My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Wow - Ken Follett sure likes to test our commitment to a book. The sheer heft of his books are one thing that entices me since I know I will be in store for a good, long read. Such is the case with Winter of the World which follows Fall of Giants in tracking members of five families and their experiences during the World War II time period. I love the device of experiencing history through the lives of characters who we can track over the years and Follett is fastidious in his historical research and in drawing very appealing characters (even the ones you don't like!) What I don't like is waiting until next year for book #3!
Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I run a little hot and cold on Jodi Picoult's books and my reaction to Lone Wolf was similar. I fell in love with the wolf narrative - and was completely enthralled by Luke, the "wolf whisperer" who serves as the lightning rod for the book's commentary on how quality of life factors into end of life decisions, along with diverse opionions held by loved ones making such decisions. What was more difficult for me was buying into the plotline of Cara's (Luke's daughter) enlistment of her own attorney to represent her point of view. I guess it's possible but I just couldn't see myself or any other 17-year-old I know taking these steps. That felt a bit contrived to me as did the organ donation messages sprinkled throughout the book - almost like Jodi wanted to be sure we were being educated as well as enthralled by the book. In the end, I am glad I read Lone Wolf, if for no other reason to learn more about these magnificent animals.
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