Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Emma by Jane Austen

I'm halfway through my quest to read all of Jane Austen's novels!  I have mixed feelings about Emma - the character and the novel. Unlike most of Austen's protagonists, Emma is wealthy, comfortable and not looking for a husband.  Instead, she is busy trying to set up everyone in the neighborhood but she keeps failing miserably.  Its easy to predict that the love of her life is right under her nose.  What I didn't like was how the plot dragged in the middle for at least 100 pages.  I also got tired of Emma meddling and being so obnoxious about levels of society. That being said it is still Jane Austen and still lovely to read.  Just not my favorite so far!  I'm planning to read Sense and Sensibility next.

Read: April-May 2012

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

I don't even know how to summarize this one.  It focuses on three recent college graduates as they struggle to figure out what to do with their lives.  Madeleine, an English major who is all too normal, falls for Leonard, a troubled loner.  Meanwhile, her old friend Mitchell from freshman year, has decided Madeleine is the perfect girl for him.  It was a decent book with an interesting plot, but I'm not sure I recommend it unless you are prepared for language and obscure literary references.  I read it mainly because his two other books are so highly reviewed but now I probably won't read them.  

The title comes from the "marriage plot" found in the great English novels by the likes of Jane Austen, George Eliot and Henry James.  You know, where girls have to go out and find a husband, preferably one with a good name and some money.  Does the marriage plot work now?  Or is there a modern version?

Anyway, I apologize for this review.  It really gives you nothing to go on.  I just wanted to document that I read it.

Read: April 2012 (via CD from the library)

The One I Want by Allison Winn Scotch

My firm had a table at a Chick Lit Luncheon (doesn't that sound like a fun work event??) so my work friend and I took a few young banker clients with us.  To prepare, we decided we just had to read a book by the speaker.  Allison Winn Scotch has written three (maybe four) books along the lines of Emily Giffin - chick lit but with a serious theme. 

The One I Want is about Tilly Farmer, a girl who married her high school sweat heart, has a great job, lives in her home town and is trying for a baby (sound familiar??).  Then, after visiting a fortune teller's tent at a local fair, she gets the gift of "clarity" and starts to see her life for what it really is.  She questions her choices - examining what she really wants her life to be.  

Overall, good chick lit.  Solid female character, a love interest, relationship drama, some introspection and a quick read.  I might read her other books, but there are a lot of books on my list that have priority.

Read: April 2012