Over. And over. And over.
If there is one common woman running through each chapter, I didn't find her. (Which, I guess is telling of the sheer number of Japanese women who did come here as brides in the 20's.) But whereas that literary device is fine for an opening paragraph (or maybe even chapter) where it lends suspense and tension, it was a bit much for an entire book -- I kept waiting for the story to start.
I did, however, finish the book. I'm still not sure how I feel about the writing style, but I do appreciate detail and precision of this novel. Try it, and see what you think.
It's a compelling story and a horticulture lesson all in one. I loved it.
(We did, however, forget to discuss it on vacation! I guess we were having too much fun!)
Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon. I think I loved this book because the main character, Alice, is a middle-aged wacko like me -- over analyzing too many things in her busy life. It's a very modern novel full of tweets, Facebook posts and chats; the story centers on an online marriage survey/study Alice joins and her relationship with her anonymous researcher. I was constantly surprised by this story -- things I thought might happen didn't and things happened that I didn't see coming. Enough said.
(Just an FYI if you do read this one -- many chapters are simply the answers Alice sends to the researcher. If you want to know what the questions were, they are all included in the last pages of the book. If I had read a hard copy, I probably would have flipped there, but since I read this on the nook, I didn't realize this until I was finished. Clay is reading it now, and asked me the other evening, "Hey, do we ever find out what the questions are?" and was scrolling to them immediately. I think I liked it the way I read it, though -- reading the questions at the end was a nice review of the book/marriage.)
Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo. So far, there are 4 books in this series about Kate Burkholder, a formerly Amish police chief of a small town in Northeast Ohio. I have really surprised myself by plowing through all 4 this summer, because graphic murder mysteries are not really my thing. If they are your thing, you'll probably love these. Did I love them? No. They are sad and dark and involve trauma to sweet children. But once I started the first book I HAD to finish, and after the first book, I HAD to know what happens to Kate. And although I don't like to allow dark, evil things into my head and spirit, I can't wait for book 5. How weird am I?
I was listening to a novel on the way home from North Carolina (Down Home by John Hart), and still have several chapters before I find out whodoneit, but don't have much desire to finish listening. Just an "Eh" kind of book for me.
In the land of non-fiction, I have started Imagine by Johan Lehrer. This is a terrific book on the science of creativity (which I always had thought of as an "art"), but it's slow-going for me. As a reviewer in Publisher's Weekly stated, these "stories of groundbreaking artists, ideas and inventions are interwoven with discoveries from the forefront of modern neuroscience." Yep, it's that neuroscience thing that slows me down. But it's fascinating stuff, especially if you like reading about the development of such diverse things as Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone", the Swiffer mop and Nike's "Just Do It."
I've said it before -- too many books, too little time. But in the time I'm given, I'm going to read as many as possible!