12/21/08

Sunday Book Review x 2!

I have been reading alot more these past 3 weeks and so this week we get two book reviews!

This was the first Anita Shreve book I have read and I was really impressed with her character development. The story is told through all the characters, gradually revealing a shared dark secret that still ties them to each other, from their college days.

It revolves around these old college classmates reuniting for a wedding, under sad circumstances. The bride and groom were college sweethearts and then split and married others. Years later at a reunion they meet again, fall in love, leave their respective partners and re-ignite their relationship. They are older and wiser but the bride has stage three breast cancer, and so the wedding that should have happened 20 years earlier, is hastily planned. The venue is one of their classmates beautifully restored hotel in the country.

They all get to reflect on how each of them has changed and their achievements in life, as they now hit their middle forties. Old feelings resurface between them and the plot thickens.

One clever aspect I especially enjoyed was the telling of a complete second story within this one, by a character who is writing a short novel. All in all this was a very satisfying read and I really enjoyed it.

Who knew I would choose to read a novel based in the world of American Football. But earlier this year I read another of John Grisham's 'lighter' novels and loved it. This has excellent reviews and is based in my fave' country of Italy, so I went for it.

It follows the fortunes of Rick Dockery a third string NFL quarterback, who totally screws up a crucial final for his team. He is the laughing stock of the footballing fraternity and will never play in the NFL again. So his wily agent fixes him up with a semi-professional Italian team in Palma. Rick rapidly discovers there's more to life than football; introduced to the delights of Italian food, wine and opera, all of which pleasantly surprise him. His driving experiences in a stick-shft tiny Fiat, with miniscule and hard won parking spaces, is not so pleasant but funny!

His team is made up of part-time amateurs with a passion for the game and life; Grisham really nails the Italian psyche. Their dream is to win the Italian NFL's version of the Superbowl and they all believe Rick is the key to winning.

I loved this book, it was fast moving, entertaining and fun. The game play descriptions were often beyond me, but this didn't take away from my enjoyment at all. This is also a book I have recommended the Hubster reads, as men should love it.

So a good 10 days reading, both of which I would highly recommend. And now I have finally discovered Stephanie Plum and am reading 'One for the Money'.

7 comments:

Robin said...

You're going to love Stephanie Plum! It's absolutely fluff reading, but who doesn't need a little fluff now and then?

Yogi said...

I put both of these on my to read list. I am a little wary of Grisham's lighter stuff but I love Anita Shreve's books.
Thanks for the reviews.

Daryl said...

I will add the Gresham to my list .. Shreve isnt my cuppa ... but glad you enjoyed it ...

:-Daryl

Jill of All Trades said...

Oh, Oh, Oh...you will love Stephanie Plum! Those are great laugh out loud books that you can't put down. I love Anita Shreve and have many, many of her books. Grisham I have only read part of one of his books. I think I can't get past the initial hype that started when he first came onto the book scene. I have a few of his books and someday I will read them. I'm a book hog and own more than I have hours in a lifetime to read.

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

I really liked Playing for Pizza also. I've read a couple of Anita Shreve and liked them ok. The Stephanie Plum books are laugh-out-loud fun, I think you'll enjoy them!

Happy Reading, and Merry Christmas!

pamokc said...

I have read Anita Shreve before, but not this one. It is on my list for *one day*. I did really enjoy Playing for Pizza though, it is light fare indeed but a good read. Plus, set it Italy, **sigh**. I've purposely avoided Stpehanie Plum though, and I don't know why!

Sherri said...

Sarah, I read Wedding in December and liked it too. Haven't read the Grisham one but DH did and he liked it.