LitPicks Book Reviews—April 2013

Theme—The Process of Becoming
This month we offer stories (two of them memoirs, plus a beloved classic) of young women who withstand hardship, in both body and soul, as they struggle to become the person they know they're meant to be.

 
Labels: A Lighter Touch

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With or Without You
Domenica Ruta, 2013
224 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
April 2013
I loved her straight off—Domenica Ruta's mother—though I knew I shouldn't. She's irresponsible, drug-addled, narcissistic, mercurial, and destructive, not just self-destructive but destructive toward her daughter.

Yet the portrait drawn of Kathi Ruta in this extraordinary memoir is endearing, often hilarious...as well as infuriating. It was too hard not to fall for such a woman.

 

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An Unquenchable Thirst
Mary Johnson, 2013
525 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
April, 2013
Mary Johnson married at 21, following three years of intensive courtship and study in order to become the exemplary wife. Sadly, 20 years into the marriage, she divorced.

Years later, sitting with her second husband, Mary glances out a coffee shop window and catches sight of the beard and flowing robe of her first spouse: Jesus. It's Good Friday, and the now ex-nun watches her man shouldering a cross as he leads a procession through her New England town.

 
Labels: Great Works

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Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte, 1847
 ~500 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
April, 2013

 Possibly no book, other than Pride and Prejudice, has been as beloved by women as Jane Eyre, a Cinderella novel if ever there was one. If you haven't read it...what have you been doing with your life? If you have read it, read it again. It's one of many classic works that gets better and better with each successive read.

On its surface, Jane Eyre is a simple romance: a young girl, brought low by circumstance and maltreated by the very institutions that should have protected her (family and school), wins the heart of a wealthy, accomplished man. At its core, however, Jane Eyre is much, much more.

 

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