For those of you who are new to this site, welcome! WHIRL stand for “What Have I Read Lately,” and it’s just a quick round-up of my reading that I don’t have time to make longer posts for. (If you’d like “Points to Ponder–in-depth, thought-provoking questions for your book club–for any of these books, please let me know.) So…here goes:
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. If I gave stars like other sites do, I would give Middlesex by this author five stars, but I would only give The Marriage Plot three stars. It was extremely disjointed, and although the section on one of the character’s descent into depression was so well-written that I felt like I was descending into madness myself, I still think the book as a whole was just not…stellar.
The Road Home by Rose Tremain. Again, I’d have to give this novel three stars. That is, if I gave stars. Hmm, perhaps I’ll start. Anyway, this novel is from another author whom I look forward to reading, but–and this speaks to my philosophy of “low expectations are a good thing”–I was disappointed in this book. Immigrant from Eastern Europe tries to make a success of his life in England. It went on a bit too long, and I was just glad to be done with it. Actually, that’s too harsh. I did enjoy the book until the very end, which dragged. Maybe three and a half or four stars. Tremain’s writing is always good, and her character development is great.
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. Brutal. Brilliant but brutal. Five stars. Read it. And see the movie. I may choose this book for my Literary Masters book groups next season. I’m not sure, though, because it really is emotionally wrenching. The portrait of a marriage, and the individuals within it. A period piece that resonates for anyone in any era who strives to be special, amazing, the best he/she can be…
Coral Glynn by Peter Cameron. Another period piece that resonates with anyone who has ever felt trapped–within a relationship, within a job, within one’s own expectations. Four and a half stars. At first I thought this novel was rather simplistic, but it stayed with me a long time after I finished it. If you liked Brooklyn and The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, I think you will like this book.
So, what about you? What have YOU read lately?