Sunday, October 30, 2016

Bridget Jones's Baby

Bridget Jones, now in her late thirties is a (still) single, successful career woman. She is most often completely content and having a ball until one of her uptight married friends or her own mother reminds her that her biological clock is actually a time bomb with few minutes to spare. After two unrelated, unexpected one night stands with none other than her ex-fiance Mark Darcy and ex-boss Daniel, Bridget finds herself pregnant. Yes, this is silly. Yes, it makes no sense because in the last Bridget book Mark Darcy had tragically died. But Helen Fielding makes no apologies. She rolls with the flow (thanks to Hollywood) and rewrites Mark into the story with all the humor and chaos of the past 3 Bridget books. Written in diary format, this short fun read is totally Bridget and took all of two hours for me to plow through. An enjoyable laugh out loud Sunday treat. There are just some days it doesn’t need to make sense, it was just funny.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Paris For One & Other Stories

Nell makes an awful lot of lists for a young, carefree girl who is sadly not carefree at all. She is meticulous at home and at work, a bit compulsive and desperate for the love and romance found in novels. Nell settles into a relationship with a local bloke named Peter who works in a surf wear shop. Her friends do not approve. But he is laid back, adorable and she hopes his relaxed nature will ultimately rub off on her. Nell reaches completely out of her comfort zone and arranges a surprise romantic Paris weekend - to which Peter never arrives. Alone and nervous in a strange city, Nell begins her weekend counting her minutes to leave and ends wanting to stay there forever. This novella would be too easy to ruin, so I will say no more. It is delightful as are the short stories that follow in the latest work by my favorite author Jojo Moyes. I hesitated to read this one, as sometimes short stories leave me hanging for more but I found I could just read these all day long (and I did!) Thank you Jojo Moyes for sharing your beautiful imagination with us all!! Highly recommend as a holiday gift or for yourself.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Small Great Things

Ruth Jefferson is a Labor and Delivery nurse practicing at a hospital in New Haven, CT. She has been there for more than twenty years and is an accomplished and valued employee. One very busy shift, Ruth finds herself caring for a newborn and is forcefully asked to leave the room. Mystified as to what she could have possibly done to offend the new parents, her supervisor tells her she is off the case and reassigned a new patient. The only explanation being a post it note on the patient chart forbidding African-American staff from touching this baby. Finding herself shaken on multiple levels, Ruth - the only African American nurse on this floor, accepts this decree only to accidentally be left watching the same baby a few days later in the nursery. When tragedy strikes the distraught family blames Ruth. Her license is quickly suspended, charges are filed and a terrifying criminal trial begins. Ruth wants to save her career, protect her teenage son and get her life back. But deep, strong feelings that she has spent her lifetime suppressing can no longer be hidden. Equality, racism, hate and love are exploding through Ruth as she struggles to defend and save herself at the same time. Jodi Picoult expertly brings these amazing characters to life in her latest novel. Extensive research, talented writing and much of her own heart is poured into this glimpse of contemporary America and our battle with racism. Where we live, work, how we treat others and how we want to be treated affect each and every one of us every day. Jodi Picoult weaves this incredible story and explores a variety of subjects, not just racism but motherhood, sisterhood, healthcare and our basic human rights, no exceptions. This novel has some complicated reviews, not surprising when an author chooses a complex subject. It’s sometimes too easy for everyone to be a critic with no concrete solutions. I think this novel is a HUGE success. In her afterthoughts, at the end of the novel, Ms. Picoult says “we who are white need to have this discussion among ourselves. Because then, even more of us will overhear and – I hope – the conversation will spread.” If that is what she truly set out to do, well, it worked. Beyond just recommending this book, it should be mandatory reading.