Sunday, February 15, 2009

Thirteenth Tale

I did vote for the book, as I really liked the excerpt on the back of the book. It started out slower than I expected and I didn't care for the beginning, but about a third of the way through I liked it very much and couldn't read it fast enough! I wanted to gather many details, to talk about in the book club, to connect to, so the first third of the book is filled with sticky notes, however, I was so into reading and enjoying the story that there aren't any sticky notes in the latter chapters.
I agreed with others in that Margaret was plain and uninteresting, but Vida was full of eccentricities that kept her interesting. I felt they were both important to the story for those purposes, to be the opposite of the other character.
Some things I "sticky-noted" because I thought were interesting or I related to:
  • Although I didn't like Margaret as a main character, I related to her love of reading (which led me to wonder if I'd like myself as a main character in a book!) On pg. 4 she describes being so into a book that she falls ("Reading can be dangerous." Which later links to the furnace story, and the books in the fire Adeline least in my mind...) I often lose myself, my concept of time and space when reading, also.
  • Again, on page 10, I can relate to reading and not even coming out of the book for food or drink, or distraction outside of the book's realm. I also liked her description of the autumn day with mist and rain. I always appreciate descriptions like that of weather, or surroundings that you can almost feel as you read. On pg 36 the sky is described as gauzy and white, getting darker, with thicker clouds-which really describes a winter sky perfectly, and gave me the same feeling.
  • As a reader who didn't care for Margret's bland-ness, I wondered, too, "why Vida would pick" her to be the biographer-pg 11
  • Page 17 made me consider (for the upteenth time) writing a journal myself, because she states that our flesh, our lives die, but our words live on for people after us... and I thought of my family who may someday wonder about our lives (no matter how bland they may be.)
  • On pg 23 I got a shiver when Margret talked about the blackness, the cold and pressing her cheek to the glass to have her cheek pressed against her sister's. I found her link to her sister almost as odd, hard for me to understand I should say, as her mother's disregard for her due to her sister's death. They were parallel in their grief for the loss of the sister, but displayed it, held that loss close, in different ways.
  • I also related to Margret when she talked about the books she read and liked to read. I find myself getting into similar patterns. And then I am surprised when someone gives me a book, or I choose to branch out and I like a book of a different genre or topic. Then I want to devour all books by that author, like Margret did with Vida's books.
  • I liked Vida's description of our life's experiences being like organic mulch, they make us who we are as they are meshed together... I really liked that.
  • Margret's writing technique after hearing the story was very interesting...
  • I liked the chapter named The Eye in the Ewe.. it made me think the I in the You several times in my mind, wondering if there was a connection.
  • I knew there must be another sister, but I thought she was a triplet separated from the twins, from the time Hester saw them in the field, but Adeline had been at the doctor's home the whole time.
  • I was intrigued by the "supporting characters" such as Judith and the Dr at Vida's home. They were integral in the Winters twins' lives in the end, but they are rarely seen. Their presence is felt, but not often seen.
  • I appreciated another reviewer's take on the relationship between Adeline and Emiline being just like their parents'.
Over all I really liked the book. There were some hard-to-swallow situations, but I did end up liking the books and character development.


N.Vasillis said...

I'm glad you liked the book. I noticed we have a lot of the same passages post-marked.

ReadingTub said...

Like you, I liked Margaret's love for reading. Her descriptions of the process and how it affects you are perfect. Your question about "what kind of main character would I make" is interesting. Very cool ...