Rachael Treasure Event!!

So I was lucky enough to meet Rachael Treasure recently at an event held at my local Collins book shop. The book tour promoting her newest book, “The Farmer’s Wife” which is a sequel to her first book, “Jillaroo” – which I loved. I purchased “The Farmer’s Wife”  on the night and haven’t read it yet, but listening to Rachael talking about it reminded my one of the reasons I love going to these events and listening to authors talking about their books.

Before she took some time and signed everyone’s books, she chatted with us as a group, and read an excerpt from the book. Listening to authors talk about their books for me just absolutely brings the characters to life, they aren’t just people in a book. It was clear that she loved this book and not only the characters, but the country, the issues, are very close to her heart. She even had me interested in soil for a few minutes there, because she was so excited about land development! She was incredibly engaging, interacting with people in the audience – she had some family and friends there. But she absolutely gave the impression of being relaxed, fun loving, B&S loving “for research for the books, of course”.

Collins Ballarat (Book City) put on a great night, complete with drinks and nibbles which were much appreciated! The staff there on the night were just lovely.

 

Goodreads

Goodreads

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Canada

Goodreads

Goodreads

Title: Canada

Author: Richard Ford

Published: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2012

BACK COVER

First, I’ll tell about the robbery our parents committed. 

Then about the murders, which happened later.

It was more bad instincts and bad luck that lead to Dell Parsons’ parents robbing a bank. They weren’t reckless people, but in an instant, their actions alter fifteen-year-old Dell’s sense of normal life forever. In the days that follow, he is saved before the authorities think to arrive. Driving across Montana, his life hurtles towards the unknown; a hotel in a deserted town, the violent and enigmatic Arthur Remlinger, and towards Canada itself. But, as Dell discovers, in this new world of secrets and upheaval, he is not the only one whose past lies on the other side of the border. 

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve just re-read over the blurb of this book, wondering if I got confused, trying to correlate this with the book I read. The more I read the blurb, the more I can pick out what parts of the book are being referred to, but I struggled with this one. I found the synopsis misleading – but maybe that’s just me, and I was reading into it what I wanted to. The story I was expecting would have been interesting I think. I found the story I got a bit boring. I felt like something would happen, and I’d be like ‘Oh good, this could be interesting, lets explore this’, and that story line would end. Plot re-direct. Then something else would happen. I’m like ‘Oh, OK, so this is what we’re going to focus on’ and then nope, plot change. Happened to me around 4 times. Happening to me now – struggling to focus on the book long enough to write a review!

The whole book was very descriptive. The first half is background – Dell, Berner (twin sister) and their parents, bits and pieces of religion, culture, history, family, Dad’s work, how weird Dad is, Dad’s research into the best plan for robbing a bank, Berner’s boyfriend. Was good background, except for the fact that once the background is over and Mum and Dad rob the bank, the story changes. We have no more need for most of the back ground. The second half of the book is solely Dell’s story. Most of the background was build up to… nothing.

 

I think basically I don’t like descriptive books if there’s little or no action. I need a bit more happening to keep me interested. I will say this, the writing was good, it was easy to read, I just didn’t really want to pick it up so it took me a while to read. It’s great if you like description, but I’d read great chunks and not remember what I’ve read, but have no real ambition to go back and re-read to find out. I was the only one at book club that had actually finished it. One was about halfway through and persisting, and another had given up halfway. Reasoning was – bored, nothing happening, wasn’t sure where it was going. There was questions about Berner’s life – my friend asked as there was some set up there with her and her boyfriend Rudy, but there was very little resolution of that. I thought there was some perfunctory answers, but I felt like they were a bit of an after thought, sort of like she’d been forgotten about but Ford remembered her at the last minute and thought ‘oh, cripes, should put something in there about what happens to Berner.’

 

So not a win for me – or the rest of the book club girls. Oh well.

