Ghost on Black Mountain by Ann Hite

Ghost on Black MountainGhost on Black Mountain by Ann Hite

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An atmospheric family saga which I really enjoyed. Included plenty of sad bits, and maybe went on a little too long in parts. Told through the viewpoint of several different female characters whose lives are interrelated. Some of the characters felt more fully realized, and some drew me in more than others. But overall, I am so very glad I discovered Ghost on Black Mountain, and author Ann Hite. Hite is a storyteller in the southern tradition, and one who I am so glad is sharing her gift.
*My hardback edition included a short interview with the author which gave fascinating insight into her creative process, and what inspires her. Love this stuff!

View all my reviews

Advertisements

The House We Grew Up In (12 August 2014) by Lisa Jewell

The House We Grew Up InThe House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

I would like to thank Atria books for my advance reader’s copy of The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell.
I have struggled with writing a review of this novel, attempting several times to put into words my impressions and opinions.
My hopes were that it would be an atmospheric family saga reminiscent of The Secret of the Tides by Hannah Richell. While The House We Grew Up In was also a multi-generational account of the secrets of an English family, for me, this novel was consistently depressing.
One reason for this was the melodramatic events of the novel. In fact, several of the main characters state that their lives seems almost unbelievable. Every imaginable scandal-from betrayal, to affairs, to hidden mental illness, to drugs and death, befall the unlucky Bird family in the 30 years and 400 pages of the novel.
The other reason I felt depressed by the story was because, without exception, pretty much all of the characters are self-absorbed, and wallowing in, as well as creating, much of the drama in their own lives. I have no problem with the concept of unlikeable characters in a novel; in fact, some of my very favorite suspense novels contain characters with major flaws.
I think unlikeable, or just plain creepy, characters, can work very well when they serve to give us a sense of unease, black humor, or to vicariously give us a good scare. However, when the characters are meant to be relatable, I have a difficult time feeling invested in them if those characters are people who I would avoid in real life.
Ultimately, although The House We Grew Up In was not poorly written, I found it to be a discouraging tale, with a “healing” conclusion that was brief and unfortunately, unconvincing.

View all my reviews

Colouring for Wellbeing

Colouring for Fun, Mental Health & Relaxation

Steve Kaye Photo

Steve Kaye inspires respect for nature by showing his photos in talks, articles, and photo classes

Shapely Prose

2007-2010

tuckertranslations.wordpress.com/

Quality Translation and Language Services

Cleopatra Loves Books

One reader's view

Austenonly

Jane Austen's life, times and works explained and discussed

Olfactoria's Travels

A journey through the world of fragrance.

Jane Austen's World

This Jane Austen blog brings Jane Austen, her novels, and the Regency Period alive through food, dress, social customs, and other 19th C. historical details related to this topic.

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

For lovers of Australian and New Zealand literary fiction; Ambassador for Australian literature

Joanne Graham

Author, Mother, Random Dreamer

book'd out

Book Reviews and News

Petrona

Mainly about reading with an accent on intelligent crime fiction from around the world.

Reading In The Evening

Book reviews from a literature fiend

Julia Crouch

Novelist: the queen of domestic noir

Qwiklit

Learn Literature Now

Scandinavian Crime Fiction in English Translation

information about authors and books

crimepieces

Sarah Ward, crime author and book reviewer