Tag Archives: worst books

Win The Good Daughters

If you loved reading Labor Day by Joyce Maynard, you may want to try to win yourself a copy of her new novel The Good Daughters.   Thanks to Harper Collins, we’re giving away a copy to a lucky reader!   Here’s the official synopsis of the story:

They were born on the same day, in the same small New Hampshire hospital, into families that could hardly have been less alike.   Ruth Plank is an artist and a romantic with a rich, passionate, imaginative life.   The last of five girls born to a gentle, caring farmer and his stolid wife, she yearns to soar beyond the confines of the land that has been her family’s birthright for generations.

Dana Dickerson is a scientist and realist whose faith is firmly planted in the natural world.   Raised by a pair of capricious drifters who wasted their lives on failed dreams, she longs for stability and rootedness.

Different in nearly every way, Ruth and Dana share a need to make sense of who they are and to find their places in a world in which neither has truly felt she belonged.   They also share a love for Dana’s wild and beautiful older brother, Ray, who will leave an indelible mark on both their hearts.

Told in the alternating voices of Ruth and Dana, The Good Daughters follows these “birthday sisters” as they make their way from the 1950s to the present.   Master storyteller Joyce Maynard chronicles the unlikely ways the two women’s lives parallel and intersect – from childhood and adolescence to first loves, first sex, marriage, and parenthood; from the deaths of parents to divorce, the loss of home, and the loss of a beloved partner – until past secrets and forgotten memories unexpectedly come to light, forcing them to reevaluate themselves and each other.

Joy Topping of The Dallas Morning News wrote a review of The Good Daughters in which she stated the following:

“The author’s deft and delicate touch as she plumbs the depths of her characters’ psyches is what will keep readers pinned to the page.   It’s like a conversation with  friends about whose lives you crave every detail, simply because they are so dear to you…  Maynard’s simple language gorgeously interprets the book’s themes…  In Maynard’s gifted hands, every sentence and step seems organic, as if she were just keenly observing these (two) women and taking richly detailed notes on their lives.”

Interested?   The Good Daughters is published by William Morrow, runs 288 pages and has a value of $24.99.   In order to enter this contest, you simply need to post a message below with your name and e-mail address included or send an e-mail with this information to Josephsreviews@gmail.com .   This will count as your first entry.   In order to enter a second time, tell us what the best or worst book is that you’ve read during 2010.   (Munchy will be as curious as a cat to read your answers!)

You have until midnight PST on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 to submit your entry or entries.   In order to be eligible to enter this contest, you must live in the continental United States and have a residential mailing address.   Books will not be shipped to a P.O. box or a business-related address.  As always, the winner’s name will be randomly drawn by Munchy.

This is it for the rules.   Good luck and good reading!

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Corked

Corked by Kathryn Borel (Grand Central Publishing, $23.99, 262 pages)

Katherine Borel has cobbled together a crass, in-your-face, self-indulgent account of her fifteen-day trek with her father across France.   Borel flits back and forth between recollections of past incidents, which feed into her need to connect with her father before time gets past her, and this seemingly epic journey.   Phillipe Borel, an aging hotelier, comes off as highly opinionated and not the least shy about meting out criticism to anyone who has the misfortune of serving him.

“We forgot to shut the window before falling asleep and had allowed a swarm of robust northern France mosquitos to enter and do their bidding.”

Corked reads like a frantic TV sitcom with a bad laugh track.   The reader is held hostage while belly button lint smelling is interspersed with nearly poetic descriptions of wine and grapes.   Oh, and did I mention that father Phillipe barfs his way through the first one hundred pages?   Borel delights in describing his actions in nauseating detail.

Alas, these characters are too well-developed for this reviewer’s taste.   A bit more continuity and a bit less trying too hard to be very, very cool might have helped.   Borel may need to connect with her father, but the reader needs a strong stomach to get to what good parts this book may contain.

Reviewed by Ruta Arellano.   Reprinted courtesy of Sacramento Book Review.

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