Friday, September 18, 2009

2009 books 196, 197, 198

I'm in Pittsburgh for Rosh Hashanah, but my parents' internet was out yesterday (Verizon failed to fix it, but my brother had things up and running in about three minutes this afternoon) so I had plenty of time for reading.

Chelsea Cain's Evil at Heart
The third book in Cain's series about a detective obsessed with a female serial killer he helped catch felt kind of like it was rushed into publication. The characters are still interesting enough, but things didn't quite line up this go-round. B/B-.

Nellie Hermann's The Cure for Grief
I think I related fairly strongly to this book, since the main character is a Jewish girl born the year before me, and has some typical Jewish girl experiences. Except then tragedy keeps striking her family! I did get a bit teary during parts, but thought the ending could have been a bit stronger. B+.

Anita Diamant's Day After Night
Commenting on Diamant's work in any kind of critical manner (as in, the manner of a critic, not that I'm criticizing) is hard for me, since I know her daughter (who is super nice). Plus I've hardly read any of Diamant's novels, since I was so-so on The Red Tent (loved the first half, thought the second half was weak). But anyway! This was really a good, satisfying novel that looks at a little-known period of Jewish history--when refugees from post-WWII Europe were coming to Palestine in 1945, and the British kept them in internment camps. The story focuses on four women with very different wartime experiences and the characters are all vividly drawn. My only complaint is with some minor anti-Arab sentiments (some espoused by Zionist characters, whcih makes sense, some coming from the 3rd person narrator, whcih glosses over some of the history of Jewish immigration into what is now Israel). Still, really a good story, and my mom's reading it next. A-.

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