Posts About book reviews

Book Club: Schooled by Anisha Lakhani

February 18, 2010

At least half of the members of our book club are teachers, or have been at some point. And those of us who aren’t happen to enjoy a good prep school book every once in awhile, so this was a natural selection for us. The simple storyline of this book is as follows: a recent Columbia graduate, Anna Taggert is passionate about teaching despite her parents’ protests about it being a waste of her Ivy League degree. She finds herself lucky to receive a position at a Manhattan Upper East Side private school, but soon discovers it’s nothing like she expected. First of all, she lives in what she considers poverty. Then the¬†administration comes down hard on her when she…
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Book Club: A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

January 13, 2010

I finished reading A Reliable Wife a couple of weeks ago, but we just had our book club meeting this week. I suggested this one based on the description of it, and I had high expectations. It sounded to me like one of my favorite novels of all time, Rebecca. I love a good romantic mystery. The story is about a rich businessman named Ralph Truitt who has had a difficult life, and has been living alone in rural Wisconsin for years. Finally he can stand it no longer, and places an ad in the paper for “a reliable wife” motivated by practical, not romantic, reasons. A young woman named Catherine Land accepts his offer, although her plan is to…
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Book Club: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

December 9, 2009

When this book was first suggested as our book club read, I had never heard of it before and my first thought was, “What kind of name is that?” Little did I know that this book is actually extremely popular and highly rated. I’m glad I knew nothing of it, because I had no expectations going in. The story is set in immediate post-WWII Britain. It revolves around Juliet, a woman in her early 30’s who has recently published a successful novel. She receives a letter from a man named Dawsey who lives on the British island of Guernsey, which is the only part of England that was occupied by the Nazis during the war. Dawsey bought a used book…
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Book Club: Olive Kitteridge By Elizabeth Strout

November 9, 2009

Gush, gush, gush, gush, gush! I LOVED this book. Go read it, now! Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I’ll tell you a little about it: Olive Kitteridge is a retired schoolteacher in her early seventies living in the small coastal town of Crosby, Maine. She is sometimes harsh and sarcastic, sometimes witty, sometimes feisty and possessive, sometimes strangely compassionate and intuitive. She is deeply flawed, and yet I loved her. Each chapter in this novel is a story unto itself. In many of them, Olive is the main character, but in some she just passes through, or is briefly mentioned. We learn about her husband Henry and her grown son Christopher, as well as a…
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Book Club: Midwives by Chris Bohjalian

October 15, 2009

Midwives is told from the point of view of Connie, the 14-year-old daughter of Sybil, a lay midwife in northern Vermont in the early 1980’s. Sybil is an experienced and respected midwife, a hippie who is passionate about what she does. One terrible night she finds herself at a home birth that goes terribly wrong, and she is unable to transport the mother to the hospital due to a storm. Sybil makes the decision to do a C-section on the mother, who she believes is dead, in order to save the baby, which she does. Later, her assistant and the father of the baby second-guess her and claim that the mother was not, in fact, dead. This book is the…
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