Family Album

Monday, November 9, 2009

I am writing this entry while eating popcorn and an apple, just like a character from Farmer Boy (because there's nothing more fun than writing about a book while pretending to be a character in a book.) Okay that's not really true, watching TV is more fun, but I didn't have time for that today so I had to go to plan B. Balancing duel addictions (books and TV) is just exhausting. I know that I make it look easy, but I can assure you dear readers that it's not. It's a very delicate balance.

And before I go any further with this entry, I want to welcome all of my newest dear readers who have shown up over the last few days. I'm so glad that you have decided to stop by my blog, and I hope you enjoy your stay here (Please forgive me for being corny with expressions like "enjoy your stay here" - I do realize that I'm not running a country inn in New England.)

Today's book, "All Alison ever wanted was a blissful childhood for her six children, with summers at the beach and birthday parties on the lawn at their family home. Together with Ingrid, the family au pair, she has worked hard to create a real "old-fashioned family life." But beneath its postcard sheen, the picture is clouded by a distant father, Alison's inexplicable emotional outbursts, and long-repressed secrets that no one dares mention. For years, Alison's adult children have protected her illusion of domestic perfection-but as each child confronts the effects of past choices on their current adult lives, it becomes evident that each must face the truth."

Shallow thoughts:

  • It's late, I'm tired, and I wasted entirely too much time tonight on Facebook looking up people that I haven't seen in over a decade so I'm just going to cut to the chase, I didn't like today's book. This is the third book I've read by Penelope Lively that I haven't liked, so I think I can safely cross her off my "Authors to Explore" list. I'm now putting her in the same category as Elizabeth Berg and Rosamunde Pilcher, they are all authors that I really want to like, but don't.

  • I tried and tried to care about the characters in today's book, but I just couldn't pull it off. The characters seemed to all blur together, and I just wasn't able to keep them straight by page 200. So I just kind of surrendered to it and didn't even bother trying to sort everyone out. It's like when I watch soap opera's in Spanish (which I swear I don't do that often) and I'm so busy trying to figure out what's going on that I don't even have time to look at the characters faces and figure out who everyone is.

  • The book did get slightly more interesting during the parts that flashed back to the 70s. That part conjured up images of shag carpet, The Brady Bunch, and really bad clothes (which is always fun to mock.) But I really think there's something wrong with a book when I have to bring my own fun to it. Is it wrong that I think the author should be in charge of supplying the fun? Does that make me a lazy reader?