Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sometimes Life Gets in the Way

I have actually been reading even though I haven't been posting. I've finished two books that I really enjoyed since I last posted here. Before I get too behind, I thought I better go ahead and just give you my (very) brief thoughts.

The first book is The Sister by Poppy Adams. This is a book that reminded me a little of The Thirteenth Tale. Sisters and the bond they share throughout life plays a big role in both of those books. Both of the books have that Gothic element to them, as well. I actually finished The Sister around Halloween, which was perfect timing. Another similarity is the unreliable narrator. However, in this book, you don't know that right away. The reader picks up subtle hints along the way until finally you realize that things are not as they appear. I really enjoyed this one. My only little qualm with the book is the long, detailed descriptions of the study of moths. I know that this played a role in letting the reader figure out things about the narrator, but I did find myself skimming some the longer passages. I highly recommend this one. Hopefully, this author will continue writing. I'd like to see what she comes up with next.

The other book I finished is Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. These two books couldn't be more different. I find that I've been doing that quite often lately. Instead of reading a lot of the same kinds of books, I'm going in totally different directions every time I choose a new book to read. This one was just pure fun. Miss Pettigrew is a middle-age spinster (she's only 40!) who is in desperate need of a position as a governess so that she can pay her rent on her flat. She shows up at the lavish apartment of Miss LaFosse, a nightclub singer. From the minute the door opens, her life is changed forever. She is swept up into a life that until now she has only experienced through her one guilty pleasure -- "talkies." She goes from one outlandish situation to another as she slowly begins to realize that life hasn't passed her by after all. This is a quick, fun read. I know this was made into a movie last year, but I didn't see it. I may have to see if I can rent it. I think it would be hilarious on film.

11 comments:

BooksPlease said...

The Sister is published as The Behaviour of Moths in the UK, so I wasn't surprised about the amount of detail about moths - and I actually I really enjoyed those parts of the book. I wrote about it too - see here.

I've not read Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and your review is the first I've read that has made me interested in it - I hope the library has a copy.

Lisa said...

Margaret, that is a great review! You said a lot of what I felt but didn't have the energy to put into words. I was fascinated by the different memories that each sister had about their shared past. One of the questions that I had about the book is when Vivi falls off the bell tower. Do you think Ginny had anything to do with it? Her mother seemed to question it. Obviously, Ginny is capable of doing something like that, but she loved her sister at the time.

Iliana said...

I've got The Sister on my radar and hope to get to it one of these days. So glad to hear you enjoyed Miss Pettigrew - wasn't it just a delightful read? I did see the movie and of course there are differences but it was really enjoyable too.

Lisa said...

iliana, yes it was pure fun! Read Margaret's review of The Sister -- she does a good job describing it. Hope you like it.

Dorothy W. said...

The Miss Pettigrew book sounds like fun -- and like it would be an entertaining movie for sure. Perfect for when you need something light and funny.

Lisa said...

dorothy, the book is just pure fun. I'm going to try and find the DVD.

Andi said...

These both sound great. I've had The Sister on my radar for a while, and Miss Pettigrew is one I've heard of for ages but I really had no idea what it was about! Glad to hear your thoughts on both of these.

Becca said...

I've been hearing so much about Miss Pettigrew - isn't there a movie out based on this? It sounds delightful :)

I just read & reviewed Julia Glass' new novel about sisters...I See You Everywhere.

Lisa said...

andi, they're very different but I think you'd enjoy them both.

becca, There is a movie that came out in 2007. I haven't seen it, but I'm going to try to find it. I haven't read anything by Glass, but I always enjoy books about family relationships. Maybe, I need to look for this one.

Literary Feline said...

I know what you mean about life getting in the way. I've been able to post, but not get around and visit many blogs lately. Like you, I have been reading though! And that's really what matters, right? ;-)

I am looking forward to reading The Sister. It sounds so good. I've heard great things about the book Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. I saw the movie and thought it was quite fun.

Lisa said...

literary feline, sometimes I wish I could clone myself so that I could do everything I needed to do as well as everything I wanted to do. The Sister was really good. Did you read The Thirteenth Tale? It reminded me a lot of that book. Miss Pettigrew is a great deal of fun and a very quick read, as well.