Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'm back - found I truly love reviewing books

Now that Depression Cookies is out, I want to use this blog for reviews. I've always been passionate about reading. Now, I'm finding I'm just as passionate about reviewing. Any one that's ever been in a book club very long with me would probably say I've always been passionate about my opinions on books.

85%, if not more, of all the books I read are recommended to me, so it makes sense that I pay it forward and provide reviews. I believe myself to be very objective. I tend to be able to offer constructive criticism even when I absolutely love a book, but I can also find value in even the ones I don't like. Truly. For my Superior, Colorado book club peers (and oh how I miss you!), you know I hated Wicked, but I went on to read Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and quite enjoyed it. I found enough value in the author to try another work by him.

All that being said, I recently read a novel by Janis Hallowell (thanks Amy!) titled The Annunciation of Francesca Dunn. I would never have picked up this book based on the cover or title, but one friend recommendation and I'm off to buy it.

The story begins with a Boulder (yes, I loved the setting!) bum, Chester, having a vision of a teenage Virgin mother that will come into his life and require his protection. Not long after, Chester is in a local diner getting a free meal and is struck by Francesca, a young girl volunteering and helping a friend. Through several events, they both come to believe she embodies his vision.

The author writes the story through several characters points of view and alternates chapters in their voices: Anna, Francesca's mother; Chester; Sid, Anna's only real friend. In addition, there are chapters focused on Francesca, but not from the first person point of view. These chapters left me wanting to know what SHE was thinking not this unidentified voice telling her story.

The story builds and leaves even the reader guessing if this is a true miracle. The building I loved, but I did feel the book wrapped it all up too quickly and neatly in the end. I wanted 100 more pages of the characters' thoughts on all of it. And I only want another 100 pages if I really care!

Overall, I enjoyed this book and I think it would be an excellent choice for sparking book club discussion: how the author handled different points of views, why she chose to not give Francesca her own voice, how religion and the quest for knowing more affects us, how quickly people believed and then didn't believe, how even friends used this blessing to their own advantage, etc.

A should-read!


sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Are you on Goodreads? You'd love it over there...

Bach said...

Just got on Goodreads and applied for "author" status. Did the same on Library Thing, but I think I like Goodreads better. I need to start putting the 100s of books I've read on there!