The Buddha in the Attic

The Buddha in the Attic traces the extraordinary lives of Japanese woman brought over to San Francisco as mail-order brides before the second World War. This is a short, well-researched book in which Julie Otsuka uses a combination style of poetry and narration.  Although a svelte book, it is  strong and poignant. Don't be deceived by the larger text and short length as this book hits the reader over the head with the atrocity that the United Stated committed by interning the Japanese.

The House at Tyneford

The cover of the book states if you are a fan of Kate Morton you will love The House at Tyneford. I am a big Morton fan. This book was good, but is what one comes to expect of a World War II fictional read. Suffice to say, Morton’s stories are much more enthralling. Unfortunately, Natasha Solomons’ story was predictable with few surprises.

Probably the most interesting part of the book is the very last two pages, titled Author’s Note. Solomons informs the reader that this work was based on an actual village in the English countryside near the ocean. The village and Elizabethan manor was requisitioned for military occupation to be returned at the end of the war. The villagers left notes asking the soldiers to care for their magical town on the coast. The soldiers did not head the request and destroyed this charming village. Even worse, Churchill did not return the house or village after the war. In these two pages, the reader also learns that Elise is based on the author’s family. I had no idea that young bourgeois were allowed to leave their home of luxury and become servants. This was a new piece of history for me. 

Gone Girl

I went to Barnes and Noble to return a book. I couldn’t get into the story or style of the writer and luckily found the receipt hidden in the pages in the back. I was thrilled, as I never save receipts.  Unfortunately the bookseller informed me I was past my fourteen day return period. The sales woman apologized. I acknowledged her apology voicing it was not a big deal and then bombarded her with questions about where three or four books were kept. The woman gave me a strange look and asked if I would wait a minute. The sales woman pulled the another sales clerk aside, whispered something and kept turning to look at me. The sales person returned to me and stated that Barnes and Noble would return my book. I am happy to report this incident as Barnes and Noble, well this astute employee, recognized me as a book lover and hence wanted to do right by me and not loss an actually book buying customer. I ended up purchasing three books including Gone Girl, which is in hardback. Barnes and Noble did the right thing. Kudos to them!
So on to the review. Gone Girl is twisted, dark and extremely entertaining. The story goes in unthinkable directions. How can a sociopath, narcissist revengeful villain, not suck you in? In my opinion, the end (last about150 pages) of this thriller does not compare to the beginning. At the start of this book, Flynn had me questioning out loud, “What the hell is going on?” At night I didn’t want to stop reading, literally my eyes would be closing. I am supposed to be at work by 7:30 am. I kept reading and rolled in at 8:00 am. (Not to worry, I made up the half-hour.) Unfortunately, the last section of the story is not as strong as it’s start. I also found the ending frustrating. I don’t want to say more as I would not want to spoil it. Pick up this book. I can’t imagine not being enthralled by it. I provided Chris with a synopsis of the story over dinner. He was captured by my lousy description, voicing numerous times what a great story. Again, this is a must read.