Lark and Termite: I liked this book okay, although I don't think I share the exuberance of most reviews I've read. The book moves back and forth by chapter from the past to the present. One chapter, you are in Korea with the father of Termite; next chapter you might be in the mother's life; sometimes you are with Lark and Termite, Lark being an older girl who takes care of her disabled brother, Termite. This kind of jumping around isn't my favorite modality, so that is part of what I wasn't too excited about. Also, we know that Termite can't walk but is "filled with light" - only Lark really understands his potential. But what's wrong with him? We never really find out, except a hint that the father might be living again in his son...? Anyway, too much vagueness for me. I found myself speed reading over long, interminable descriptions and such - never a good sign. The writing was absolutely fabulous, though - gotta give her that.
The Condition: A book about a girl with Turner's syndrome and what it does to their family. A horrible marriage, a gay brother, a loser brother - we've got it all here, folks!! I never considered not finishing it, it wasn't that. An engaging story and the writing was well done. It's not a book I'll think about long after, though. In fact, I had to go back and read the reviews on Amazon to remember what it was about, and I just read it a month ago!
Sashenka: I was really looking forward to this book. As many of you who read my reviews know, if a book doesn't totally grab me by page 100, I'm done. Right around page 100, I seriously considered not reading any more of this book, and almost put it down for good. I'm SO glad I didn't stop!!! The first third is about the beginnings of the Bolshevik revolution, and didn't capture my interest much. But the last two thirds are so much better, and show how Sashenka's life turned out under the regime, including the shocking end. Then the last third is a modern day researcher trying to figure out what happened to her and her family. Really, a must read!
Black Girl White Girl: Yawn. If you've ever read a book on black/white racial relations in America, you've read it. Nothing new here, move along. Joyce Carol Oates is her wonderful self, pick another of her books though. I recommend "We were the Mulvaneys".
Juliet, Naked: Well! I wasn't expecting to like this book!! In fact, I wouldn't have even read it if it weren't that my book club was reading it. But, I loved it and read it in two days!! What a great exposition on how we become obsessed with famous people sometimes and how the reality is so much different, often, than we think. Even if you think you're not too interested in that subject (as I'm not really) you will still love this book. Nick Hornby has a way of sucking you in and keeping you tied to that chair till you're done!