Category Archives: brit lit

First book of 2012: Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

(Finished January 4, 2012)

This short novel was dark and twisted. And I liked it.

The novel follows two former lovers of a woman named Molly Lane. It begins as the former lovers attend Molly’s funeral, thrown by her then-husband, George. One man, a newspaper editor, the other, a composer.

The two (now) friends reach a compromise after the funeral. Molly had died not herself — she’d gone crazy, hadn’t recognized her family, her friends, or even herself. Both men think Molly would have preferred to go out on top by committing suicide when she was still herself. They make a pact: should either man become afflicted with a similar condition, the other would find a way to kill the afflicted man before he becomes someone foreign to himself.

Well, a little bit down the road, both men go through a tough time. The editor wants to publish scandalous photos of a man running for Prime Minister. The other has to finish a very important piece of music, and he just can’t get it right.

SPOILERS:

In the end, the men go to Amsterdam to get away and hear the composer’s music played. Unbeknownst to one another, they have each arranged to kill the other. And bam, end of story.

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Filed under brit lit, character sketch, thriller

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

(Finished November 9, 2011)

So I have this thing with books I own – I tend to lose interest, even if the book itself is excellent, because I know I don’t have a time limit. Yes, this was the first time I’d ever read Jane Eyre. And it took me about a year. But I finally finished. And I loved it.

I really don’t know how I didn’t know the ending; the story is so popular. But I somehow managed to avoid learning what exactly happened. And I’m so glad I did!

Jane is my new hero. Quiet, homely, moral and intelligent – she is my kind of heroine. I’m sure that’s why this book is such a favorite: almost everyone can see something of themselves in Jane. We consider ourselves underdogs, losers, invisible to those who we see as superiors. Jane cannot see the traits others see in her as assets. Her situation certainly makes you re-evaluate yourself.

Oh, and Rochester. Not your typical main man. A little rough around the edges, secretive, and not super attractive, he makes himself irresistible to Jane because of his sharp mind and ability to care for her out of mutual respect and intelligence.

Every love story needs a conflict, and the conflict in this one seems insurmountable. (And a little supernatural – always a nice twist.) Creepy English manors, fires, sounds from the attic – Charlotte knew how to keep readers invested.

There’s just something about the sensible girl getting her man!

Jane EyreJane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So good! Can’t believe it took me so long to get around to it!

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