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Distinguished Correspondent
PiperMurphy
Posts: 174
Registered: ‎09-19-2008

Re: First Impressions

Others have commented on the choppiness of the opening chapters. I also had a problem following the story. I thought that I just wasn't in the right mindset to be reading. Then I realized that I was "listening" to the radio. How cool is that. From then on I was totally involved in the story. I can't wait to find out what happens next. The thing that surprised me the most was when I read that Emma smoked - what?? She's smoking? Then I remembered that smoking was common back then. It kind of changed my opinion of Emma.

"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes."
~Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus~
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JaneM
Posts: 152
Registered: ‎02-01-2008
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Re: First Impressions

You are quite right, Sunltcloud, and I appreciate your attention to detail.  Maybe the rose does symbolize love and maybe there is a gap on the part of the cover artist in that they should have made it a Rosa rugosa!

 

 


Sunltcloud wrote:

 

The rose on the cover looks different from beach roses. The Cape Cod beach rose, a rugosa rose, has a simple five petal bloom. Maybe the cover rose symbolizes love and the letter underneath is a love letter.

DSaff wrote:

Thanks for bring up the cover rose, Jane.  I am also wondering how it fits into our story.  :smileyhappy:

 


JaneM wrote:

I have been thinking about the cover and the dried rose.  So far the only reference I have found to roses is on p. 23.  When Emma enters her new house she sees that "Will had put beach roses in a jam jar against the window to welcome her."  I will be interested to see if roses come up again in some way as I continue reading.

 


 

 


 

 


Jane M.
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lmpmn
Posts: 177
Registered: ‎11-08-2006
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Re: First Impressions

I like this about the book too.  I appreciate the fact that the author knows the subject so well and allows the readers to enter this world (even at the most private points) intimately.

 

 


slrihm wrote:

It's one of those generation gap things; the   "rubber pouch and glass bottle of vinegar "  was a 'douche bag' that women used after "sexual relations" to flush out their 'privates.'   

 

I was a little startled to read it, but remembered the tool as one my own mother used (though I'm not sure just when or how she let me know what it was for).  I'm not sure just what the purpose was; cleanliness I suppose.  Or why the practice went away.... 

 

It's one of the things I like about the book.  Sarah has been pretty graphic about some practices of the time; especially women's issues, that wouldn't have been referred to in writings of that day and time.


 

 

Happiness is a warm blanket!
Contributor
kitkat2230
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎09-02-2009
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Re: First Impressions

So far I'm hooked! I love how Sarah Blake uses rich detail and imagery, it almost makes me fell like I'm actually in the story. So far I this is one of those stories that you can just stay in bed and read all day. I like the fact that the book is more about how the war could effect different people's lives, which is the kind of histrorical fiction books I like. So far I think this book is a fantastic read and would recommend it to anyone.

 

Katie

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lmpmn
Posts: 177
Registered: ‎11-08-2006

Re: First Impressions

This is an answer I got from asking a similar question about the douching thing.  I thought it was a good answer to the question of relevance to the story.

 

BookWoman718 wrote this in the Early Chapters, Fall, 1940 (1-8) thread.  It is reply number 19 in that thread.  I've cut and pasted what is relevant to this post.

 

BookWoman718:

I think the reference to the douche apparatus was meant to show the kinds of thought that might come to a spinster's mind when she thought about the sex act.    Iris had no casual lovers, and no passionate experience.  Her slight embarassment and the methodical way she visited the doctor made her think of the same traits in her mother, at one of the apparently very few times that she was ever faced with the possibility of her mother's sexuality.

 


babzilla41 wrote:

slrihm wrote:

It's one of those generation gap things; the   "rubber pouch and glass bottle of vinegar "  was a 'douche bag' that women used after "sexual relations" to flush out their 'privates.'   

 

I was a little startled to read it, but remembered the tool as one my own mother used (though I'm not sure just when or how she let me know what it was for).  I'm not sure just what the purpose was; cleanliness I suppose.  Or why the practice went away.... 

