Friday, April 14, 2017

@SiobhanMFallon Hits Home (Or Jordan) with Strong Moral

The Confusion of Languages
As I read this book, I really disliked it, not because of the writing or even the style though that did take some adjustment at first as it goes from present back to what is being read in a journal, but because I didn't like either of the women. Yet, I have to admit, it's a brutally honest depiction of women in real life. The jealousy, the need to be accepted, the looking down on others, the finding of faults... Sadly, most women, instead of picking each other up, put each other down, and are two faced with each one another. In this novel we don't just see the faces women show the world; we see the vicious other face not usually novelized. Because who wants to sit down and immerse themselves in petty jealousy and hatred? In backstabbing and assumption? In eyeballing someone else's spouse?

It's like Devious Maids in Jordan in Army wife format.

But towards the end, as we're finding out what exactly happened and why, I was riveted. I was skimming just because I had to know what happened. I was engrossed despite my dislike of the characters. And then as I turned the last page, I realized that this novel really made me think deep. There's a strong moral here...DO NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS. Be careful what you say about others. The repercussions can be vast.

And again, what I took from this is: Women, stop competing with each other. Stop eyeballing each other. Stop putting each other down. We need to band together and help, really help each other. Not pretend help, not help only as long as it benefits us.

Anyway, there's a reason for the pettiness and the jealousy and the thoughts. We have two women in Jordan, both married to Army men. One is childless and resents the other, the prettier, the smaller, the mother. Little does she know that what she sees is not really what is there.

Another interesting thing about this novel is the look into how we should behave in other cultures; how if we don't adapt, things can go very wrong.

I read You Know When the Men Are Gone and I've come to the conclusion Siobhan Fallon is a master writer and has given us yet another thought-evoking read. You can take away a lot from this if you think about what you're reading.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Golden Spider: Female Medical Student Invents Groundbreaking Medical Device in a Steampunk Novel

I don't normally read  steampunk romantic thrillers, but The Golden Spider by Anne Renwick sounded like a doozy.  Lady Amanda, the female protagonist, is attending medical school and spends her spare time at home working on a device that can reverse paralysis.  I wanted to know more about this woman.   So I requested a sample through Instafreebie, and then purchased the book on Amazon.


Lady Amanda is the daughter of a duke, but she has no interest in the marriage market.  Her goal for the last five years has been the perfecting of her neurarachnid which can theoretically replace neurons to restore movement to paralyzed limbs.  Her brother Ned, the future duke, is her planned first human subject.    Unfortunately, he is very self-centered.  So it's hard to find him sympathetic despite the fact that his legs are paralyzed.   Amanda isn't as much devoted to her brother as she is to the practice of medicine.  She refuses to marry any man who won't allow her to be a physician after the wedding.   Needless to say, it's difficult to find a man who will accede to these terms even in the steampunk alternate universe.  Yet there is HEA in store even for the strong-willed Lady Amanda.

Another aspect of this book that interested me is the investigation of a series of gruesome murders.  All the victims are gypsies.   There is some gypsy culture included in the book that I appreciated.  I was also delighted that gypsies were known as masters of clockwork.

Opinion on this book is divided.  Some readers who love to read steampunk that really develops the scientific side of the devices which the protagonists invent, complain that there is too much romance in this novel.   Other readers complain that there is too much scientific detail in The Golden Spider.  My objection was a failure of realism.  There were medical miracles, but apparently the restored limbs needed no prolonged physical therapy. I can see how lengthy physical therapy would be problematic for the plot, but I found the failure to even mention physical therapy hard to swallow.  I did think the book was an enjoyable read, but  I expect to deduct a star from my rating on Goodreads.

 Correction 4/1l/17-- Perhaps I was writing too many reviews at once this weekend, but I forgot to look over all my notes for this book.  There was a mention of a physical therapist, but physical therapy was absent from the plot.  It played no role.  There were unrealistic recovery times.  So my point still holds.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Rebellion Novelized

Through the BarricadesI watched Revolution on Netflix a few months ago. Had I not, everything contained within this novel would have been new to me. Because I watched the series, I knew what the heroine was getting herself into and that she was stupid. But she has heart and spunk, I'll give her that, and I enjoyed her tale. It's a tale of brother against brother, country against country, lover against lover, as she is an Irish rebel and he's in the British Army. At the same time he's fighting his own friends. Of course we don't realize this going into the novel at first, not unless you know your Irish history.

I loved the love story. The hero stole my own heart and that's rare. I also really liked the lesson in the pages..about how people are kept down with poverty, and nobody rises above their station without education.

The novel also showed us the kindness of many people during that time, folks who worked in soup kitchens, landlords who tried to help tenants... They may be few and far between but there was good with the bad. THOUGH I didn't really buy into Daniel's dad's change of heart.

Loved the heroine despite that fact I knew she was doing something rather idiotic--though I guess it depends on how you look at it, because as the heroine states at the end of the tale...they made a difference by changing the way some people thought and that was a start for some, while an end for others.

Highly recommend. I borrowed this on Amazon Prime.