Day: June 25, 2008

by Connie May Fowler

I think I picked up this book off one of the biography shelves at the Book Thing months ago. I took it along to an afternoon at the park today. While my daughter ran and climbed, I breezed through some sixty pages, gradually becoming more and more disinterested. This book just did not speak to me. When Katie Wakes is the memoir of a woman living with a man who reviles, mistreats and physically assaults her. All this while living off her paycheck, the drunken sponge! If I could finish this book, I feel I would get a better understanding of the mentality that keeps women from leaving controlling, abusive men. But I could not stomach the brutality, the callousness, and the excuses she gave him. Told in brief vignettes, the story moves back and forth from past to present, as one thought leads into another. It was way too jumpy for me and I just could not concentrate on it.

Oh, and there\’s a dog in the book. She adopts a black lab mix, who gives her unconditional love and affection. I think the dog played a big part in her healing. It reminded me some of The Craggy Hole in My Heart and the Cat Who Fixed It, which also featured an emotionally troubled woman who reached healing via a loving animal.

Abandoned                      271 pages, 2002

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You Gotta Read This!

by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Seventeen days before pounds become euros, two british kids find a bag stuffed with cash, that came off a train destined to burn the money before the changeover. What to do with 229,000 pounds? Keeping it secret from their father, the boys try to spend all the money before it\’s worthless- and find out a lot about inflation (on the playground!), difficulties of making change, and that it can actually be hard to give money away. In the meantime, robbers are trying to find them, and someone is trying to woo their father. Because you see, their mother recently died (they milk this for all its worth: \”my mum\’s dead\” gets them practically every result they want from uncomfortable recipients of their sad faces). The really weird thing is the younger boy\’s obsession with saints. In the movie (which I saw first) this was an amusing quirk, but in the book it became downright irritating and bizarre. Especially the inclusion of Mormon missionary neighbors- some of those details were downright inaccurate. Like not celebrating Christmas? Was that supposed to be a joke?

Anyway, while I really enjoyed the film version, I found I didn\’t like reading Millions very much. I kept loosing interest. There were, I can count, three scenes that made me laugh. The Subbuteo game (p. 70), the loaves and fishes miracle (p. 175) and the way cars are named (p. 214). (Go find the book just to read those three passages!) Sadly, three laughs isn\’t enough to make me like the book. I\’d recommend watching the film instead. It\’s much funnier and gets the same point across about the relative value of money.

Rating: 2/5                    247 pages, 2004

DISCLAIMER:

All books reviewed on this site are owned by me, or borrowed from the public library. Exceptions are a very occasional review copy sent to me by a publisher or author, as noted. Receiving a book does not influence my opinion or evaluation of it

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