Review: Lucky Us by Amy Bloom

20140728-154355-56635463.jpg There’s nothing quite like having a sister to help you through life. In Lucky Us, the expectation is that Iris will take care of her little sister Eva after their loved ones abandon them. But it is Eva who holds together the relationship, with dim hope and quiet strength. The sisters embark on an adventure like no other, opening their eyes and their lives to worldliness and shallow sophistication. They try – but fail – to piece together a family. They try again. And again.

Lucky Us is about losing a family and finding a family. It’s about the damage that a mother and father can do and undo. It’s about making a life out of nothing but the kindness of strangers, and then recognizing that kindness as the only love you’ll ever know.

This book is historical fiction, set during the 1940s, referencing the war and its horrors, and illustrating the stunning commonalities among Jews, Germans, and Japanese. I don’t even like historical fiction, but I was taken in by the human facet of the decade. It read so much like contemporary fiction that I forgot what decade I was in. The crafting of this book is exceptional, the format perfect for the story, and the writing is tight, with every substantial paragraph meaning more than you think.

Lucky Us is hopeful. Eva shows how a young woman can endure much – maybe not with joy but with grace – and find acceptance for the life she has.

I found Eva so impressive, gracious, and strong. The grand finale in Eva’s life is the return of two loved ones. Adding them to the one who never left is Eva’s happily-ever-after finally coming to fruition. Lucky, indeed.

–calliope

Note: Amy Bloom will give a free talk about LUCKY US on Friday, August 1, at 7p.m. at RJ Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut.

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Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

attachmentsWhat a totally nerdy book that I think just about anyone can love. Here you have two people destined to meet and fall in love…..or are they destined to fall in love and then meet? Of course the road that they have traveled to get there all part of the fun…..You know what the characters are doing are kinda sorta wrong on more than a few levels, but damn it all….you just don’t care. You hope they continue and yea, your secret inner nerd is mad because it’s not happening to you.

This is my ideal romantic love story. The players aren’t in each other’s pants within the first 5 chapters of the book….This book isn’t about sexual contact at all…..You totally feel like a voyeur in a non sexual way….and you LOVE it….you laugh out loud throughout the book…..your heart gets all mushy (yes, I said mushy) at times…..you’re rooting for everyone throughout the story….and you totally don’t want to put the book down at any point….

This novel was a prime example of a “just one more chapter” novel….as a matter of fact, I went through most of the book that way….and I was so reading it when I should have been doing something else more productive….say like….oh eating meals….or maybe sleeping….or….well….just about anything that didn’t involve me lounging on the couch reading and giggling to myself….

And did I mention this book was funny? Snarky funny….heartstring funny….romantic funny….inappropriate funny….bittersweet funny….and just sad funny….and let’s not forget funny funny…yep….funny in any way you could possibly want it…..

Still not sure? Okay…..let me pull all of you fellow geeks off to one side then…..if the funny part doesn’t get you….if the romance doesn’t get you…..well…..can I say there is enough fandom in here to keep any geek happy…..Sandman….Discman….Dungeons and Dragons…..Star Wars…..The Lord of The Rings….and so many more….it’s fun just to read the book so you can find the little hidden references and random names throughout the novel…

Oh…..and you have great family interactions……oh oh…..and great friendships……oh oh oh…..I can’t forget the co-workers…..oh my…oh….let’s not forget romantic relationships as well…silly me….I’m just so excited after finishing this one…I can’t even think straight….

okay….I’m tired just trying to think of all the reasons you should read this book….so I’m just gonna go hush it for now…..I’m gonna go sit in a quiet place and smile and think about all the great characters in this novel….I’m gonna be a little sad because it’s over…and a lot of sad because I’m not one of them….but mostly I’m just going to be happy that I read this one….

Until next time….

Urania xx

Reading copy provided by NetGalley for an honest review

Buy it now Attachments by Rainbow Rowell