I finished reading this book a few days ago and I still can't make up my mind if I liked the book. A bestseller in the UK, apparently someone liked the book. This is Seskis' first novel and she wrote it as her mother was dying, hoping to finish it before she died. She did, completing the first draft a few days before her death. The book takes place in England, so for all you Anglophiles you will definitely get your fill of all things British.
Perhaps it was because I couldn't identify with the main character, Emily or Cat, as she is both referred to in the book. The tragedy of her life, her family, and her circumstances, made the book sometimes unbelievable. But there are twists, some subtle and some inevitable. And it's one of those books you see advertised everywhere, which usually puts me off. Oh give it a whirl, what have you got to lose.
Kate Alcott (yes, of those Alcotts) and married into a family of old Hollywood (the Mankiewicz family), writes what she knows. She tells the story of the filming of Gone With the Wind, thedrama behind the scenes, the courtship and marriage of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard (that's her on the cover), and the fictional romance of a young woman who arrives in Hollywood to make her mark as a screenwriter.
There is a disclaimer in the beginning of book: This is a work of fiction, although the central structure of the saga of making Gone With the Wind and key dates are accurate. Scenes using actual dialogue from the movie have been shortened. So if you are fan of the film, you will love this book. If you love the tales and gossip of "old Hollywood", you will love this book. Look beneath the facade that is known as Hollywood, where the powerful turn a "blind-eye" to the rumblings in pre-WW II Europe, the trades and under-table dealings of "studio stars" by the studio bigwigs, and the all powerful studio publicity machine.
I loved this book. Escapism to "old Hollywood" doesn't get any better.
I am usually not a big fan of Oprah's Book Club selections, but this one caught my eye and much to my surprise, I liked it. I love books about southern life, and this one is from an African-American point of view, telling a story full of grit and determination.
Widowed, Californian Charley Bordelon inherits from her father, eight hundred acres of sugar cane farmland in rural Louisiana. Seeing this as a new start for herself and her eleven-year-old daughter, they leave Los Angeles for the small parish of St. Josephine. With little knowledge of farming and even less working capital, she rolls up her sleeves with an odd sort of characters and learns about life, sugar cane, and that she can begin again.
A great book club selection, but then I knew that because Oprah said so.
UPDATE: Time to vote for the Final Four Round of Book Madness. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/C6BJQZV
Bounce into a book frenzy with Book Madness, the Kirkwood Public Library's tournament of books! Sixteen books will hit the court starting Monday, March 9. Which title will be the champion? That’s up to you.
Monday March 9 through April 6, the Kirkwood Public Library invites patrons to choose their favorites from four genres in a March Madness-style throwdown to determine which book (and ultimately which genre) is best.
UPDATED: (3/23/2015) Here’s the bracket. Print it, fill it out, and follow along. (Click the image below for a larger version.)
We have chosen the books to be pitted against each other. You vote for the winner.
Adult Book Madness Rules
The tournament will begin Monday, March 9, with four rounds of online voting or paper ballot. The online voting ballot can be found on the main page of the Kirkwood Public Library’s website. Paper ballots will be located magazine racks on the main floor of the library.
The adult tournament winner will be announced on Tuesday, April 7.
You can only vote once per round, but anyone can participate!
When a new round begins, the online and paper ballots will be re-posted by 12:00 p.m. with the books that advanced.
Every round -- voters who enter their name and email address in the voting ballot, online or paper, will be entered into a drawing for a Book Madness Round Prize of literary mug and candy. Only the voters who vote within the round are eligible for that round’s prize.
Grand Prize -- voters who enter their name and email address in the voting ballot, online or paper, throughout the entire tournament will be entered into a drawing for Book Madness Prize Pack of canvas tote bag, winning book, bookmark, and other literary items.
Children Book Madness Rules
The tournament will begin Monday, March 9, with four rounds. The paper ballots will be located in the children’s room on the first floor.
The children’s tournament winner will be announced on Tuesday, April 7.
One vote per round. Please have your children, ages 3-12, vote for their favorite books
When a new round begins, the paper ballots will be available by 12:00 p.m. with the books that advanced.
Every round -- voters who enter their name and email address in the ballot will be entered into a drawing for a Book Madness Round Prize of stuffed animal and candy.
Grand Prize -- voters who enter their name and email address in the ballot throughout the entire tournament will be entered into a drawing for a Book Madness Prize Pack of winning book, games and other literary goodies.