On either side of the world, making a marriage work demands casting off not just old lovers, but cherished fantasies about who we are. Whether these two alien lovebirds can—or should—do that is the question Freudenberger poses so beguilingly. Amina and George may have a complicated connection, but Newlyweds is an unambiguous success.
Freudenberger demonstrates her assurance as a novelist and her knowledge of the complicated arithmetic of familial love, and the mathematics of romantic passion.
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Like writers such as Jhumpa Lahiri and Ha Jin, she deftly shows how strange the rituals of suburban America seem to an observant outsider. Fluid and utterly confident. Freudenberger keeps the wonderfulness coming. The Newlyweds is that sort of novel. I was floored by it—captivated from beginning to end. Freudenberger works with care and respect, giving a full voice to every Deshi aunt, American cousin, and passing employee at the Starbucks where Amina finds a job. This engaging story, with its page after page of effortless prose, ultimately offers up a deeper narrative.
Here is an honest depiction of life as most people actually live it: Americans and Asians, Christians and Muslims, liberals and conservatives. Freudenberger writes with a cultural fluency that is remarkable and in a prose that is clean, intelligent, and very witty. Read An Excerpt. Paperback —. Add to Cart. Also in Vintage Contemporaries. What motive could she have? This book had a little bit of everything that I love: a likeable main character who pulls at your heartstrings, murder mystery, atmosphere, drama, coming of age, and romance.
There are several characters who give and show kindness including, Tate, the cashier who gives back too much change and the couple who make sure Kya has what she needs. What is the saying? Those that have the least to give, give the most! There is a police investigation and court room drama and some twists and turns I did not see coming. This book is beautifully written and contains poetry and vivid descriptions of the Marsh.
I highly recommend this book! It's thoughtful, evokes emotion, and transports the reader back in time to the Marsh. I loved every page. Read more of my reviews at www. View all 75 comments. Oct 10, JanB rated it it was ok Shelves: traveling-friends. You know that person? The one who doesn't like what everyone else seems to love? There has to be someone in the outlier club and this time it is me. I was highly anticipating this book after reading all the praise from readers whose tastes usually align with my own.
Unfortunately, I should have DNF'd this one when very early in the book, my eyes glazed over and I began skimming pages and pages of descriptive writing. The author is a nature writer and those sections were undoubtably well-written. And then there's poetry. I skipped over those as well. Everything other reviewers say they enjoyed were things I intensely disliked. I struggled with believability. To make things worse, romance is not a genre I enjoy and the romance in this book had a very YA feel to it.
Finally, I found the use of dialect distracting to read and often in the same paragraph a character would switch from local dialect to proper English. Sometimes my love of the story or the strength of the writing is enough for me to ignore implausibility and move past a few things I don't like. This wasn't one of those times. Recommended for readers who enjoy long, descriptive nature writing, and those who have no trouble suspending disbelief. If I had known these things before starting this book I would have skipped it, so perhaps my review will help other readers like me.
View all comments. Christina Reminded me of Harlequin Romance books I read as a teenager. A Hallmark tv movie is waiting to be made. Tricia You nailed it with your review. Believability was also a huge issue for me with this book. Apr 24, Emily May marked it as dnf Shelves: , historical-fiction. I do realise with those numbers it is definitely me.
I read all of Part 1 and the first chapter of Part 2, then I gave up at page Nothing seemed to be happening other than Kya fishing and cooking grits. There are lots of pretty nature metaphors like: Waves slammed one another, awash in their own white saliva, breaking apart on the shore with loud booms— energy searching for a beachhead. Then they flattened into quiet tongues of foam, waiting for the next surge. It's funny. Usually when a book doesn't float my boat, I can still totally understand the hype.
I wouldn't have called this one, though, I must admit. Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube Heidi Slowinski I only finished it because I was listening on audible but I definitely wasn't paying attention. It just became background noise. Oct 03, PM. Kathie Gehebe I understand. The book was engrossing but the nature descriptions were too much for me. I found myself starting to skim through all the nature stuff a I understand. I found myself starting to skim through all the nature stuff after awhile.
