Tag Archives: Book reviews

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

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Title: A Man Called Ove

Author: Fredrik Backman

Date published: July 15th 2014

Publisher: Atria Books

In language: English

Genre: Fiction

ISBN: 1476738017

Review rating: 4/5

Review date:19th Jan 2017

When I was going through few reviews of ‘A Man Called Ove’,I read someone’s comment that Ove is like the old man in the movie Up. That image of the old man who flied up the sky in his house stuck with me all the while I was reading this story. There are an awful lot of similarities between Ove and Carl Fredricksen (the elderly man in Up), but I did wish I didnt had his image in my mind when I was reading the book. But I do wish I could recall on whose blog I read this so that I can go and tell them that it was an accurate description.

I don’t read book blurbs or reviews with spoilers before reading most books. When I read good reviews, I just bought a kindle version and started reading the book without much clue. Then things are revealed as the story progresses and you start feeling for Ove and starts wondering why he wants to do what he has decided to do. You start putting things together and realize the desperation of a lonely old man who has nothing to live for. You start rooting for Ove to disuade from what he thinks is the logical conclusion.

Then there is a cat which is an orphan which lands on his house steps one day. I was not enchanted by the dog just like Ove. To be frank, I kind of ignored the cat even though it was there for a better part of the story.

Paravaneh, the foreign lady next who kind of crashes into Ove’s life – that is the character I ended up liking the best in the story. Who will not want a friend like her? Though Ove found her a nuisance initially, you can see their beautiful friendship blossoming into something lovely. Probably Paravaneh’s character stuck with more than that of Sonja.

Ove’s story is about the people who lose the will to live when the objects of their affection is no longer there. The story is Ove’s journey when he discovers love unexpectedly from different quarters when he had given up on life and the joy that comes with it. A charming story indeed.

Classics Club #5 – Lady Susan by Jane Austen

Published / by Elizabeth / 2 Comments on Classics Club #5 – Lady Susan by Jane Austen

lady susan jane austen

Beautiful, flirtatious, and recently widowed, Lady Susan Vernon seeks an advantageous second marriage for herself, while attempting to push her daughter into a dismal match. A magnificently crafted novel of Regency manners and mores that will delight Austen enthusiasts with its wit and elegant expression.

I am not sure what I expected from Lady Susan when I picked it up for my Classics Club Reading; I just wanted to read one of the lesser known books by Jane Austen. Then Lady Susan turned out to be much different from everything that I have read by Austen.

Austen’s lead characters especially the female ones are usually very likeable characters whom females all around the world try to emulate in their own fashion. This could be the reason why Elizabeth Bennett is one of the most popular literary characters and Pride and Prejudice is still a favorite read.

Lady Susan on the other hand is an extreme flirt and tries to seek her advantage in each of her acquaintances. She doesn’t feel shame in making young and wealthy men (married or single) fall in her trap and plans to a marry one of them to lead a luxurious life. She has neglected her only daughter and has left her without much grooming as expected from her daughter. But Lady Susan is determined to marry her daughter off to a wealthy person thereby securing her future.

If I had not read Lady Susan, I wouldn’t have believed that such a character created by Jane Austen actually existed. Initially you start imagining that Lady Susan is a grossly misunderstood person until you realize that she is indeed a horrible character.But then I never felt tempted to abandon the book; it was rather amusing to see how the story unravels and how Lady Susan fares at the end.

A different flavor from Jane Austen indeed. It is just 80 pages and definitely worth your time.

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Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

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everything i never told you by celeste ng

I bought Everything I Never Told You on impulse when I found it with a good discount on Kindle store. I had added this book to my amazon wishlist sometime last year after reading few good recommendations, but cannot recall why or by whom.

Everything I Never Told You is the story of the Lee family living in Americas in the 1970s -the story of introspection after a tragedy, a story for the reader to understand what went wrong and how this tragedy came into being. The tragedy is the death of 16-year-old Lydia – the eldest daughter of the family who drowned in a lake next to their house.

Mr James Lee is the first generation child of Chinese parents living in America who worked hard to give a good education to their son. His wife Marilyn is an American who aspired to become a doctor, but ended up giving her medical dreams when she became pregnant. Marilyn wishes Lydia to become a successful doctor when she grows up. James wanted Lydia to be popular with lots of friends unlike the lonely life he led due to his ethnicity.Nathan and Hannah are the other two children in the family.

Everything I Never Told You is a beautifully written novel dealing with the subject of mixed race marriages, parental expectations, love between siblings, loneliness etc. The characters of Lydia and Nathan will stay in my thoughts for some time. It left me immensely sad and you feel for them when you finish reading the story. James Lee and Marilyn are two characters towards whom you fail to feel any warmth. The other two important characters that the reader will connect are Hannah and Jack.

It would disappear forever from her memory of Lydia, the way memories of a lost loved one always smooth and simplify themselves, shedding complexities like scales.

Celeste Ng manages to hold the readers’ attention from the start despite the sad subject. Who would actually want to find why a girl died? There cannot be any good reasons for her death. But you are drawn to the family and you get to read about the sad and inner thoughts of each of them and then you realize how things went wrong.

Ever since that summer, she had been so afraid—of losing her mother, of losing her father. And, after a while, the biggest fear of all: of losing Nath, the only one who understood the strange and brittle balance in their family.

Then there are writings like these quotes who tug at your heart and you end up wishing Lydia was alive, got another chance to start again.

I will recommend Everything I Never Told You to all who likes to read family dramas or stories with depth. The characters could have been bit more developed, but the story is quite fast paced that you forget such faults. I could not relax until I found what actually happened. In the end, I had to go back and read the last part again to absorb most of it.

Lucky Us by Amy Bloom

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Lucky Us by Amy Bloom

Lucky Us – This might be the most pointless story I have read in recent months. It is not that there is no good story line, but Amy Bloom makes a mess out of the post war era and story of Eva – child abandoned by her mother.

Eva is left off by her mother at her father’s place without even a good bye, and she meets her half sister Iris there. Iris persuades Eva to elope to city to pursue an acting career and later their father finds them and they all starts living together. Some unfortunate circumstances destroy Iris’s plans and they relocate to another city to try their luck elsewhere. They take up odd jobs and continue life while Eva nurses ambition of going to college. Then unfortunate circumstances turn things around.

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