I just finished reading this book and I wanted to post my review while it was still fresh in my mind.
Rainbow Rowell (it is NOT a pseudonym, honest) is a writer for the Omaha World-Herald. Her novel, The Attachments is set at The Courier, a fictional Omaha newspaper, so Ms. Rowell should be well prepared for making her characters come to life; and they certainly do. Her real talent as an author though, comes shining through in the crisp accuracy of her dialogue.
Jennifer and Beth are co-workers at the Courier. They are in different departments on different floors and although they don’t see each other every day they share, as girlfriends do, their deepest thoughts and feelings in multiple emails each day. Lincoln works in IT Security and his job is to monitor internal emails and send out warnings when the system is being abused. Lincoln isn’t thrilled with his job or his life. He has still not totally recovered from a break-up years ago with his high school sweetheart. His Saturday nights are spent playing Dungeons & Dragons with friends less lonely than himself. Unfortunately, the job pays well, there is little to do and so he remains captive to his employer without the strength to call it quits.
Although the emails of Jennifer and Beth should result in almost daily warnings, Lincoln can’t bring himself to do so. He finds himself looking forward to reading their posts. To reveal any more about what is contained in these online secrets would be to spoil this book for those who might want to read it; and you SHOULD want to read it as it is totally enjoyable from beginning to end.
It isn’t deep, and it isn’t profound, it’s just damn good. This one is five ***** stars.
Tom Violet has written a novel. It lies buried in a drawer because he fears it can only pale in comparison to the writing of his dad, Curtis, who has just won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.. Curtis is a notorious womanizer and being currently in between wives has taken up residence, once again, with Tom and his wife, Anna. Tom and Anna have their own set of problems, Tom hates his daily existence in the corporate world. He hates the use of buzzwords, his petty, nagging boss and his meaningless duties as a copywriter for this Washington DC firm. The only things that makes his daily grind bearable are the little workplace pranks he plays on his boss and his “crush” on his young co-worker intern, Katie. His wife, Anna, may or may not be about to have an affair with a wealthy banker who flirts with her at the gym.
Matthew Norman has not only created a clever title for this humorous look at one segment of today’s “modern family”, he has molded characters who feel utterly real throughout this book. I totally enjoyed going to work with Tom each day. The decisions he makes in an attempt to bring his life to some sort of balance may not be the same ones we might make but we can certainly applaud his efforts.
Domestic Violets is one of those books that may not tackle the big problems facing all of us but it does give us a comical and sometimes heart-breaking peek into the world of those around us. I enjoyed this book and gave it four **** stars.
“What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” When the news of Bernie Madoff’s giant Ponzi scheme first broke in December of 2008 the initial concern was for the thousands of investors who had lost millions to this heartless charlatan. Many were convinced that family members, especially sons, Mark and Andy, who worked for the firm, had to have known what was going on with their father and his phony investment fund.
I am convinced that neither son had any pre-knowledge of the scheme. Mark and Andy broke off all relations with their father, and even with their mother, because she refused to abandon her husband. The ramifications rocked their world and as Mark’s wife, Stephanie, so painfully describes in The End of Normal, resulted in Mark committing suicide in December of 2010.
Stephanie Madoff Mack does a great job of bringing to life the ostracism their family endured as a result of Bernie Madoff’s crimes. The couple struggled to find some form of normalcy in their life but without much success. They were jeered and taunted when seen in public. Eventually, it all became too much for her husband and resulting in his taking his life. The End of Normal is a well-written and very sad account of the pain that one man can cause to so many. This was a four **** read.