 

It's one of the things I like about the book.  Sarah has been pretty graphic about some practices of the time; especially women's issues, that wouldn't have been referred to in writings of that day and time.


 

Slrihm:  I knew what it was...I just couldn't figure out the relevance of it in the story!


 

 

Happiness is a warm blanket!
Distinguished Correspondent
lmpmn
Posts: 177
Registered: ‎11-08-2006
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Re: First Impressions

[ Edited ]

Sorry this was a duplicated post!  Don't know how it happened!

Happiness is a warm blanket!
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jb70
Posts: 179
Registered: ‎07-06-2009

Re: First Impressions

I finished the first part last night.  First I have to say I wish I had waited to log in to the discussion until I was done with teh whole part because I would have liked to have found out about Maggie's death and Will's decision to become a doctor in the war on my own but, ultimately those things still would have happened so it doesn't really matter.

 

I wish there would be a bit of a break in the paragraphs when Blake is changing to another character because it can be a bit jarring and breaks up the flow of the book- perhaps on purpose as suggested in other posts but I am finding that distracting.  I'm still a little unclear about weather it was the ghost of Will's father at the table or if he was really there- I figured it woudl become more clear as the story progressed.

 

Very enjoyable so far!

http://bookbookseverywhere.blogspot.com/
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debbook
Posts: 1,823
Registered: ‎05-03-2008
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Re: First Impressions

I held off on starting this book until close to discussion time because I usually read ahead. This book is no exception, I really love it and though I tried, I will most likely finish it tomorrow.

I think it is very well-written and I feel like I'm in a small town and then in London during the blitz. I love the characters: Iris, Emma, and Frankie. I love that Edward R Murrow is a character in this book.

I feel bad that others have to wait until Febuary to read this, so, Thanks B&N!

A room without books is like a body without a soul.~ Cicero...
"bookmagic418.blogspot.com
Contributor
mandyfish
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎09-02-2009
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Re: First Impressions

Upon opening the shipping box, I was immediately struck by the cover. The image, colors, and texture are just amazing. That alone got me excited to read the book.

 

 

I'm only through the first section, so I'm hesitant to say anything about the story or characters or such. I can say that I'm having some trouble getting into the story. I believe it is due to the fact that I don't have much knowledge (beyond text book learning) about the time period and things going on. The characters seem interesting; I'm just thrown off by the historical happenings.

 

I feel like I'm missing important information while I'm reading....or that I should study up on the war more before continuing.

Correspondent
Sadie1
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎07-16-2009

Re: First Impressions

I wish there would be a bit of a break in the paragraphs when Blake is changing to another character because it can be a bit jarring and breaks up the flow of the book- perhaps on purpose as suggested in other posts but I am finding that distracting. I'm still a little unclear about weather it was the ghost of Will's father at the table or if he was really there- I figured it woudl become more clear as the story progressed.

 

jb70,

This is how I feel too.  Same thing about Will's father?

 

The first couple of chapters are very choppy and do not flow well from paragraph to paragraph within paragraph at times.  Then chapter 3 had a nice flow to it and I started enjoying the book.

 

Thankfully I do know a bit about the history that is happening and I think that has helped me to get through the first couple of chapters.

 

I like how Sarah has written about what was happening on the homefronts here.  Most of the newer generations have no idea that this war touched American land.  Very little has been written about that compared to what has been written about this war abroad.

 

I can't wait to finish this book and see what happens next.

Inspired Contributor
Zia01
Posts: 187
Registered: ‎08-08-2009
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Re: First Impressions

My initial impressions was confusion at the bouncing back and forth between characters. Once I was able to get into the flow of the character buildup and the bouncing back and forth, I slid into the story very easily. With that said, I'm wondering where the story starts. We've gotten excellent character background so far, but where does this mysterious letter come into play. Not that I didn't enjoy part 1, I loved getting to know the characters and I even think it'll make the story work that much better once the letter makes it's appearance. I guess I'll have to wait and see :smileyhappy:

Correspondent
ssizemore
Posts: 70
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: First Impressions

Once again Barnes and Noble has chosen a great book for all of us to preview.  I am enjoying everything about Sarah Flake's book!  The cover is so lovely and I find the characters to be very real.  In fact. I find myself relating to them in our current world climate as well as in the climate of WWII.  Thanks for allowing us the privilege of reading this book!

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pen21
Posts: 3,648
Registered: ‎03-23-2009
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Re: First Impressions

I agree with you and the others. I have just finished the section for this week.

Several times I had to pause to figure out how that character popped across the globe, to come and realize the scene had changed from Europe to America. Usually there is a couple blank lines or some way of noting a shift like that in a book. I was able to catch up again by going back a few paragraphs, but it is unsettling.

pen21

 


Andromeda290 wrote:

Well I tend to agree with some of you about the abrupt scene changes. I have had to backtrack a time or two also. I would be intently reading  and  visualizing the the prose when I was suddenly in another place... that aside...I really like the characters and the WW2 settings. I'm getting used to the style of writing and fully intend to enjoy the book. Happy reading all !!


 

 

Contributor
pmldwnlln
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎09-02-2009

Re: First Impressions

First impressions?  It grabbed me from the beginning.  Opening up with an intriguing question at the dinner party.  Loved it.  Had me thinking from the beginnning.  I'm hooked on Iris.  Find her funny and real; personable.  I especially found her assessment of Emma on page 14 enjoyable to read.  This book reads like an old movie.  I am transported back in time, not just an observer.  To the point that I am seeing all of this happen in black and white in my mind.  I almost through chpt 2 so I didn't want to read too many posts yet.  But I have not found that this novel jumps around too quickly like others have.  Gotta go read...!!

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rdownie
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-04-2009
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Re: First Impressions

I loved this book!  The lush deptiction of the WWII era immediately put me in mind of Atonement.  Her characters were bright and vivid!  I can't wait to delve into the discussion!

Frequent Contributor
tree_lover
Posts: 158
Registered: ‎09-08-2009
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Re: First Impressions

Sorry some of the parts were spoiled for you.  I also found it a little irritating that the paragraphs consisted of multiple characters and story lines.  It seemed that she thought about one character and then she tought about another one and I was still with the first character.

 

I already finished the book and I will not let on what happens.  I can tell you that the writing does get better.

 

liz

http://nygirltrustnoone.blogspot.com/
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tree_lover
Posts: 158
Registered: ‎09-08-2009
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Re: First Impressions

It's nice to see that someone else likes the "Frankie" character.  Some people think of newspaper people as being too pushy and nosy, however, they are the first to find out what is going on in the world.  If it weren't for journalists and them putting themselves in dangerous situations, we would be an uninformed world.

http://nygirltrustnoone.blogspot.com/
Scribe
DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: First Impressions

I also loved "Atonement." It is well worth reading.


Tarri wrote:

jb70 wrote:

Oh I also meant to add that this one of the first books I've read set in this time period.  Atonement is on my TBR list and I did see the movie but this isn't an era that I am all that familiar with so I am interested to see where the story goes.

Jill


Atonement is one of my favorite books.  It really gets interesting after page 130, so don't give up. 

 

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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MSaff
Posts: 272
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: First Impressions

  Good Afternoon Everyone, 

 

  I must say that so far this book/story has grabbed me and is not about to let go.  The message here is loud and clear and I'm finding it hard to believe that this is Sarah Blake's very first novel.  She has a wonderful writing style.

 

Mike
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss
http://travelswithcarsandbooks.blogspot.com/
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barnsdale11
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-08-2009
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Re: First Impressions

I had never before read a book about World War II, so in the beginning I felt a little wary about it. I guess in the beginning it took me some time to adapt from the cute American scene to the crude open war in London, but that was the point. So now I'm getting along just fine with that :smileyhappy:

 

Actually, I guess it's a little better than just fine. The strength of Frankie's character has me totally hooked, and I loved the scene when she watches the British soldiers shooting blindly at the sky. The way it's so short, but so powerful at the same time...