Sunday, September 28, 2014

Shanghai Girls

By Lisa See

Pearl and May are sisters growing up in China right before the Japanese invasion in the late '30's. They live a very exclusive lifestyle with lots of freedom and not much responsibility, until their father sells them in marriage to pay off his gambling debts. To make matters worse, their new family is fleeing China for the safety of America. After a failed attempt to escape, the girls end up making their way to Los Angeles.

Shanghai Girls is filled with information about China during its tumultuous civil war and then portrays life in America as an illegal Chinese immigrant. Although I did find these facts interesting, I didn't love this book. I never did really like any of the characters, which left me not really caring about what happened to them. And I guess that ended up being a bonus for me, since the end of the story comes in a sequel! So I guess I'll never know the rest of the story.

If you like Amy Tan, you may also like Lisa See, however if you only read one, go for Tan. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

My Man Jeeves

by P.G. Wodehouse

Short story collections are not my favorite so I'm not sure I'm the best judge of My Man Jeeves. It is some short stories about a butler who seems to have all the answers to solve the problems in the life of his employer and friends. There are some humorous situations, prescriptions and resolutions in these stories and Jeeves is a charming character, unfortunately about 2/3 of the way through we lose him to some other characters that weren't as interesting to me.

Typical old British humor and easy to read. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Accident

by Chris Pavone

A publishing company receives a manuscript that could ruin the future of an up-and-coming politician, a very Chappaquiddick type story. The agent and her hopeful publisher quickly discover that this manuscript is dangerous and that someone wants to make sure it does not get published and will go to any length to see that it's not. This book contains so many characters I lost track of who was who. The storyline is very jumpy, there are many flashbacks and changes in action that have almost no transition. And one major issue for me was the idea of all these hard copies of this book. If The Accident had been set in the 80's it may have been believable, but it is current day, everyone is carrying a cell phone and laptop, so who has only hard copies of manuscripts?

If you like action-adventure type books you might like this one, but I'd recommend The Expats, his first book instead.