Posts Tagged ‘disfunctional family’

2nd June
2010
written by Steph

Ok, so it’s time for a confession: I’ve been running behind on my book writeups. I read The Great Perhaps by Joe Meno about two weeks ago and am just now getting around to writing about it… which means, that this is probably going to be a relatively nebulous post in which I assert things without really being able to back them up.  Because at this point I remember how I ultimately felt about the book, but perhaps not specifically why I feel the way.  Then again, maybe the fact that two weeks later and I’m struggling to say anything interesting about this book speaks volumes about the book itself. But let’s backtrack a bit.  I first read about this book over at Farm Lane Books when Jackie reviewed it and said it was one of the best books about an American family that she’s ever read.  That paired with the quirky cover (featuring a giant squid!  Y’all know how I’m fascinated with things that live in the sea) immediately caught my attention and I placed a hold on the book at the local library. (more…)
1st March
2010
written by Steph

My review for the March issue of BookPage is now online and can be read here!  This month I covered the third novel by Oscar-nominated screenwriter, Peter Hedges.  The story deals with a youngish couple struggling to raise a family in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, all while trying to fulfill their own goals and dreams and keep their relationship on solid ground.  Naturally, something’s gotta give, but I’ll leave it up to you to read and find out what that thing is. The book reminded me a lot of Richard Yates’s Revolutionary Road in terms of its scope and the issues it deals with, but the tone could not have been more different.  While I found Yates’s novel unrelentingly sad and pessimistic, I appreciated the light touch Hedges uses here, and his witty sense of humor was necessary to counteract some of the rather dark and grim moments.  Rather than feeling this novel dragged me down, I instead read it compulsively, finishing it in a single day and pretty much in one sitting.  I can’t remember the last time I did that with a book, so that should tell you something about how addictive this book is.  It was kind of like sitting down to eat a big bag of M&Ms (or whatever your candy of choice is), but without feeling you’ve ODed on sugar afterwards.  In some ways this book is brain candy, but it's still got some vitamins and is plenty good for you. Anyway, I enjoyed the novel a good deal and highly recommend it especially if family melodramas are your thing.  Check out my official review if you’re interested in more coherent thoughts! If I were reviewing this (FREE) book on the site, I would have given it a 4 out of 5.
10th April
2009
written by Steph
Thankfully, a completely different experience (I hope!) from Steph Getting Married

Thankfully, a completely different experience (I hope!) from Steph Getting Married

I swear that our recent engagement has not inspired me to rent every movie that Netflix offers with the words “Married” or “Wedding” in the title.  This one has actually been sitting on our side table for a few weeks, I think – I’m pretty sure it entered our house pre-engagement.  We’ve been putting this one off because even though we’d heard it was supposed to be excellent, we had also heard it was a bit of a downer and neither of us has really been in the mood for depressing movies lately.  Watching this not long after The Squid & The Whale definitely packed a pretty hard one-two punch. The movie theoretically revolves around the weekend of the wedding of a young woman named Rachel, but it really focuses more on her sister, Kym, who has struggled with drug addiction for most of her life.  In fact, in order to attend the wedding, Kym is given but a temporary leave-of-absence from the rehab facility where she is currently receiving treatment. (more…)
8th April
2009
written by Steph

When this movie first came out, I distinctly recall it being billed as an indie comedy of sorts.  Not your slapstick Judd Apatow humor, but something a bit more wry and erudite.  Either I am misremembering this appraisal, or else the publicity people got it wrong, because while The Squid & The Whale has a few instances of biting humor, it’s really not a funny movie.  Given that it revolves around the dissolution of a marriage between two writers living in Brooklyn and how this, as well as their insane battle to share their children equally, affects their two sons, you can see how this movie might be of a more serious and somber tone.  In fact, it’s pretty depressing. (more…)