Triple Play: Jane Eyre, The Secret History, and The City of Masks’s

I have actually been reading books, just not blogging about them.  So, what I have on my hands now is a pile-up.  I figured I’d knock these three out in one punch,  quickly, with little short mini-reviews.  Don’t be mad, but I really am short changing Jane Eyre here.  I really liked it, I just don’t have alot to say about it.  Perphaps I’m still traumatized from my Rum Diary drama. (scroll down to a few posts ago). 

 Jane Eyre (Signet Classics)

Until the age of 10, Jane Eyre grew up with her abusive aunt and cousins. She was then sent to Lowood where the conditions were unlivable. It wasn’t until Jane turned 18 that she saw hope in her future as a governess for a French coquette. When Jane arrives at Thornfield, her world is completely changed: amidst a mystery of the house and a friendship with the matron of the house, Jane finds herself in love with the master of the house. Thornfield promises to change her life forever.

What I liked: –  I loved the way it was told, as though Jane were writing her life story, just for us.  The way she addressed me as “Dear Reader.”  I liked her optimism and passion.  I loved her insights. 

“Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags” (Chapter 12).  Jane thinks this as she looks out of the third story at the view from Thornfield, wishing she could see and interact with more of the world.

 My favorite part of the book was when Jane flees from the room where Mr. Rochester is entertaining several ladies and he dashes out to meet her in the hallway.  He confronts her and asks whats wrong and then she procedes to get a little weepy, he is concerned and then tells her he expects to see her every night in the drawing-room.  Thus a sort of quiet proclamation of feelings exchange between the two of them.  Very romantic.

What I didn’t like: – Not much.  I wasn’t in the mood for a classic, so it took me 2 and a half weeks to read, which is CRAZY.  Superficial me wishes Rochester could have been more handsome. 

Recommend? – YES!!  A must read I think for all peeps. 

The Secret History

Narrator Richard Papen comes from a lower-class family and a loveless California home to the “hermetic, overheated atmosphere” of Vermont’s Hampden College. Almost too easily, he is accepted into a clique of five socially sophisticated students who study Classics with an idiosyncratic, morally fraudulent professor. Despite their demanding curriculum (they quote Greek classics to each other at every opportunity) the friends spend most of their time drinking and taking pills. Finally they reveal to Richard that they accidentally killed a man during a bacchanalian frenzy; when one of their number seems ready to spill the secret, the group–now including Richard–must kill him, too.  Publisher’s Weekly.

What I liked: – The whole premise of this book was very intriguing.  A cult like Greek class, an accidental murder and then a planned one.  Should make for good reading anyday.  I liked the cast of characters, all every unique and well drawn out.  I liked the first half of the book which kept me suspense.

What I didn’t like: – The second half of the book.  After the second murder, the characters all seemed to have emotional breakdowns of one sort or another, rightly so, but it dragged on too long and by the end I was so worn down I really didn’t care what happened to any of them. 

Recommend?  Yes, and no.  It was interesting and suspenseful so if you have the gumption then go for it.

A Cree Black Novel

From Publishers Weekly
Hecht’s New Age ghost story introduces Cree Black, a psychologist of renown transformed years ago into a hyper-empathic ghostbuster by a spectral visit from her beloved husband. Lured from her upscale Seattle offices to a spirit-infested mansion in the heart of decadent New Orleans, she immediately identifies with the haunted socialite Lila Beauforte.

What I liked:  The local food references made me drool, (God what I wouldn’t do for a roast beef po-boy right now). The little romance between Cree and the shrink was kinda fun.

What I didn’t Like:  Sometimes when authors try to write as the opposite sex, they pull it off brilliantly (think, Memoirs of a Geisha), and other times it just BOMBS.  KABLAM!!!! This was one of those times.  Mr. Hecht should not be trying to write from the female perspective, and the fact that this is the first book in a series is just very unfortunate for him.  Maybe he could give her a sex change or something.  Also, this book was all filler.  A little plot and all filler.  The suspenseful moments were far too sparse, the mystery was easy to figure out, and there was not enough sex.  So there.  Good thing I only paid a buck for this book.

Recommend?  What do you think?!!!!

Next up, my thoughts on

Look at Me – Jennifer Egan

The Reading Group – Elizabeth Noble

A Thousand Acres – Jane Smiley


6 Responses to “Triple Play: Jane Eyre, The Secret History, and The City of Masks’s”

  1. Nice reviews… succinct, to the point. Good stuff. 🙂

  2. ^Hey Thanks! My confidence is slowly building back up.

  3. I get so behind on my book reviews too. I just get so busy reading books 🙂
    I would say stay away from the Reading Group book.

  4. Jeannine Says:

    I agree about the City of Masks. I loved the ref. to food and places i have been. I was surprised when he mentioned Port Suplher.
    I am now reading The Fi ngersmith. I am having a hard time getting into it. I would appreciate any suggestions on if I should quit it keep reading?

  5. Jeannine – Oh, I loved it. Keep going!

    Iliiana – too late on The Reading Group…

  6. Jane Eyre is a favorite of mine.

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