Amanda Gates

Four Books, One Post: The Zygote Chronicles, The Imperfectionists, The Heretic's Daughter & Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Last week I caught up on some of my book reviews. Here are four more I've read in the last several months.

The Zygote Chronicles: This was cute. It’s been hailed “best” by some and I know friends who loved it. I liked it, but love is a strong word. She’s hilarious at points and definitely spoke some usually unwritten truths about pregnancy that had me nodding my head. It also makes me wish I did even more writing about my pregnancy, talking to the baby like she does. In the end, 'cute' and 'good' would be my words. A quick, fun read for any mother or mother-to-be.

The Imperfectionists: I liked this book because it focused on so many of the different roles at a dying newspaper. I work in media and these issues are at the forefront of our industry. Reading about the stringer, the editors, the publishers and all the headaches they experience was very interesting and hit home quite a bit, even if this paper is housed abroad. However, some of the chapters – which each follow a different person at this paper – were a bit boring. I only felt a real connection to two or three and the rest I couldn’t care less about. I think this might be my problem with books of this structure (see Goon Squad). I need more for me to care. I love short stories, but writers of good short stories (Jhumpa Lahari) flesh out their characters and make them go places in a short amount of time. These chapters didn’t quite do that for me.

The Heretic’s Daughter: This was a book club pick. It’s about a family living during the Salem Witch Trials. That part of the story was quite interesting, especially when it threw out names from The Crucible, like John Proctor. The things we did to people, all based on the lies of stupid teenage girls! It was so frustrating to read about. And the conditions these people were detained in until their hanging was horrifying. However, the story moved slowly, and was a lot of “we’re starving, it’s cold, the plague, people are dying…etc., etc.” So, it was just OK for me.

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand: This was another book that got raves everywhere. It’s about an older gentleman who is a widow who finds a new love in the shop owner in his town. Because my dad is a widow, too, it brought me some sadness to read about. Also, I wasn’t too into reading about elderly romance. The Major was a touch annoying to me, as were several other characters in the book. But, I loved his new friend, Mrs. Ali, and all she stood for. I kind of wish she was the main character instead.

Thoughts? Have you read any of these?

Comments

I've only read The Heretic's

I've only read The Heretic's Daughter. I think I liked it more than anyone in book club. I didn't care much for the writing, but I did like the story. Maybe it's my Historical Fiction Heart. I don't recall learning about many of the topics of historical fiction books I read and the vivid picture of the times makes me want to learn about these events more and helps me remember. But that's just me. I totally agreed with the criticisms of the book, I saw it's weaknesses, too. But my darn historical fiction heart!

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