Friday, November 15, 2013

The Anthropology of Motherhood

The Pure Gold Baby by Margaret Drabble

Anna seemed like a normal baby when she was born to her unwed mother Jess. As she grew, she seemed ultimately happy. She was the type of child who glowed from within. So when Jess realized that Anna wasn't normal, that she'd never learn to read or do math, she decided to do everything she could to protect and care for her. Despite this, her mostly abandoned career in anthropology continued to hover in her periphery.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tasty but not Scrumptious

Chocolat by Joanne Harris

When Vianne Rocher, her daughter Anouk (with Pantoufle - an imaginary rabbit) breeze into the small, religious, French town of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes with the intention of opening a chocolate shop during the holy time of Lent, you just know that there's going to be some problems. Since Vianne is a single mother, you can imagine that the least of her problems might be her tempting confections on the town's citizens, who are trying to deny their weak bodies. You see, Vianne believes in magic - not just the magic of delicious foods, but also in the magic of life itself, and that isn't going to go down well with the pious mayor of the town, Reynaud, whose championing of Christianity is the village's moral cornerstone.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Adopted Siblings Road to Discovery

Brother & Sister by Joanna Trollope

David and Nathalie and are the children of Lynne and Ralph. You wouldn't find a closer brother and sister anywhere – except that they're not really siblings. This is because Lynne and Ralph adopted them. This fact was never a secret, and all their lives both David and Nathalie believed that it made no difference to them. They've grown up healthy, loved and become well-adjusted adults and are both in good relationships – happily married and with children of their own. But when Nathalie is interviewed about how being adopted effected her life, although initially she denies that it made any difference to her, she suddenly discovers a need to find her birth parents, and insists that David do the same. This takes them down a road that neither of them were ever prepared to travel, and yet, are both, inexplicably drawn towards. This is the story of "Brother and Sister" by Joanna Trollope.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Looking for Mister Good-Read

How many times has a book blurb made you immediately think "been there, done that"?

As mentioned in some of my earlier posts here, I belong to a few sites that let me request advance reader copies of books, and in exchange, I review them. For the most part, I've been very lucky in that almost all of the books I've gotten have been surprisingly good. Some have even been amazing. But the down side of this is that the bar for books I might want to read has gotten higher.

I recently received from one site a list of upcoming books from one of their publishers. As always, the site asks me if there are any of the books on the list that I might want to read and review. So, like the avid reader anxious to get my hands on the next best seller before it goes into print that I am, I start going over the list.