Three Reviews: Station Eleven, The True Heart, and The White Monkey

3reviewsI’m getting behind on book reviews. How about an good old-fashioned mini-review dump?

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

(PLOT SPOILERS!!!)

Thanks to the Georgia flu much of the world has been wiped out. Many died and died quickly, electricity and communication are totally gone, and those who survive have lived because of luck, wit, and violence. The novel follows several characters in their lives before the flu and what happens to those after the devastation. I especially love that this novel has gobs of Shakespeare in it. The book opens with King Lear and The Tempest and Midsummer Night’s Dream are sprinkled through out.

I’m giving this book four stars because it was well-written and superbly plotted, BUT it read like Margaret Atwood fanfiction. When I finished the book I just wanted to go re-read the Oryx and Crake trilogy. A friend pointed out that the book also has some elements of The Blind Assassin as well.

Check this book out for sure, but be aware that Atwood fans will be hankering after more Atwood. If you’ve yet to read Atwood, then read Station Eleven first. It is a great book, but pales in comparison to Atwood. I will certainly be checking out other books by Mandel.

~~~ Stats ~~~

Started: 13 May 2015

Finished: 23 May 2015

Pages: 336

Challenges: —

Owned/Borrowed/Library: library
Stars: 4 out of 5 stars

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The True Heart by Sylvia Townsend Warner

I am so hesitant to review this at all as I really didn’t like it. Sukey is a simple orphan, she goes to work as a maid, fails in love with a mentally handicapped boy, they’re separated and then she fights to get him back. I loved the lush descriptions of trees and flowers, but I thought Sukey was dumber than a box of rocks. I should have read the intro, because APPARENTLY this was supposed to be a fairy tale sort of re-telling of Psyche and Cupid. I totally missed that and now I feel like I should re-read it before pronouncing a final judgement. Will I re-read it? Who knows?

~~~ Stats ~~~

Started: 23 May 2015

Finished: 30 May 2015

Pages: 297

Challenges: Virago Project / TBR challenge

Owned/Borrowed/Library: library
Stars: 2 out of 5 stars

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The White Monkey by John Galsworthy

For some reason this has been my least favorite of the Galsworthy books. Maybe it is because Soames is now sort of moral and that through me for a loop. I dislike Fleur. Michael Mont is likeable, but seems like a throwaway character. It seems like the books are falling into a pattern of love OR relationship –> ennui AND affairs –> some sort of crisis that is never really totally articulated or resolved. Once again, this may be because I was in a book funk after reading The True Heart. I may wait a month or two before picking up the next Galsworthy.

~~~ Stats ~~~

Started: 24 May 2015

Finished: 13 June 2015

Pages: 352

Challenges: —

Owned/Borrowed/Library: owned
Stars: 3 out of 5 stars

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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