Today Kim shares her review and gives a movie comparison on Atonement by Ian McEwan.
Author: Ian McEwan
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
On a hot summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses the flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant. But Briony’s incomplete grasp of adult motives and her precocious imagination bring about a crime that will change all their lives, a crime whose repercussions Atonement follows through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century.
I really liked this book! McEwan managed to reach into the minds of realistic, individual people and translate it perfectly to the page. Briony as a little girl was written exactly as little girls are and think. I kept having to remind myself that none of this was written by little girls or soldiers or nurses. And to have so little happening in the first part of the book, yet I wasn’t bored with it was quite the feat. And this was one of those book where I had theories running around in my head, but of course none of them were right! The twist was actually believable and emotional. The message of the whole story is one that is definitely needed in today’s world. Plus I’m a sucker for regret dripping off the page. Overall, this was an emotional, engaging read that I would recommend to just about anybody!
Now here is Kim’s video comparison of the movie:
Today Kim is bringing you a Sunday Series VIDEO review of the House of Shadows duology by Darcy Coates.
Books in the Duology:
House of Shadows
House of Secrets
House of Shadows
Published: October 15, 2015
Sophie’s world is shattered when disaster bankrupts her family. She’s still reeling from the news when she’s offered an unexpected solution: Mr Argenton, a wealthy stranger, asks for her hand in marriage.
Marrying Mr Argenton will restore her family’s fortunes and save them from scandal, but condemns Sophie to a life in Northwood, a vast and unnaturally dark mansion situated hours from civilisation.
Sophie struggles to adjust to her new position as mistress over the desolate house. Mr Argenton’s relatives are cold, and Mr Argenton himself is keeping secrets. Even worse, the house is more than it seems.
The piano plays in the middle of the night. Blood drips from the ceiling. Sophie is pulled towards the terrifying truth: Northwood’s ancient halls are haunted. The malevolent spirits—produced by grisly deaths—resent her intrusion into their home.
Trapped in Northwood and desperate for an escape, Sophie’s fate is further complicated as she finds herself drawn to the tall, dark-eyed man she married. She suspects her feelings are returned, but Mr Argenton is hiding something… and his secrets are so dangerous that they might just be unforgivable.
House of Secrets
Published: May 12, 2016
Sophie and Joseph’s escape from Northwood is short-lived. The beast survived, and attached itself to Joseph’s young cousin, Elise. Garrett writes to beg for their help. Joseph and Sophie travel to meet him at Kensington, a long-abandoned mansion that overlooks a dead town.
The house offers a small hope: its original owner had dedicated her life to researching the monster that possesses Elise. Garrett hopes to find a way to kill the creature without harming his daughter.
But Kensington is a dangerous building. Once the carriage leaves, they’re trapped inside the collapsing walls and forced to confront the horrors within.
Shrouded figures stalk them. Whispers echo through the night. Unmarked graves dot the property. And the dead are not as restful as they seem..
Kim’s Ratings of the Series: 4 Stars
Kim’s Thoughts on House of Shadows Series:
Author: Kristin Hannah
Published: February 5, 2008
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the “coolest girl in the world” moves in across the street and wants to be her friend. Tully Hart seems to have it all—beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer’s end they’ve become TullyandKate. Inseparable.
So begins Kristin Hannah’s magnificent new novel. Spanning more than three decades and playing out across the ever-changing face of the Pacific Northwest, Firefly Lane is the poignant, powerful story of two women and the friendship that becomes the bulkhead of their lives.
From the beginning, Tully is desperate to prove her worth to the world. Abandoned by her mother at an early age, she longs to be loved unconditionally. In the glittering, big-hair era of the eighties, she looks to men to fill the void in her soul. But in the buttoned-down nineties, it is television news that captivates her. She will follow her own blind ambition to New York and around the globe, finding fame and success . . . and loneliness.
Kate knows early on that her life will be nothing special. Throughout college, she pretends to be driven by a need for success, but all she really wants is to fall in love and have children and live an ordinary life. In her own quiet way, Kate is as driven as Tully. What she doesn’t know is how being a wife and mother will change her . . . how she’ll lose sight of who she once was, and what she once wanted. And how much she’ll envy her famous best friend. . . .
For thirty years, Tully and Kate buoy each other through life, weathering the storms of friendship—jealousy, anger, hurt, resentment. They think they’ve survived it all until a single act of betrayal tears them apart . . . and puts their courage and friendship to the ultimate test.
Firefly Lane is for anyone who ever drank Boone’s Farm apple wine while listening to Abba or Fleetwood Mac. More than a coming-of-age novel, it’s the story of a generation of women who were both blessed and cursed by choices. It’s about promises and secrets and betrayals. And ultimately, about the one person who really, truly knows you—and knows what has the power to hurt you . . . and heal you. Firefly Lane is a story you’ll never forget . . . one you’ll want to pass on to your best friend.
Welp, it made me ugly cry and poor Ivan had to deal with me. It was a quick read and kept me engaged and entertained. The story was filled with crazy ups and downs and just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, I didn’t and something else happened. I decided to give 4 stars since I did enjoy reading the book and I’m glad I read it.
However, I will say that I severely disliked most of the characters in this book. Tully was insufferable from the beginning. I hated the way she bullied everyone into giving her whatever she wanted and then dared to play the victim. She also completely ignored Kate’s authority as mother when dealing with Kate’s kids. Kate thankfully wasn’t quite as bad and I identified with her more. She was Tully’s shadow and support and spent her life knowing she was just second best. But she spent a lot of that time just being a doormat.
How Hannah wrote an entire book based on such a toxic relationship, I’ll never know. I also disliked how we never saw certain portions of their lives. It’s like Hannah got tired of writing so she just put “a few years later …” and then left it at that. Overall, I’m glad I read Firefly Lane, I actually enjoyed it … but if I ever meet women like Tully and Kate, I’m running the other way!!