Overall its a good story but I didnt like the ending I'm typically skeptical of books that are hyped to high heavens and end up on every book club list for months straight, not because they aren't worthy, but because I can let my expectations get the best of me and keep me from fully enjoying a wonderful book. This book exceeded my already high expectations; it emanates a quiet power, a slow drawing in and connection of reader to book, one that I found myself able to get lost in due to the lush atmosphere and the depth of emotion.
I can see now wh I'm typically skeptical of books that are hyped to high heavens and end up on every book club list for months straight, not because they aren't worthy, but because I can let my expectations get the best of me and keep me from fully enjoying a wonderful book. I can see now why this book is getting so much attention, and am thrilled to see that for once the hype train was right on track. View all 36 comments. Nov 10, Jessica Woodbury rated it it was ok Shelves: audiobooks. All of you talked me into reading this book.
The Goodreads reviews were virtually unanimously good, not just good, great. It had to be good, I thought. And because I needed an extra audiobook I bought it on Libro. Bad decision. This book is just a pile of tropes and cliches dressed up in some nice nature writing. The plot is not much of a plot and the mystery makes up only a small section of the book, and much of it ends up being courtroom scenes and not much All of you talked me into reading this book.
The plot is not much of a plot and the mystery makes up only a small section of the book, and much of it ends up being courtroom scenes and not much mystery. We spend a long time with young Kya, abandoned, fending for herself, almost entirely isolated. I was willing to be patient through all that, to see what kind of person she would grow into because that had the potential to be very interesting. Except it was not.
It became less interesting the longer I read. Because Kya doesn't act like a person who has been almost entirely isolated. She just acts like a regular loner. Sure, she may have some habits that fit with her strange upbringing, but she seems to understand people and language just like a regular person. I was nearly out of my head with frustration that the book had spent so long telling me how different she was only to have her be just the same as most people.
Deciding to never love again because everyone leaves you is a pretty regular-person thing to do when you're in your 20's, for example. This isn't a book of deep psychological insight. You can probably guess from a couple of chapters in how it will end. And you would be right! There are no real revelations, the plot is pretty obvious ahead of time. And it's all rather confusing because there are sections where Owens writes well, her courtroom scenes are actually quite competent, but on both the broad strokes and the specific details nothing here really rings true.
And the more time that passed the more I got annoyed with this book so it finally fell from 3-stars to a rare 2-star review. I usually quit a 2-star book.
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If you're going to give me a plot I've seen a thousand times, at least wrap it in some keen insight or character development. But sadly this was a failure for me all around. View all 59 comments. Bonny Ferguson While I liked the book as a whole, I also have to agree with every word of your review. No one calls it that. Accents were off. Still, I enjoyed the book. Carolyn I pretty much agree with you. I didn't mind the descriptions of nature and the poetry. I want to be that Manic Pixie Dream Woman sans the romance. I w I pretty much agree with you. I want a gull to be my friend.
Nature is so healing. But it was a romance and trite. I felt nothing for the characters. Grits aren't so bad but not a steady diet. I really enjoyed the parts of this book that were related to the marsh and the natural world, but the story itself did not wow me.
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A nice fiction debut for Owens; just not my cuppa. View all 50 comments. A story of survival, of what the depth of loneliness feels like when a young girl is abandoned first by her mother, then her four siblings. Even at five Kya understands why they left - because of her father, because of his meanness, his abuse, his drinking. It was gutting as she sits on the beach with the gull 4. It was gutting as she sits on the beach with the gulls not wanting them to fly away and leave her too.
Heartbreaking how she is neglected and abandoned, remembering the beatings, trying to figure out a way to eat. But is it enough to heal her? I love the writing, fabulous descriptions of the marsh. But is that enough to make Kya whole after so much hurt and loneliness? I gave it 4. But when I woke up thinking about this story, I knew I would round it up to 5 stars. Overall it was such a fabulous read, heartbreaking in so many ways, with wonderful writing and characters, a stunning portrait of a place, of the trauma of loss and loneliness. My heart was always broken for Kya, a character to remember.
