Sunday, October 25, 2009

Just a heads up ...

I've chosen my book for November, so I'll let you know so you can snag a copy. Don't worry, it's not non-fiction again. :) It could very well be my favorite fictional book I've ever read. A friend lent me her copy a few years back telling me it was her favorite book of all time, and I skeptically snuggled into a reading chair and opened to the first page. Oh my heart-throbbing, magical, take-me-to-another-world experience. I loved it. Love it. Will always love it. I hope you do too.

Here's the review:

As the only daughter and youngest child of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters, Sorcha grows up protected and pampered by her six older brothers. When a sorceress's evil magic ensorcels Colum's sons, transforming them into swans, only Sorcha's efforts can break the curse. Marillier's first novel uses a familiar Celtic legend to tell the story of a young woman's sacrifice for the sake of those she loves and her own discovery of unexpected joy in the midst of sorrow. The author's keen understanding of Celtic paganism and early Irish Christianity adds texture to a rich and vibrant novel that belongs in most fantasy collections.

Also, what do you say to being a little more structured with this club thing? Can we agree to start discussing the book starting the Monday of the last full week of the month? Or is part of the appeal of this book club the laid back, do it whenever we get around to it vibe? I'm totally fine with either, I'm just throwing this idea out there. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

my take

Mystery is one of my favorite genres and I consider myself a mystery buff. So I have to admit that when I began reading "Lemon Tart", I quickly rolled my eyes a few times because it seemed so predictable. I had it all figured out. I knew who the bad guy was and why Anne had been murdered, blah blah blah.... And then I got thrown for a major loop and had to eat all my words. :) I didn't see the end twists and turns coming at all, and that's what a fantastic mystery is all about!

Along with Shelli, I also appreciated that Sadie wasn't MORMON and that half the book wasn't spent talking about the Holy Ghost or last week's Relief Society lesson. I read fiction to experience an out-of-body adventure, and keeping the LDS currents minor undertones allowed me to really throw myself into an alternate character with Sadie.

However, it absolutely drove me nuts that Sadie couldn't just let the police do their job. In the real world, she would have been thrown in jail in a heartbeat for breaking into a crime scene. Not to mention removing evidence. I guess in the context of the plot, the bad guy was only caught with the help of Sadie's interference, but I still would like to believe that had Sadie just minded her own business the bad guy would still have received his just rewards.

Speaking of minding one's business, that's the other thing about Sadie that drove me nuts. She's one of those busy-bodies that makes me want to draw my blinds and lock my doors. I felt like she spent more time trying to glean gossip-worthy information from her neighbors' personal lives than actually caring about her neighbors. And, I'm sorry, a pan of brownies (no matter how delicious) does not take the place of a heartfelt and honest apology. I once had my car egged in high school by one of the girls in my Laurel's class and when she got caught she tried to bake me lemon bars to smooth things over. :)

That being said, I think Sadie's character flaws (although extremely irritating) were also endearing and helped to make the mystery as charming as it was. I enjoyed it! And I know I'm not the only one who found my mouth watering every other chapter. By the time the book was over, I had an overwhelming urge to bake something... Anyone else bake a lemon tart? :)It was delicious! And I totally want to track down the other books, both for the mysteries and the recipes. :)

P.S. Sorry Shelli, I only wrote down the Lemon Tart recipe... Anyone else have the other ones?
Oh, and I know exactly what part you're talking about with the romance novel and I laughed out loud because it's so true! Wish I'd written it down....

Why I loved it:

Kilpack is a riot. I loved Sadie more than some women I know in real life. I want her to be my neighbor, so I can catch her spying on me and then hope she'll bring me some kind of goodie as recompence. Usually I'm a do-whatever-the-boss-tells-me-to-do type of person, so initially it was hard for me not to get frustrated with her for breaking the rules and interfering too much. I about had a heart attack every time she and I would break into the house together or "steal" papers from the library or weasel information out of a former co-worker. But by the end I was right there. She didn't have to drag me along anymore. In fact, I'm pretty sure I would have driven off with Detective Madsen's hand still stuck in the door. What have I become?

On a lighter note, I loved how Sadie wasn't MORMON. I mean, she could have been, but I so appreciated the fact that Sadie didn't talk about Relief Society or Enrichment Night or something. That's where LDS fiction gets lame really fast for me. Sadie was just a good, wholesome woman with lofty principles and a giant heart. Can I just say, though, that when she noticed that Detective Cunningham filled the kitchen "the way a man should" (or something like that) I knew they would get together. So okay, there was a little predictibility. But I was floored that her brother was the one whose mistake had caused this whole fiasco. I definitely didn't see that coming.

Did anyone copy down the recipes from the book? I dropped my copy through the slot at the library just as I remembered that I'd forgotten to do that. Oh, and there was a quote somewhere toward the latter half of the book where Sadie describes the romance book she read. I laughed out loud. It was something about the liberal use of adverbs and I loved how she said it. Does anyone remember what I'm talking about? I'd love to have that direct quote as well. I should have kept the book longer ... The wait list was just so long, I was racked with guilt for keeping it long enough to get around to copying those recipes.

What did you ladies think??

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm ready!

Hey, are any of you girls ready to talk about the book yet? I didn't think I'd even like it because I'm not much of a mystery buff, but I LOVED it! Kilpack has a fun style.  I'm anxious to hear what you ladies think!