Next up for June: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

April Wrap Up

This is a monthly post done at the beginning of each month to quickly recap what I’ve read through the previous month – and I’m running very late with this one!

April – So I didn’t do as well in numbers this month, I think due to what I was reading. Dragonfly in Amber was excellent, but long. The Scarlet Pimpernel took me FOREVER – I’ve been chipping away at it for months. And London Call Girl was… I didn’t like it. So I didn’t want to put the time in and read it. But oh well. My aim is to whip through a few quick reads for a bit now, I’ve hit my dense/long limit for a little while!

READ

  • Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
  • Raisins and Almonds by Kerry Greenwood
  • Further Adventures of a London Call Girl by Belle de Jour
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy
  • Canada by Richard Ford

Goodreads Challenge Update – 27/100

CURRENTLY READING

  • So Much For That by Lionel Shriver
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

BOOK CLUB READ

  • April – Canada by Richard Ford

How was your April? 

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Goodreads

Goodreads

Title: We Need to Talk About Kevin

Author: Lionel Shriver

Published: The Perseus Books Group, Counterpoint,2003

The Text Publishing Company, 2006 (my copy)

BACK COVER

Two years ago, Eva Khatchadourian’s son, Kevin, murdered seven of his fellow high-school students, a cafeteria worker and a popular algebra teacher. Now, in a series of letters to her absent husband, Eva recounts the story of how Kevin came to be Kevin.

Fearing that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son has become, she confesses to a deep, long-standing ambivalence about both motherhood in general and Kevin in particular. How much is her fault? When did it all start to go wrong?

Or was it, in fact, ever ‘right’ at all?

 

 

MY THOUGHTS – OF BOOK AND MOVIE

I am always hesitant to see any movie made from a book that I like – it usually ends badly with me disappointed about the movie, and looking differently at the book. It to taint my opinion – I feel like if I don’t enjoy the movie, I have to question whether I really liked the book. Irrational, yes, but still.

“We Need to Talk About Kevin” is a book that I’ve actually read a couple of times (not too many books make that list – there are so many exciting new stories out there!). Luckily, the most recent reading wasn’t that recent – maybe 12 months ago. This means that I can overlook (or more likely – not notice) small differences between the book and the movie.

The Book: Hit me like a ton of bricks. Well, the ending did, anyways. And that’s all the spoiler you’ll find here. We know from the start that Kevin shot up the school. That’s no secret. The book is written in Eva’s letters to Franklin, her husband, in the wake of the shooting. It’s a mix between current thoughts – Eva visiting Kevin in prison, and Eva flashing back and re-visiting Kevin’s entire life, from event to event. My opinion? Creepy kid. Something wrong with him right from the start. But what do you do, when it’s your child? How do you see the total sociopath in your own son? It’s interesting though, Eva always felt this. Franklin doesn’t see it. {side note – I don’t have children. I’m just imagining that it must be incredibly difficult and painful.}

The Movie: The big things were there. The plot wasn’t played with. Obviously to take a 450+ page book and turn it into a 2 hour movie there needs to be some concessions. My opinion is that one of these concessions was the depth of the relationship between Kevin and his sister Celia, and all that he did to her. On the whole, I really quite enjoyed the movie. I thought it was very well cast – Tilda Swinton was the perfect Eva, and that evil little toddler! So good it was almost creepy. I thought they could have developed Franklin’s character a little more, and played more on the wedge that Kevin drove through Eva and Franklin’s relationship. Because of these little intricacies, I would very much recommend you read the book before seeing the movie. You will get the themes out of the film, but you’ll definitely understand them much more fully having read the book.

I thought the book was very well written, and this translated into a very disturbing movie. My friend said it best – “I’ve never been so put off having children”. So there you have it people, this movie is great contraception.

This is a crazy good book club book – we got some great discussion especially with a mix of parents and non parents. My copy had a list of book club questions in the back also, which can be useful.

What is your opinion on books into movies? Any hits or misses that stand out in your memory?