Before I left for a quick family trip, I finally finished Those Who Love by Irving Stone, a novelization of the John and Abigail Adams relationship. As I wrote in my first post two months ago, it was nice to recognize the impact the revolution and war must have had on the personal lives of men and women trying to get by. However, overall it was a dull book written in a dull way. (more…)
My grandfather was born in Hreljin in 1923, when it was Yugoslavia and in what is now Croatia. When I heard about Yugoslavian Ivo Andric’s 1945 novel The Bridge on the Drina, I had hoped for a glimpse of what life was like in my ancestor’s homeland during a tumultuous time. Although my grandfather’s home town is far from the Bosnia-Serbia border on which this novel takes place, it was still an interesting look at the complex history of the Balkans. I did not really enjoy reading the book, but it was somewhat interesting. (more…)
I am still at the very beginning of Irving Stone’s novelization of John and Abigail Adam’s story, but I feel I must touch base and let you know about it. Reading a novel about the era has brought the issues to life.
Right now in the novel, John and Abigail have been married for just a few years. The Stamp Act angered many of the colonists, and John and Abigail received word that Bostonian civilians have been rebelling. Boston is 10 miles a way from John and Abigail, a safe distance. Yet, the burning of effigies and raids on parliamentary leaders’ homes affects them deeply. I am fascinated to recognize that these basic facts I would otherwise read about in passing, things that seem like sidebars compared to the later Boston Massacre and the fight at Lexington and Concord, were so really revolutionary when they happened. Violence against the crown’s representatives: wow, what an amazing first step. (more…)
I’ve decided it’s pretty hard to keep up with life these days. At least, it’s hard to keep up with life, planning homeschool lessons, raising two kids, and keeping blogging on two blogs! I’m not going away, but this is how things go.
I have read a number of fantastic books in the past months that I’ve never posted about. Here is a run-down of some of them. Let me know if there is one that you’d like to hear more about. (more…)
My first Thomas Hardy novel was simply fantastic. Emotionally poignant but also socially resonant, Tess of the D’Ubervilles provides an intriguing story about Victorian social and sexual hypocrisy through characters with clear flaws to recognize and appreciate. And yet, although it was clearly a commentary on the social structures and sexual morality in Victorian England, Hardy never once lectured or made his novel about those issues. At first and last glance, the book is a tender one about one poor woman and those who associate with her.
Note: this post contains spoilers for the entire novel.