Tag Archives: family drama

A View of the Harbour

Thoughts by Elizabeth Taylor, Virago Modern Classics 2006 (orig 1947), 304 pages

Introduction by Sarah Waters

Challenge: Buddy Read with Laila of Big Reading Life; Set At or By the Sea Category of #ReadICT

Genre/Theme: Adult Fiction; quiet small British seaside village post-WW2

Type/Source: Tradeback / Purchased at Watermarks Indie bookstore

What It’s About: This story focuses on the inter-relationships of the neighbors living directly on the harbour; from the doctor’s family, the pub workers, the widowed proprietor of a tourist wax museum, the librarian, the vicar, etc. The pivot view to all begins with Bertram, a painter who has moved to the area for the season: to catch the right light off the sea, to capture the perfect seascape, to be “an artist”. He fancies himself a man-of-the-people as he rudely? comically? insinuates himself into the neighborhood. A lot of life happens in this book.

“Always intelligent, often subversive, and never dull, Elizabeth Taylor is the thinking person’s dangerous housewife. Her sophisticated prose combines elegance, ice wit and freshness in a stimulating cocktail – the perfect toast to the quiet horror of domestic life.”

Valerie martin

Thoughts: I love this author. True, her stories do not have a lot of action exactly, but they have drama! and depth and comedy, beautiful sentences and interesting glimpses into every character – the good and the bad, the endearing, the appalling. Ah, not really! not that much appalling exactly. Well, maybe. (One more reason I love classics – humans have always been dastardly and behaved badly, amiright?)

“I know who to,” Beth said, shocked to find herself ending with a preposition. But she was much thrown out by the surprise of it all.”

Rating: Four slices of pie. LOTS of whipped cream. Shepherd’s Pie mentioned

“Forking up shepherd’s pie with an expression of contempt.”

 

 

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Sharks in the Time of Saviors

Thoughts by Kawai Strong Washburn, MCD 2020, 376 pages

Challenge: Known entry for TOB 2021 due to winning Summer Camp 2020
Genre: Contemporary Lit, Hawaiian Lit
Type/Source: Hard Cover, Library 14 Day
 Why I read this now:  It’s time was now. Inspired by the TOB.

MOTIVATION for READING: TOB. For some reason, I don’t seem to find the motivation or timing to participate in Summer Camps. I want to!  But the cards just don’t get dealt that way. I find that my reading has seasons and this just isn’t my kind of summer reading weather. But I’m glad to get a jump on it while we await the long list. Where IS that by the way? [Wrote this but hadn’t yet pub’d; which reminded me when TOB did send it out finally that this post was likely ready, too. So, HERE WE ARE. The long list!] My goodreads 2021-Rooster list is here

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  Family. Legends. Destiny. The middle child is favored – favored by the gods, favored by mom and dad. The family struggles financially while encouraging all the gifts of skill and intelligence within the children. Unfortunately, all carry these burdens as too-much-burden, trapped in comparisons and never articulated, explored, brought to light but left to fester in the dark. Success and the subsequent trappings, wrapped up in ‘a ticket OUT’ betray the rewards of excelling on merits and opportunities. So. much. heartache and misunderstanding and allowing the aggravations and frustrations to get the better of them!

I yearned for Dean the eldest and he got lost, missed a step and couldn’t get his mojo back, he misunderstood what his mojo really was? Or did he find it… And baby sister had such a bright future!  She was so freaking smart and kicking ass as an engineering student in college — but youth and distractions and the tilt-a-whirl of that youth, the constant obsessing “is this love? what IS this” kept getting in the way. The middle kid? Just fate or bad luck – such pain. So much pain.

Noa might be the main character but he was the star that they all rotated around and never quite connected to.

Yet, I felt for them all and tried to understand. The magical realism was an illusion just beyond reach. But love was there. Love couldn’t quite overcome but love was there and the ending offers hope.

THOUGHTS: Did I enjoy this or was I moved by, caught up in? the hope that love would win?

RATING: Five slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.