Monday, January 3, 2011

Book Reviews: Unless and Be Good

WAAAAAAY back in 2010, ok so really I mean last month, I started reading a selection from each of Canada Reads: Unless by Carol Shields, and from Canada Reads Independently: Be Good by Stacey May Fowles. I basically just picked the ones from each list that had the shortest wait time at the library. What was interesting is that they both deal with "goodness" in very different ways. The other interesting thing is that they are both similar in size and shape roughly 5x7 inches.

Unless is told from the perspective of Reta, a middle age woman whose seemingly perfect life is disrupted when Norah, the eldest of her three daughters drops out of university to beg on a street corner of downtown Toronto. Norah sets herself up at Bathurst and Bloor (just down the street from me!!) and is basically mute, with a hand printed sign reading "Goodness" around her neck. Shield's follows Reta as she tries to understand how this happened to her daughter and how to continue on with her life. I finished this book on December 16th so my opinion of the book is as follows: it was alright. That's all, sorry. I didn't love it, I didn't dislike it, was just alright.

Be Good on the other hand, is told from the perspectives of a a group of 20-somethings making in Vancouver and Montreal, and at times is quite raw. It's not always pretty, and lives are full of things left unsaid, hurt feelings, and longing. To me, Be Good is about how people get by day-to-day trying to love, both romantically and in friendships, while trying to protect themselves. I finished Be Good on December 28th....I remember feeling like the novel dealt with some gritty details of the character's sex lives, I wasn't disturbed by it,  but I also didn't necessarily feel like reading about it at the time

I was surprised by the fact that I had never read a Carol Shields novel, and like to think that I would have eventually gotten around to it at some point if it weren't for Canada Reads. AS for Be Good, I probably would never have come across this book on my own, and although I wouldn't say I absolutely loved these novels, I'm always glad to read work by Canadians-and Canadian women!

******BY THE WAY...THIS WAS MY 200th POST!!!!!******

1 comment:

  1. WHOO HOO! Congrats on your 200th Post. I love it! I personslly don't like Carol Shields writing. I find it has too much description and I get bored before I even get into what her books are about.


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