Friday, April 13, 2012

Two "meh" Reads...The Mulligans of Mt. Jefferson (Reid) and An Uncommon Education (Percer)

I confess...I met with the therapist in the pain clinic who reassured me that I'm not a wimp and that it is sensible to need pain relief medicine despite what the pain doctor seems to suggest.  I did also get a follow-up call from a nurse who had seen I was upset after the last doc visit.  I'm glad there are at least some "good" people in the practice.  Going to do another diagnostic injection on May 14 and then decide if the conflict with the doc is too much of a barrier to further treatment there.

I have been able to read more in the past few weeks which is good since I still spend a good chunk of the day in bed.  Two reviews, both decent but neither memorable for me.

I won a copy of this books from the Goodreads site.  It follows the lives of three boys who become friends during childhood in a small Virginia town.  We see the boys as a trio of trouble-seeking kids and then follow each as he grows into his own adult.  The characters remain close as friends and their relationship, and each man's examination of himself and his role in the group, intensifies when one man is shot in his home.  The man who is shot has inherited his father's business and his friend's have become a cop and a priest.

This is a 3.5 star book for me.  I enjoyed the portions of the book focused on the boys' childhoods and adolescent years more than the parts focusing on them as adults. The coming-of-age story was good but I wasn't really invested in the "present" timeline that involved the cop and priest responding to the shooting that harms, but does not kill, their friend.  I can't put my finger on why, but I felt a bit of the book was kind of preachy.  I didn't feel satisfied when I finished the book so will round down to three stars on this one.
This novel, provided to me in advance reader's edition, follows Naomi Feinstein from girlhood into her young adult years.  As a girl, she longs to connect with her mother but is close with her father who instills in her the desire to attend Wellesley and become a doctor.  Naomi is a lonely child, with only one intense friendship that comes to a sudden end.  Most of the book focuses on Naomi's years at Wellesley where she gets involved with Shakes, a group steeped in tradition and that attracts some complex members.  Her college years leave Naomi more uncertain about her future and searching for who she really wants to become.

I really enjoyed the first third of this book, the part focused on Naomi's pre-college years.  I did not, however, enjoy her years at Wellesley.  I had trouble following the many characters she encounters and understanding the nature of the Shakes organization.  I could understand Naomi eventually questioning the plans she had as a child, but the way the doubt was developed didn't feel real.  I kept hoping that the strong characters development in the first third would return, but it just didn't.  Some pages just straight out confused me and I just stopped caring about Naomi and didn't develop an interest in the people she meets in college.  Three stars overall though I'd give four stars to the first third.

No comments: