Archive for December, 2014

Adult Onset

I loved this! Adult Onset is Ann-Marie MacDonald’s long awaited new novel. Children’s author, Mary Rose MacKinnon aka “Mister” to some, and her partner Hilary are your typically busy urbanites who live in central Toronto. Completing the picture are young daughter Maggie, son Matthew and dog Daisy. Mary Rose is the stay-at-home mum who frets over things like the simple act of buying tomato soup. Should she get the organic one in a can full of toxins or should she get the glass bottle that isn’t organic. Hilary, 10 years her junior, is a theatre director who is often on the road dealing with a show, leaving Mary Rose at home to tend the fires, and buy the tomato soup. Added to this mix are Mary Rose’s parents who are elderly, forgetful, and as often happens with age, they repeat the same stories over and over – but with different details each time. You get the picture. Taking place over the course of an ordinary week, this is the story of how memory and repression can sometimes rear their ugly head to question the most ordinary details of a young life. Sort of… now that I look back and think of it… Some parts of this book are extremely funny. The scene of Mary Rose meeting her parents in Union Station in the midst of the chaos that seems to be a constant construction season is hilarious to say the least. You sometimes feel that you know their neighbourhood so well you must have been there yourself. That’s fantastic writing! All in all, this is an ordinary book about ordinary lives that takes place in an ordinary week. Only a great writer can take something so ordinary and make it extraordinary. Read this book!! You won’t be disappointed. I didn’t want it to end.

This book would make a fantastic Christmas gift for the avid reader on your list.

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The Silkworm

We all know by now that Robert Galbraith is none other than our favourite author J.K. Rowling. The Silkworm is her second novel written under her Robert Galbraith pseudonym. I was a bit on the fence about this book. Did I like it or not? Novelist Owen Quine goes missing and his wife enlists the help of our favourite untraditonal sleuth, Cormoran Strike and his wonderful sidekick Robin Ellacott to find him and bring him home. He eventually turns up, murdered in a particularly gruesome scene that we’re reminded of off and on as the story enfolds. That was part of what I didn’t like. It’s not a pretty picture. But I kept going because I particularly like Cormoran and his relationship to his ever vigalent, enthusiastic, helpful Robin. Poor Cormoran, at times he’s not sure he should have taken on this case. Quine’s wife is a bit odd to say the least. I found some of the characters confusing. There are writers, publishers, publicists, a whole whack of book related people and I kept getting them mixed up. But once again, I didn’t care because I like Cormoran & Robin. And of course this book is really well written – it’s J.K. Rowling! She’s a master of the page at every turn. So I kept going, and in the end, I’m happy to say I give it a thumbs up. Just be prepared, it’s more than a bit gruesome.

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