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The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck
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Rachel Joyce
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Ellen J. Prager
What Alice Forgot - Liane Moriarty I have to say that this is not the kind of book I would choose to read. (I read it for a book club.) I haven't read a chick lit book in the last ten years at least. After I read the first couple of pages of this book, I wanted to put it down. It annoyed me quite a bit while I was reading it and I was thinking it would be 1.5 star material. I rolled my eyes through a lot of it--I've saw one reviewer use the word "hokey." Yes. All the "omg we're so happy" "omg aren't we charming" "omg so in love" "omg super secret finger caresses forever" was just... it didn't do it for me. I am half of a couple that probably comes off like this (I remember a few weeks after Peter moved in, we were talking and Peter was looking at me all adoringly and telling me how smart/funny/awesome/something I was and my best friend/our roommate was like "Take your lips OFF her ass..." loool) and just...shoving it in people's faces over and over and over is just kinda sorta...annoying? Boring? I mean, I get it, they were happy, I didn't 1483830494 bajillion memories of it. And after reading some slam-dunk, awesome, beautifully written books the last couple months (Plague of Doves, Americanah, Garden of the Evening Mists, Octavia Butler's Earthseed books), this one seemed (I'm having a hard time finding the right word)...childish? Insular? Indulgent? The message/moral is really obvious and spelled out in-your-face, no nuance or finesse. It pretty much clobbers you every three paragraphs. The ending is super predictable from page 1 (and I suck at predicting where plots are going, even when I try hard). For a minute I thought she was going to have Alice actually stay with Dominick and I was like, "Wow! Cool! Nick took the train to Garbagetown, after all." But...yeah. And of course it's all up to ~*~Alice~*~ to fix the relationship that fell apart because of Nick anyway, if ~*~Alice~*~ hadn't changed then the all-important ~*~marriage~*~ wouldn't have survived, because relationships are women's reponsibility to fix and stay in always, even when they are unhappy and/or their partners are totally negligent and borderline abusive. ...Which brings me to: there's a lot to critique here from a feminist viewpoint, but I'm really wanting to wrap this book review up.

That being said, I finished it yesterday and it's kind of grown on me since. Almost the entire time I was reading it I was thinking that I couldn't possibly give it two stars because "it's okay" is something I would say about a book that I would recommend and I really wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. But I don't know, it fiddled with my brain a bit and I would probably recommend it to someone looking to read chick lit. Mostly it's fluff, and I feel like it would have gained something by being shorter but it does give you some things to ponder over in the end.

On the plus side, I did like how stay-at-home motherhood is shown to be a valid, important, and difficult life choice.