The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Book-Club

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

This was a book that was picked at our book club for a classic genre.  Via Goodreads – “When first published in 1899, The Awakening shocked readers with its honest treatment of female marital infidelity. Audiences accustomed to the pieties of late Victorian romantic fiction were taken aback by Chopin’s daring portrayal of a woman trapped in a stifling marriage, who seeks and finds passionate physical love outside the confines of her domestic situation.

Aside from its unusually frank treatment of a then-controversial subject, the novel is widely admired today for its literary qualities. Edmund Wilson characterized it as a work “quite uninhibited and beautifully written, which anticipates D. H. Lawrence in its treatment of infidelity.” Although the theme of marital infidelity no longer shocks, few novels have plumbed the psychology of a woman involved in an illicit relationship with the perception, artistry, and honesty that Kate Chopin brought to The Awakening.”

It was a very short story that abruptly ended and left you feeling like there should of been more.  But once the discussion started at book club, we all found that there was more to the book that met the eye which made for interesting perspectives on the matters.

 

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The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

Naomi is Rene Denfeld’s “The Child Finder”. Once herself a missing child, she has become a private investigator specializing in the search for missing children. She has no memory of her own past, only from the moment of her escape and rescue. Sometimes she finds a live child, sometimes remains and sometimes she gets no answers. Her current case involves that of Madison Culver, who went missing three years ago at the age of five while Christmas tree hunting in an Oregon National Forest. Through hard work and countless hours of research and hiking, Naomi may have stumbled upon a clue. The book is told from the point of view of Naomi, Madison (Snow Girl), and Mr. B. The book moves at a fast pace, keeping me engaged so I wanted to keep reading but I just didn’t find it to be a book that I really liked.

And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt’s home, it’s immediately clear that the manor is cursed. The endless creaking of the house at night and the eerie stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too—questions that Silla can’t ignore: Why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer? Who is the beautiful boy who’s appeared from the woods? And who is the tall man with no eyes who Nori plays with in the basement at night… a man no one else can see?

The story line was ‘okay’.  I most enjoyed the narrator as I listened to this on audio! It made me giggle at how into the characters she was, along with a few other narrator voices that played other characters as well.  This audio version was even paired with creepy music to go along with the story.  I’d say at least give it a shot on audio for sure, I look forward to seeing what everyone thinks!

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

A well written and suspenseful novel and a coming of age story dealing with the mystery of two women one who is murdered and the other who disappeared and both a generation apart.

Lucy grew up never knowing what happened to her mother but when a friend of hers goes messing she sets out to find answers and what she discovers brings the truth back into her own family.  This is not a happily-ever-after land for Lucy. Not when we first meet her.

A solid suspenseful and atmospheric debut. A novel exploring the ties of blood and exactly how much one will do for family. A fast moving novel that reveals secrets kept and crimes hidden. How much does one really know about the people to which one is closest?

If you are looking for a good mystery with a strong sense of place, some compelling suspenseful moments combined with great descriptions of the rural countryside and life, then The Weight of Blood is very likely for you. I will look forward very much to Laura McHugh’s future novels.

Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

One year ago, Olive’s mother went on a solo hike in Desolation Wilderness and never came back.  There was no body found, only a hiking boot and a smashed cell phone and is then decided that Billie Flanagan had died.

As Olive and her dad try to cope with the loss Billie, strange things begin to happen.  Olive starts having visions of her mother, leading her to believe that her mother is still alive and wants Olive to come find her.  Olive’s dad starts to question these ‘visions’ until he starts unearthing secrets from Billie’s past that brings into questions everything they thought they knew about her.

As they embark on a quest for the truth, no stone goes unturned and the clues leading up to her suspected death become clear.  Was Olive’s mother really dead or did she just…..disappear…..and if so…..where had she gone?

This is one of those books where you won’t want to read ahead because there are so many surprises. The last sentence — well, just wait!

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Reporter Camille Preaker is asked to cover a developing story in her hometown, two young girls have been murdered.  Camille is less than excited to head back to Wind Gap, she hasn’t spoken to her family for a very long time, including her neurotic mother and a half sister that she barley even knows.

Once she arrives home, Camille sees the eerie grip closing in on the small town.  After doing lots of leg work around her hometown, she finds herself learning about the young victims and starts to piece together a terrifying truth hidden right under her nose.  Dealing with her own demons, Camille is set on finding the killer and when she does it’s as if she’s opened Pandora’s Box.

I knew this book was going to be good, but was a little blown away at how the author formed this story with the sucker punch to the gut at the end that you didn’t seen coming.  If you’ve enjoyed Flynn’s ‘Gone Girl’, then this is a must read.  It’s a haunting read that you won’t be able to put down.

The Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Alys was the only witness to the night the soul eaters came into her village and only the children were spared, although put into a deep trance.  Little did she know then, Alys would be the key and lock from this moment on.

The soul eaters…happen to be twin sisters.  When they were young, the two girls and their mother were banished from their village and into the forest, villagers claiming they were witches.  Then, slowly the sisters did start to morph into something not quite human and hungry for things you cannot cook or grow….they were becoming hungry for human souls.

After Alys’s village was terrorized, her and the other children were sent to live in a neighboring village, although most of the villagers there were filled with fear hearing the story of how all of these children became orphans.  In this new village, the inhabitants are strict in their ways with their fundamentals of ‘good’ and ‘evil’.  Along with their fears of the soul eaters, they also believe that another entity is what leads these beings and they call it, the Beast.

Alys begins to feel different, almost as if she is somehow connected to these twin sister soul eaters and…..a connection to the Beast it’s self.  She has always been drawn to the forest since she was a child and has a gift that she doesn’t want to tell anyone about as she may also be deemed a witch and suffer the same fate as the twin sisters had, banishment.   She soon learns the truth of her abilities and along the journey, it becomes her mission to protect the ones she loves from the danger that is threatening them all.