Series & Sequels
Some of you may remember The Hangman's Daughter that I read last year. It was quirky and I liked it despite the gloomy name. Amazon notified me in advance (with a discounted rate) that the sequel was coming out - The Dark Monk I snatched it up. I'm a sucker for a deal. I'm searching for a word(s) to describe how I felt about this book. It definitely was dark. And strange. And sometimes annoying. When characters are so bullheaded it drives me nuts. They don't seem real which takes away from the story. I have to give the author credit though, his story was very creative. There were many twists and turns that I never saw coming and that kept me turning the page. I'm glad I read it - I hate to leave something unfinished (let's not talk about my sewing pile that I have rediscovered since the boys are in school) and a sequel to a book that I enjoyed unread would definitely be leaving something unfinished.
I've read lots of Elizabeth Berg books over the years and one thing I have come to realize is that she's like an old friend. You just pick up where you left off. No stress, you just move along. That's how I find her books. Usually pretty fast reads without ripping out your heart strings (too much). Durable Goods was an easy read with a few tugs on your emotions. Perfect for reading anytime but summer in a hammock definitely worked for me.
"On the hot Texas army base she calls home, Katie spends the lazy days of her summer waiting: waiting to grow up; waiting for Dickie Mack to fall in love with her; waiting for her breasts to blossom; waiting for the beatings to stop. Since their mother died, Katie and her older sister, Diane, have struggled to understand their increasingly distant, often violent father. While Diane escapes into the arms of her boyfriend, Katie hides in her room or escapes to her best friend’s house—until Katie’s admiration for her strong-willed sister leads her on an adventure that transforms her life. "
Oh boy. I really liked this book. If you got into The Hunger Games then you will definitely like this grow up version of a similar genre. The Unit is so hard for me to describe. Whenever I have given the gist of the plot to someone they all wrinkle their nose and say "oh. That sounds so - so - terrible". And I say - "But no really - it's such a gooood book". I'll let Amazon give you the skinny:
"One day in early spring, Dorrit Weger is checked into the Second Reserve Bank Unit for biological material. She is promised a nicely furnished apartment inside the Unit, where she will make new friends, enjoy the state of the art recreation facilities, and live the few remaining days of her life in comfort with people who are just like her. Here, women over the age of fifty and men over sixty–single, childless, and without jobs in progressive industries–are sequestered for their final few years; they are considered outsiders. In the Unit they are expected to contribute themselves for drug and psychological testing, and ultimately donate their organs, little by little, until the final donation. Despite the ruthless nature of this practice, the ethos of this near-future society and the Unit is to take care of others, and Dorrit finds herself living under very pleasant conditions: well-housed, well-fed, and well-attended. She is resigned to her fate and discovers her days there to be rather consoling and peaceful. But when she meets a man inside the Unit and falls in love, the extraordinary becomes a reality and life suddenly turns unbearable. Dorrit is faced with compliance or escape, and…well, then what?
The Unit is a gripping exploration of a society in the throes of an experiment, in which the “dispensable” ones are convinced under gentle coercion of the importance of sacrificing for the “necessary” ones. Ninni Holmqvist has created a debut novel of humor, sorrow, and rage about love, the close bonds of friendship, and about a cynical, utilitarian way of thinking disguised as care."
If you are a Katniss fan, you are surely soon to add Dorrit your list too.
What have you been reading! Please do share: