Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"A Good House"
Bonnie Burnard

"A Good House" is set in 1949 in Stonebrook, Ontario home to
the Chambers family. It begins with the introduction of a young couple
somewhat forced into wedlock through pregnancy. Bill and Sylvia are
kind, simple, small town dwellers, who attempt to raise
their three children with strong morals and a stable home. The postwar
boom and hope for the future color every facet of life; the possibilities
seem limitless to Bill and his family.

Their life takes a twist when Sylvia falls terminally ill and must say
her goodbyes at a young age.
This was beautifully done, it was written the way a mother would
prepare her family for her death.
I especially enjoyed the way the family would stay together at night
just talking and joking the way only a family does. It truly captured
the spirit of a family.

With three children and a house, Bill understood the importance of having
a wife and soon marries Margaret, the bookkeeper from his
hardware store. Their love is based more on necessity than passion, but
they are compatible and in the years that follow grow to love and respect one another.
Bill confronts the onset of old age less gracefully than anticipated, but
throughout, his second wife, Margaret, remains suprisinigly, the family anchor.
The children eventually grow up and move on, pursuing their own
careers and discovering their own loves.

I enjoyed this book, it quite simply told the story of a family. I would
recommend it for a cold winter night.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
by Lisa See
Two girls from totally opposite walks of life are bonded as laotongs, (intimate friends) in the 19th-century in China. How wonderful for Lily, born to a poor farmer and wife to befriend Snow Flower. They communicate thru nu shu, a secret written phonetic code used only by women.As the years pass, the women's relationship changes, due to the rigid codes of conduct for women, and betrayal. Lisa See has captured the period, explaining women's roles and expected conduct. Be prepared for the detailed and troubling description of the binding of young girl's feet. I was totally engrossed in this historical fiction. Beautifully written, you'll be caught up in these two women's lives.

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