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Thread: Book Club: What are you reading?

  1. #91
    Distinguished Community Member Sunshine's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great review Laz. I found Train intriguing.

    Have you read non fiction book, Lucky by Alice Sebold? The book is good and it explains her fiction book Almost Moon. I recommend both.

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  3. #92
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    I'm reading a biography of Constance Fenimore Woolson, who was a friend of the author Henry James and a writer herself though not at all well known. She either jumped or fell out of a window to her death in Italy --no one has ever found out what really happened. I'm hoping that the biography will shed some light on the question because there is a theory that she killed herself because of her unrequited love for Henry James.

    She had an interesting background story, probably typical of many women in the mid-19th century. When I read these biographies I realize how far women have come in my lifetime. Woolson's mother gave birth to 8 girls, then a boy. Four of the daughters died in early childhood and 2 more died of TB in their late teens. She still had 3 children left to raise. The mother was a semi-invalid most of her life, and yet the childbearing and child-rearing proceeded. Sometimes there were servants but not always. Even with servants, and even though these people had enough money, this could not have been an easy life by any stretch of the imagination.
    Last edited by agate; 03-03-2018 at 09:17 AM. Reason: typos
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
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  5. #93
    Distinguished Community Member Lazarus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agate View Post
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    I'm reading a biography of Constance Fenimore Woolson, who was a friend of the author Henry James and a writer herself though not at all well known. She either jumped or fell out of a window to her death in Italy --no one has ever found out what really happened. I'm hoping that the biography will shed some light on the question because there is a theory that she killed herself because of her unrequited love for Henry James.

    She had an interesting background story, probably typical of many women in the mid-19th century. When I read these biographies I realize how far women have come in my lifetime. Woolson's mother gave birth to 8 girls, then a boy. Four of the daughters died in early childhood and 2 more died of TB in their late teens. She still had 3 children left to raise. The mother was a semi-invalid most of her life, and yet the childbearing and child-rearing proceeded. Sometimes there were servants but not always. Even with servants, and even though these people had enough money, this could not have been an easy life by any stretch of the imagination.
    James was gay but had a lot of women friends. I read of his best friend extremely close relationship with an artist...I think, but can not remember who she was. I’ll try to remember. Sad lives for gay people in those times.
    ******
    I could not find information on exactly who I am searching for but if you do a Google search on James and homosexuality you will stumble into resources...here is the headline of a book about James:

    Colm Tóibín: how Henry James's family tried to keep him in the closet
    After Henry James’s death 100 years ago, his relatives were at pains to remove any hints of his sexuality from his letters and biography“.

    He was a very complex fellow.
    Last edited by Lazarus; 03-03-2018 at 03:27 PM.
    Linda~~~~

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  7. #94
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    Brooklyn, the one I just finished was also written by Colm Tolbin. I did like the writing style and the book. The ending just left me wanting a little more.
    Virginia

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  9. #95
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazarus View Post
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    James was gay but had a lot of women friends. I read of his best friend extremely close relationship with an artist...I think, but can not remember who she was. I’ll try to remember. Sad lives for gay people in those times.
    ******
    I could not find information on exactly who I am searching for but if you do a Google search on James and homosexuality you will stumble into resources...here is the headline of a book about James:

    Colm Tóibín: how Henry James's family tried to keep him in the closet
    After Henry James’s death 100 years ago, his relatives were at pains to remove any hints of his sexuality from his letters and biography“.

    He was a very complex fellow.

    Complex, yes, and shy and reserved. So reserved that the facts will probably never be known. In the meantime there is only speculation. Some believe he was gay but most scholars in the field admit that there's no real evidence one way or another.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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  11. #96
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    Has anyone read Amy Bloom? My book club assigned “Lucky Us”.
    It is interesting and has inventive and well crafted style. Actually I almost put it down because I had trouble paying attention. I thought it was the novel but, of course it was me being a careless reader. I started over after 30 pages and discovered a good plot with interesting characters and their lives.

    The style is wonderful. Images that arrest your mind and serious happenings that are told in a flat line, a flat voice so that two lines later I was drawn into these happenings because the writer had forced me to think about what I had read. Imagine that! A style that keeps me attentive.

    I had made a mistake on Amazon when ordering Lucky Us and first got her book “away”. So, I finished the assigned one and am 3\4 of the way through Away. Wow! This book is a masterpiece of style with another assortment of characters that you get involved with as you read. This book is dealing with the survival of immigrants to America who had left home countries during the WWII years. People who experienced personal horrors with the human drive to go on...and even to create. Bless the immigrants who came and built their lives here.

    Anyway, both book are wonderful. Away is more horrifying at times but also more complete with the forces, good and evil, that drive folks to behave in complex ways.
    Linda~~~~

    Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says:"Oh Crap, She's up!"

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  13. #97
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    Linda, I am going to check these out on Amazon and see what I think. Is Lucky Us also in the World War II era? I feel sure that I will read Away since it is. That is if I have not already read it.
    Virginia

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  15. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virginia View Post
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    Linda, I am going to check these out on Amazon and see what I think. Is Lucky Us also in the World War II era? I feel sure that I will read Away since it is. That is if I have not already read it.
    Lucky Us is not as involved in the wwII era but the story is placed in that time frame and one character is betrayed by another who claims he is a spy to local police and he ends up in an internment camp and eventually is sent to a Germany. So, some of the story does center around the lives of immigrants...but Away is devestating and written in the fine strokes of details showing knowledge of the individual cruelties committed by ordinary people who turned on their neighbors when the coast to do so seemed cleared of barriers.
    Linda~~~~

    Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says:"Oh Crap, She's up!"

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  17. #99
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    Linda, I finished Away last night and I did really like it. I found it to be intriguing as to what human beings can endure and still go on. It was very raw.
    Virginia

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  19. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virginia View Post
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    Linda, I finished Away last night and I did really like it. I found it to be intriguing as to what human beings can endure and still go on. It was very raw.
    At my lunch today I mentioned the book. My friend had been at parties with this author or dinner parties...I forget but would have loved being more nosy than I am!
    Linda~~~~

    Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says:"Oh Crap, She's up!"

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