First up, Middlesex. If you haven’t read this book yet and you love literary fiction, what are you waiting for? What an exemplary read! This is another book The Queen of Sheba brought home from her winter in Mexico. She thought it would suit my tastes, so she passed her copy to me. I devoured Middlesex, and I ain’t giving back the book! It’s nothing like Middlemarch, which I was forced to read for the Lit degree, so don’t let the similar titles fool you. Jeffrey Eugenides won the Pulitzer Prize for Middlesex in 2002, and the story hooked me from the beginning, so it’s easy to see why.
Middlesex is the story of a child mistakenly labeled a girl at birth who grows into a teenage boy. It bounces between the present, where the adult Cal struggles with revealing his biological truths, so to speak, to his would-be female lover, and the past, depicting the family history in Greece and then America and following Cal as Calliope through her tumultuous adolescence. Honestly, compelling stuff. It’s going on my keeper shelf.
Numero deux (I don’t know how to make the accent over the E in the first word so just trust me when I say I’m typing French and not Italian or Spanish), Natural Born Charmer, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. After two commenters in my I Need Me More S.E.P. blog raved about Ms. Phillips’ latest offering, I couldn’t help myself. I had to zip out and buy it, and I consumed it a couple of weeks ago. Natural Born Charmer does not disappoint. The story features Dean Robillard, who was a secondary character in Match Me if You Can, and Dean is a member of the Chicago Stars football team that figures in a great number of Phillips romances. But Natural Born Charmer isn’t set in the world of football. It’s set, for the most part, in Tennessee. It’s pure characterization, great story, and wonderful romance. The secondary plot between rocker Mad Jack Patriot and Dean’s mother April is very enjoyable, too.
Third up, Their Secret Child, by Mary J. Forbes. I interviewed Mary a few weeks ago for my website, but didn’t get a chance to read her latest offering from Silhouette Special Edition until last week. Mary and I are former critique partners and friends (well, we’re still friends and quite good ones at that), so some might say I am naturally inclined to love her work. However, Their Secret Child has hit #10 on the Waldenbooks Series Romance Bestsellers list, so clearly I’m in good company.
I have to say, I think this is my favorite of all Mary’s books. She develops the secret baby hook perfectly, and, in my opinion, there is not one wasted word. SSEs have shortened in word length in the past year or so, which can be challenging for some authors accustomed to writing books 5000 – 10,000 words longer than what the line now publishes. Mary J. Forbes rises to the challenge, delivering an emotionally satisfying romance. Hurrah!
The movie? I heartily recommend Hancock starring Will Smith and Charlize Theron. My Liege and I went to see it recently. Now, it’s very difficult for me not to enjoy a Will Smith movie, and it’s not just because one of my old high school friends once shared a scene with him in another film (honest! tres cool, huh?) (drat, don’t know how to put the accent over the E in tres, either). Hancock is the story of a super hero who doesn’t give a crap…and why he should. I won’t say anything else, because the fun of this movie is learning the why behind the first part of my description and the how of the second. Or something like that. Really, after my clever logline, you expect me to continue to deliver? I have my limits!!
There’s only one thing I didn’t like about Hancock, but I’m putting it in white font because it’s a spoiler. Highlight the following paragraph if you want to read the spoiler. And, don’t forget, I am WARNING YOU that I’m including a spoiler:
Okay, Charlize Theron is supposedly a super-hero character like Will Smith’s character. They have skin of steel. Needles bend when they try to get injections, etc., etc. The only time one of them could get injected or, let’s say, get their ears pierced, would be when they’ve gotten close to one another and therefore begin losing their super powers. However, whenever they get close to one another and start losing their powers, that’s when the bad guys of the world try to kill Hancock. So, what I want to know is, why, why, WHY show the Charlize Theron character wearing big, huge, dangly pierced earrings in a scene where her skin WOULD be tough as steel to pierce because she and Hancock’s character are separated. I can not fathom that Charlize’s character would have chosen one of the episodes where she and Hancock are fighting for their lives against bad guys (ie. when they get too close together) to take a break and go off and get her ears pierced. These types of inconsistencies really bother me in movies. Don’t get me started on Pretty Woman.
Spoiler Rant done!
Any books or movies you wanna recommend?