not intruded. Anna is Tom's new wife and the mother of their child, Evie. Rachel cannot understand how Anna can live in the house that Rachel decorated and made into a home. Rachel does not like to think about how her marriage to Tom ended when Rachel began drinking to console herself over her infertility.  And her drinking continues to be a big problem. Rachel drinks to the point that she blacks out and cannot remember the things she has done and said. Surely she did not call up Tom and scream and cry. She did not go into Tom and Anna's house and pick up their sleeping child, causing Anna to snatch Evie away from Rachel.  The second young woman we get to know is Anna, Tom's second wife. Anna feels sorry for the pathetic Rachel and she also feels a bit smug that Tom chose her...she really does not feel any guilt about taking Tom from Rachel. Rachel caused her own problems. But Anna is afraid of Rachel and the instability that could lead to something tragic. The third young woman is Megan. She seems to have it all, a nice home, a loving husband and yet it is not enough. Boredom and unresolved guilt cause Megan to look for excitement in the arms of men who are not her husband.  The worlds of these three young women collide when Megan goes missing. What happened to her?  This mystery will keep you on the edge of your seat until you turn the last page. I have to say that my favorite character was Rachel. I just felt that underneath all that baggage was a nice person!  You can read it and judge for yourself. Was I mistaken in my assessment of Rachel?

The only bad thing about a good book is that it comes to an ending, leaving you feeling a bit sad that it is over!! If you are looking for a good vacay read, The Girl on the Train is the one to toss in your beach bag!!



9 comments:

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I'll look for the second book, I've not read it yet! I'll add it to my 'to read' list! Thanks! I've been reading more since it's too hot to get out. Hugs, Diane

Arlene said...

I think you will enjoy it Diane...there has been a lot of buzz about it, would not be surprised to see it become a movie.

Mildred said...

Thanks for the book reviews. We've had lots of rain which made for good reading weather.

Julie's Lifestyle said...

Wow Arlene I would love to read the second book too! It sounds really good! Thanks for these book reviews. Have a wonderful rest of the week!
Julie xo

Arlene said...

Well I love to read and for some reason, I am really reading a lot right now!! Currently I am reading All The Light We Cannot See which won the Pulitzer Prize this year.

Linda said...

Love the recommendation! Reading is such a joy and I need to do more of it!

Arlene said...

For some reason I have been in the READING mood lately Linda and it has brought me much joy!!

Gina said...

I just glanced at your review on The Girl on the Train as I am on the waiting list! I have finished 2 books since moving into the cottage. I'm excited to get started on a 3rd!

Arlene said...

It is a good book Gina but now I am reading All The Light We Cannot See which won the Pulitzer Prize. It is also very good. I can picture you reading on your pretty back porch!!