- Review: The High Druid's Blade by Terry Brooks
- Tuesday Intros and Teaser Tuesdays - The Underground Girls Of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg
So, that was my week! How was yours? Happy with what you put up?
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media--as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents--the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter--but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?Book Beginnings and Friday 56 are hosted, respectively, Gilion over at Rose City Reader and Freda over at Freda's Voice.
'Nick Dunne: The Day OfWhen I think of my wife, I always think of her head. The shape of it, to begin with. The very first time I saw her, it was the back of her head I saw, and there was something lovely about it, the angles of it. Like a shiny, hard corn kernel or a riverbed fossil. She had what the Victorians would call a finely shaped head. You could imagine the skull quite easily.' p.1
'Then maybe we'll have sex again. And a late-night burger. And more Scotch. Voila: happiest couple on the block! And they say marriage is such hard work.' p.56Sex, burgers and alcohol sounds like a great marriage solver.... I love Flynn's sarcastic tone about marriage and the way people put on a facade to the outside. I am going to like this book, I can tell.
Legend has it that Paxon Leah is descended from the royals and warriors who once ruled the Highlands and waged war with magical weapons. But those kings, queens, and heroes are long gone, and there is nothing enchanted about the antique sword that hangs above Paxon’s fireplace. Running his family’s modest shipping business, Paxon leads a quiet life—until extraordinary circumstances overturn his simple world . . . and rewrite his destiny. When his brash young sister is abducted by a menacing stranger, Paxon races to her rescue with the only weapon he can find. And in a harrowing duel, he is stunned to discover powerful magic unleashed within him—and within his ancestors’ ancient blade. But his formidable new ability is dangerous in untrained hands, and Paxon must master it quickly because his nearly fatal clash with the dark sorcerer Arcannen won’t be his last. Leaving behind home and hearth, he journeys to the keep of the fabled Druid order to learn the secrets of magic and earn the right to become their sworn protector. But treachery is afoot deep in the Druids’ ranks. And the blackest of sorcery is twisting a helpless innocent into a murderous agent of evil. To halt an insidious plot that threatens not only the Druid order but all the Four Lands, Paxon Leah must summon the profound magic in his blood and the legendary mettle of his elders in the battle fate has chosen him to fight.This was the first novel I have read by Terry Brooks, whose Shannara-series are loved my fans all around the world. The High Druid's Blade is the first stand-alone novel from Brooks in almost twenty years and as such might be a great place for me to get into the world of Shannara. The novel introduces the reader to the character of Paxon Leah, who within the first few chapters goes on a rescue mission for his sister Chrys and discovers the existence of magic. This beginning was almost too fast, with not enough time given to the reader to truly get settled in with the characters and start caring for them. When Chrys is kidnapped the reader doesn't really know her yet and as such it is hard to care for her. It's similar for the main character, who is not given quite enough time to really be explored by the reader.
An investigative journalist uncovers a hidden custom that will transform your understanding of what it means to grow up as a girl
In Afghanistan, a culture ruled almost entirely by men, the birth of a son is cause for celebration and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned as misfortune. A (literally translated from Dari as “dressed up like a boy”) is a third kind of child – a girl temporarily raised as a boy and presented as such to the outside world. Jenny Nordberg, the reporter who broke the story of this phenomenon for the , constructs a powerful and moving account of those secretly living on the other side of a deeply segregated society where women have almost no rights and little freedom.
is anchored by vivid characters who bring this remarkable story to life: Azita, a female parliamentarian who sees no other choice but to turn her fourth daughter Mehran into a boy; Zahra, the tomboy teenager who struggles with puberty and refuses her parents' attempts to turn her back into a girl; Shukria, now a married mother of three after living for twenty years as a man; and Nader, who prays with Shahed, the undercover female police officer, as they both remain in male disguise as adults.
At the heart of this emotional narrative is a new perspective on the extreme sacrifices of Afghan women and girls against the violent backdrop of America's longest war. Divided into four parts, the book follows those born as the unwanted sex in Afghanistan, but who live as the socially favored gender through childhood and puberty, only to later be forced into marriage and childbirth. charts their dramatic life cycles, while examining our own history and the parallels to subversive actions of people who live under oppression everywhere.It sounds amazing and from what I have read so far, it is as interesting as the blurb promises.