An unforgettable ending. This was a monthly read with Esil and Diane and as always I appreciate their thoughts as we read together. In this case, we have very similar feelings about this beautiful story. I received an advanced copy of this book from G. View all 37 comments. For me to rate a book five stars it has to give me something bout of the ordinary, make me feel. Most of all it has to be a book or contain a character or characters that I won't forget.
Above all it has to make me feel. This book did all three. Kya, aka Catherine Clark, the Marsh girl is an unforgettable character, abandoned by her mother at she six, her siblings shortly after. By ten she was alone in the Marsh raising herself, her main source of comfort the natural life found in the North Carolina Marsh, the gulls she fed daily. She learned not to trust nor depend on anyone but herself. She was smart, curious, feArless and so lonely. As if this character wasn't enough to remember, there are also some supporting characters that play an integral part in her life.
Jumpin and Mabel, a black couple that try to help Kya in whatever way she will accept. Tate, who has known her since she was small, teaches her to read anc much more. What will one do in the face of such loneliness? How much will they sacrifice if they reach out, trust? Prejudice is a big theme, because as the Marsh girl she is considered illiterate, unclean, and none in the village reach out to help. There is of course a villian, who claims to love her, but marries another, breaking her heart. This is there another thread comes in, a story told in alternate chapters, as when he is murdered , she is accused.
Also where another wonderful character comes in, a man, 74 years old, a retired lawyer who comes out of retirement to defend her against a town that already assumes she is guilty. I could nitpick a few things, but I won't. I loved and learned much about the natural world, a different way of looking at things. On walks I take along the river I will look at things I ordinarily wouldn't. A survival story, what Kya has to do it not easy, but since she has little choice it is what she does.
Making the most of what one has, regardless of how little. More than one I had tears running down my face, so this gets five, big marshmallow stars from this reader. This was mine, Angela and Esils August read, and as always our reads and discussions are something in which I look forward. ARC from Edelweiss. View all 51 comments. The story is told in two time periods: Young Kya, left alone in the marsh to fend for herself, starts the story in ; and police investigate a murder in The opening lyrical descriptions of the swampland and inner thoughts of the swamp kids had soul—I loved, felt, and smelled the land, sea, air, and dense plants.
But when people started talking, the writing became stilted, overwritten, and unbelievable. This happened in the earlier time period with Kya and a boy and the boy and his dad, and same thing with the police dialogue. We might pick up a tidbit or two. In fact, most of us lie about what we really think—if we are even self-aware enough to know our subconscious thoughts. Leaving out thoughts, leaving gaps in truth, and trusting the characters a writer has created allows subtext and real character to drive things forward.
There is none of that here. I found the character development absurd: Simply put, there are no authentic, complex characters. Kya starts as a believable swamp rat, which is inconsistent with what we learn about the derivation of her parents. Her voice is unbelievably inconsistent throughout the book.
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Then there are the two one-dimensional romances, one of which allows her to learn to read at age 14 and grow into an educated, sophisticated, poetry-reciting biologist, knowing lyrics to songs she never would have heard, etc. Library Overdrive Audiobook I plan to buy the physical book, too. I want to re-read many of the sentences - see them in written book form This book could easily become a modern classic!
The prose is so outstanding — gorgeous— that the smells and visuals of the wildlife — made me feel as if I was there too. Listening to this novel while being outside —surrounded by plants -birds - squirrels- trees- and water myself- added reminders of respect for the world around us Our human energy is tantalizingly free in ways it never is when indoors behind our computers and other technical devices.
The Audiobook narrator -Cassandra Campbell, completely transported me to this world. She used many different inflections for each character. I wanted to know Tate Walker and Jumper She was not only abandoned by her family - but so many in her town rejected her.
Abandonment as a child - hours upon hours of a solitary life Kya Clark is tenacious- brave - resilient- an indomitable heroine The circumstances of her unfortunate family inheritance is heartbreaking enough And how is it possible - and why - for heavens sake would a little girl kill an older bigger football player, Andrew Chase? I had no idea I was about to read about a murder mystery We witness Kya out-shine her neglectful youth.
