After December's co-review, I decided to read some of Jenny's favorites from 2009. Highly recommended, by the way. Since she's already reviewed them, I don't want to be redundant. But I also couldn't just set them aside without briefly sharing my thoughts.
Of the three that I read, The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, was my very favorite. The characters were so well-drawn and the writing was so engaging that once I started it I literally couldn't put it down. I felt like I gained a greater appreciation for that time in our nation's history, but had so much fun at the same time I didn't even mind learning something!
Next I tackled The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova. Wow. What a trip! It was fascinating and compelling, and kept me thinking about it for weeks afterward. I thought the final conflict was a bit anti-climactic, and it was a lot longer than it needed to be. I had to put my life on hold for a week until I finished it, then had to purge myself for another week before I could bear to pick up another book! But it was very interesting and certainly will stand out as an unforgettable experience. I don't think it will be letting me go for a long time!
My last choice of this batch was The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, by Tiffany Baker. The change in tone and characters and drama was refreshing after the gothic weight of The Historian. I enjoyed the writing, the pacing, and the slight menacing edge to the otherwise pastoral small-town life. One thing I had a hard time with was fully connecting with the narrator. But that almost didn't matter as Baker explores some really interesting topics of life and death and an unusual form of redemption for a remarkable title character. And weaves in a little magic and folklore at the same time to keep you guessing until the end.
So thanks to Jenny for the hours of enjoyment I've had over the past month or so. I can't wait to get to some of the other books on her list!