'Prologue:The transition begins here.I remove the black head scarf and tuck it into my backpack. My hair stays in a knotted bun on the back of my head.' 2%
'Chapter one:'"Our brother is really a girl."' 2%I liked both of these beginnings. Although the beginning of Chapter 1 is a bit more eye-catching, the prologue was a great way of settling the reader in with the main character.
'Similar to Carol's take on the subject, it made a certain sense to Nancy: "Segregation calls for creativity, she told me."' 7%I'm not very far into the book yet as you can see and I didn't want to jump ahead. Also, I thought this teaser was really interesting because I definitely think it's true. When people are suppressed they find ways around it.
First published in 1899, this beautiful, brief novel so disturbed critics and the public that it was banished for decades afterward. Now widely read and admired, "The Awakening" has been hailed as an early vision of woman's emancipation. This sensuous book tells of a woman's abandonment of her family, her seduction, and her awakening to desires and passions that threatened to consumer her.
Originally entitled "A Solitary Soul, " this portrait of twenty-eight-year-old Edna Pontellier is a landmark in American fiction, rooted firmly in the romantic tradition of Herman Melville and Emily Dickinson. Here, a woman in search of self-discovery turns away from convention and society, and toward the primal, from convention and society, and toward the primal, irresistibly attracted to nature and the senses.The Awakening is recognized as one of the earliest landmarks for feminist literature. Part of what made it special for its time was that it describes women's issues without being condescending about them. Chopin gets right to the heart of the issues for many women in her time and does so through beautiful prose. Even nowadays, a novel completely dedicated to a woman's spiritual growth, without it being a guide book or a 'how to be happy'-kind of manual, is rare. With The Awakening Chopin unconsciously opened the way for a lot of female authors to express themselves and express women's problems in their own right. Chopin was raised in a house with three generations of independent women: her widowed mother, her grand-mother and a great grand-mother. Herself widowed early in life with six children depending on her, it seems fate that Chopin wrote a novel such as The Awakening.
'There were days when she was very happy without knowing why. She was happy to be alive and breathing, when her whole being seemed to be one with the sunlight, the color, the odors, the luxuriant warmth of some perfect Southern day.' p.144
First published in 1853, The Heir of Redclyffe was among the most successful novels of the century, equalling even the work of Dickens and Thackeray in popularity. The story of a clash of personality between well-born cousins, Guy Morville and Philip Edmonstone, the plot focuses on Guy's spiritual struggle to overcome the darker side of his nature. Philip's sinister insinuations about Guy's character almost thwart Guy's marriage to the gentle Amy, yet despite their bitter feuding the novel reaches an unexpected and dramatic conclusion that vindicates romantic virtue, self-sacrifice, and piety, epitomizing the period's nostalgia for an idealized chivalric past. Adopted by William Morris and Burne-Jones as 'a pattern for actual life', Guy was a popular role model of noble virtue, while Amy is the ideal Victorian wife - redeemer and inspirer, support and guide. The Heir of Redclyffe is a virtual paradigm of the trends of thought which characterized the middle decades of the nineteenth century. It is deeply marked by the influence of the Oxford Movement, an aspect explored by Barbara Dennis in her Introduction to this unique critical edition.Book Beginnings and Friday 56 are hosted by Gilion over at Rose City Reader and Freda over at Freda's Voice.
'The drawing-room of Hollywell House was one of the favoured apartments, where a peculiar air of home seems to reside, whether seen in the middle of summer, all its large windows open to the garden, or, as when our story commences, its bright fire and stands of fragrant green-house plants contrasted with the wintry fog and leafless trees of November. There were two persons in the room - a young lady, who sat drawing at the round table, and a youth, lying on a couch near the fire, surrounded with books and newspapers, and a pair of crutches near him.' p.3I like this beginning. Setting is majorly important for me and when a novel is quite clearly centred around a house I like getting a feeling for the place. I like Yonge's description of the house and how she shows it to us in different seasons.
'"He expostulated with all his might; but at nineteen he could do little with a determined sister of twenty-seven; and the very truth and power of his remonstrances must have made it leave a sting."' p.56I feel slightly sorry for this younger brother since he should not have to try and convince his sister. On the other hand, this woman should be able to do as she pleases. I feel like this book will get me quite worked up.