Really emotionally moving!!! Mystery murder - suspense - coming of age - occasional cuisine meals to remember- Nature at its best Gulls as friends A little romance What in the world will she write next? View all 72 comments. Shelves: , audio , legal-drama , historical-fiction , library , mystery , tear-jerkers. At the time of reading, this book seems to be the most hyped book in my Goodreads feed. Not a minute goes by without a review or update from this book popping up. If you know me, you know that no matter the type of book or the subject matter, if it is hyped I want to give it a go. With that in mind, when I started this, the only thing I knew about it was its hype — I knew zero about the story, genre, type of book, etc.
I just had a cover and a title! Did it live up to the hype? I think it did. I w At the time of reading, this book seems to be the most hyped book in my Goodreads feed. I was entertained by the story and found it very easy to follow. It was a bit of historical fiction with some mystery involved eventually rounding off with a little courtroom drama. I think if you like a good, well-told story you will like this one. Who do I recommend it to?
Historical fiction fans for sure. Especially those interested in midth Century American fiction. Issues of race and public perception at that time are key to the plot. But, there is enough if you just need to satiate a small hunger. Also, while only a little steamy at times, I think fans of stories with some romance will enjoy this one. Again, if you need a lot of hot a heavy in your romance, you will not find it here, but the relationships in the story should be of interest. Should you read it? I feel like this story has a little of a bunch of genres and not too much of any.
Because of this, I think it will appeal to a wide audience. Together with his younger sister, Harry sets out to discover who the real killer is, and to do so they will search for a truth that resides far deeper than any river or skin color. At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the s.
Each one yearns for escape from small town life. Wonderfully attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated.
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Board of Education. Evocative and lush with historical detail, Prince Edward is a refreshing bildungsroman by bestselling author Dennis McFarland, and a striking portrait of the social upheaval in the American South on the eve of the civil rights movement. A novel of warmth and true feeling, The Well and the Mine explores the value of community, charity, family, and hope found amidst hardship.
This shocking act of violence sets in motion a chain of events that forces Tess and her older sister Virgie to look beyond their own door and learn the value of kindness and lending a helping hand. Michelle LeBeau, the child of a white American father and a Japanese mother, lives with her grandparents in Deerfield, Wisconsin—a small town that had been entirely white before her arrival. Rejected and bullied, Michelle spends her time reading, avoiding fights, and roaming the countryside with her dog Brett.
This fragile peace is threatened when the expansion of the local clinic leads to the arrival of the Garretts, a young black couple from Chicago. Discover a new favorite! When you sign up for the Early Bird Books newsletter, you'll receive the best daily ebook deals right in your inbox. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is one of the best loved novels of the twentieth century. Journalists have trekked to her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, where Harper Lee, known by her friends as Nelle, has lived with her sister, Alice, for decades, trying and failing to get an interview with the author.
To mark the 50th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird , Mary McDonagh Murphy reviews its history and examines how the novel has left its mark on a broad range of novelists, historians, journalists, and artists. In compelling interviews, Oprah Winfrey, James Patterson, Wally Lamb, and many others reflect on when they first read the novel, what it meant to them then, what means to them now, and how its lasting personal impact. From one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time comes a powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice.
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever. Clover is a year old black girl from a small town in South Carolina, whose life changes forever when her father dies and she is forced to forge a new relationship with the white stepmother she hardly knows.
A beautiful, trenchant story of family lost and found, Clover is a unique and heartfelt reading experience for all ages. In the summer of , fourteen-year-old Clement enters a general store in Money, Mississippi to purchase a soda. Unaware of the consequences of flouting the rules governing black-white relations in the South, this Chicago native defies tradition, by laying a dime on the counter and turns to depart.
His behavior results in his brutal murder. This event sparks a war in Money, forcing the black community to galvanize its strength in pursuit of equality.