Monday, September 7, 2015

The Admissions by Meg Mitchell Moore

Nora Hawthorne and her family are the family everyone admires. She has a successful real estate career, her husband (who grew up a cowboy in Wyoming and then graduated from Harvard) has been able to provide Nora and their three daughters with a wonderful life in Marin County, California.
Angela, the oldest daughter, is the child we would all love to have: extremely bright, conscientious, and headed to Harvard. Cecily, the middle child, is an Irish dancer, and Maya, the youngest, is very sweet, but may have a bit of a reading problem.

Moore's writing style is witty and engaging. I would be tempted to put the title of "chick lit" on this book, but I do think it is much more. How do we bring up our children while attempting to have them live up to their potential? How much pressure is too much?

There certainly are enough twists and turns and problems turning into larger problems to keep the reader engaged, but I probably would have been happier without some of the over-the-top, everything is falling apart all at once aspect of this book. (Although I do admit it worked on me and I would try to pick up The Admissions and read a bit whenever I had the chance.)

Over-all, if you are looking for a fast engaging read without having to concentrate a whole lot on the plot-line, I'd recommend this book. If you have a child looking at colleges soon, you will feel a lot better about your parenting guidance after reading!

**** Stars

Thank you to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC of this book.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova

I just can't stop talking about this one - I loved Still Alice and Genova's latest novel lived up to my very high expectations. I read it in one day and have talked about it and thought about it for many more.

Joe O'Brien and his family live in Charlestown in the North End of Boston and pride themselves on being Townies, Irish, and Catholic. He is a long-time cop and lives for his boisterous family and his job.

Genova brings Joe and his family to life and I felt I knew them all. His feisty wife Rosie, two daughters and two sons were all I thought about for days after finishing this book.

Joe has Huntington's, a disease I had heard of, but knew nothing about. Just like in Still Alice, Genova shows the reader what it would be like to live with Huntington's and what it would be like to watch a loved one cope with a devastating disease. Rosie knows something is wrong way before Joe notices anything. Little by little, he can't control the involuntary movements his body makes - in fact, he isn't even aware his body is moving. Perhaps most heartbreaking of all, his children have a 50% chance of inheriting this monster.

***** Stars

I really couldn't wait to read Inside the O'Briens - thank you Net Galley for giving me an advance copy.