Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Secret Son by Laila Lalami

Synopsis from www.goodreads.com

Raised by his mother in a one-room house in the slums of Casablanca, Youssef El Mekki has always had big dreams of living another life in another world. Suddenly his dreams are within reach when he discovers that his father—whom he’d been led to believe was dead—is very much alive. A wealthy businessman, he seems eager to give his son a new start. Youssef leaves his mother behind to live a life of luxury, until a reversal of fortune sends him back to the streets and his childhood friends. Trapped once again by his class and painfully aware of the limitations of his prospects, he becomes easy prey for a fringe Islamic group.

In the spirit of The Inheritance of Loss and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Laila Lalami’s debut novel looks at the struggle for identity, the need for love and family, and the desperation that grips ordinary lives in a world divided by class, politics, and religion.

My Comments :

I feel very frustrated when I read this book. The character Youssef is such a shallow young man who would ditch his mother and friend just for an unknown father. A father who is even too ashamed and scared to acknowledge him.

The plot about the mother and son relationship and father and son relationship was pretty much predictable. Halfway through the book I could foreseen what would happen between them

I was rather put off by the terrorist theme. Feels that the author tries to create suspense in the novel but it's not successful for me. I feel like there are something missing. Like part of the novel have been chopped off. One day Youssef was very close to his friend then suddenly the thread broke off. There is no mention what happen to his friend which convert him into a terrorist. 

Am rating this book 2 stars as I love the way the author use her words. It's beautiful and easy to read.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Engaged To Die by Carolyn Hart

Virginia Neville is a rich widow who holds the purse string of late husband family. It's no surprise that there are no love lost between her and her step family. She had always declared that she would return her late husband fortune to the step children after her death but fate had other things planned for her.

She fell in love with a young artist, Jake O'Neill who is half her age. Just imagine their surprise when she told them that she will announce her engagement to Jake O'Neill in a gallery opening.

Unfortunately, on the night of the gala, something happened. A murder prevented the announcement.

Annie Darling is a Bookstore owner and she has an interest in solving the murder and help her young store Assistant, Chloe. She have to do it even though she is to come up against her beloved husband, Max.

I am always game for a good mystery story.

The plot kept the pages turning till the very end. The ending was so unexpected that I had to pause for a moment to think. It was a clever twist. 

If there is anymore of her book, i would certainly pick it up. 

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Christmas Note by Donna VanLiere

Gretchen Daniel with her two children, Emma and Ethan, moved into a new apartment building in Grandon to be nearer to her elderly divorce mom.

Just as they were settling down and unboxing, there was an unexpected knock on the door. The stranger was looking for her neighbour, Mellisa McCreary, is said to be Mellisa mother's Landlord. Unfortunately, Melissa was not around.  

In view of that, the Landlord left a message with Gretchen to inform Mellisa that her mother Ramona had pass away. Mellisa is expected to clear her mother's apartment. This makes Gretchen felt obliged to offer a helping hand in clearing the apartment.

When Melissa got the news, she was not tearful. Her relationship with her mother at its best can be said as rocky. She blames her mother for it. 

The apartment was like a disaster area. Most of the things in it were junk. Nothing of value exept for a few photographs and a note. It's just scribble with two lines. It was a real surprise for Melissa to find that she have siblings that she didn't know about.

This is an interesting book. It's being told in the voice of Gretchen and Melissa. At times, I feel rather irritated by Gretchen's interfering ways although she had meant kind and helpful.

The characters are well developed and love the plot. The unexpected twists in the plot kept me intrigue and kept the pages turning. 

It's a good gift for Christmas. Very heart warming. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com  The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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