Wednesday, June 25, 2008

These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner

I haven't reviewed anything in a while because I've been so busy with my kids home from school for the summer. These Is My Words was first recommended to me by my husband's aunt almost two years ago. Then this January, my sister-in-law borrowed it from the aunt and recommended it as well. I bought the book and put it on my TBR list/A~Z Challenge but had several other books ahead of it in my pile so I put it off. Last week two friends at choir practice were going on and on about it and I decided I couldn't put it off any longer. I came home and the next day I read the book. There is really only one thing I can say:

Dearest Mr. Darcy,

It pains me to have to tell you that I think we need to break up. You and I have had a good run of it and you have always meant a lot to me. I've loved you more than Edward or Jacob. I loved you more than Romeo and Petruchio. Once I had seen the A&E portrayal of you I even loved you more than Gilbert Blithe. But to go on this way would be unfair to you. I've found someone else and now that I know him, you will never again be the literary model of male perfection. I am so sorry to do this in writing but since it is where we first met, I felt it was only fitting. Please know that you will always hold a special place in my heart, but that heart now belongs to the husband of Sarah Agnes Prine.

With love,

The story is based on the family memoirs of the author and takes place in the late 1800's in the Arizona Territory. It is a heart-warming (sometimes heart-wrenching) tale of a family and the struggles of frontier life. It is exciting, interesting, moving, and filling. I felt like I had a comfortable quilt wrapped around me the entire time I was reading it. Once I finished, I wanted to start at the beginning and read it again. This book is the heart of Something More Substantial.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

In an "Invasion of the Body-Snatchers"-style story, Meyer takes you on an adventure of survival, danger, and desperation as you follow Wanderer and Melanie- two minds sharing one body. The story is well-told, sometimes slow, yet always compelling. I found myself holding my breath many times throughout the book, waiting to see if they would be captured. Meyer does an excellent job of making the reader feel the emotions of the characters. The issues of ethics, trust, loyalty, and what is right are explored. I liked this book overall in spite of the feeling I got that it was a patchwork of dozens of other science fiction plots I have read or watched over the last 20 years. What the story lacks in originality, it more than makes up for in feeling and suspense. Like the Twilight books, The Host is fluffy brain-candy entertainment, but very enjoyable. With uplifting themes and a cast of characters who all fight for what they believe is right, this book is undeniably Something More Substantial.

The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Mary Street

Let me start by saying that I have always shunned books like these, written about an author's characters after the author's death. It has always seemed to me conceitedly presumptuous to write such a book. That said, when I saw this book on the bargain table at Barnes & Noble, I found it irresistable. The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy is the story of Pride and Prejudice as told from Mr. Darcy's point of view. All I can say is that once again I have been shown that sticking to your principles is always the wisest course of action. I did not think it would be possible to take a story I love and turn it into pure drudgery. The story was choppy, and completely lacked imagination. I was sorely disappointed, particularly at the lack of introspection. Here is a character who clearly is both extremely intelligent and very reserved. This would suggest that he spends a lot of time with his own thoughts. You won't find them in this book. I almost feel like saying it is unnecessary since many of you probably accept this as a no-brainer, but skip this one.