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At first I hated this book and I almost stopped reading it. The main character is weird and annoying, definitely someone you would make fun of in real life. Then you just start feeling bad for her and all of her social awkwardness. All of a sudden the book has sucked you in and you care for Eleanor and feel terrible about what you thought about her in the beginning. Now I can’t wait for the film to come out (Reese Witherspoon is sure turning into a producing mogul).
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – I was surprised at how much I liked this book. A woman agrees to write a biography for a famous actress. The actress has had seven husbands and while telling her life story to her biographer you learn about each man and the true love of her life. This book gives some great insight into what Hollywood was like throughout a number of decades.
Hillbilly Elegy – A memoir of a man who grew up in Appalachia and blue-collar Ohio to become a Yale Law School graduate. The book describes his tumultuous relationship with his mother. The author credits his grandparents and sister for helping him escape the poverty cycle. The book explains a variety of factors that contribute to the cycle of the working-class poor white population but offers no exact solution. It was interesting to read his take on some behaviors many people take for granted. For example, at a fancy Yale event he sent his water back thinking something was wrong with it, when in fact it was just sparkling water. This book definitely makes you think about the children currently living in extreme poverty and what we can do as a nation to help these children be resilient and succeed in life.
The Identicals – A good last beach read for the summer. Similar to The Parent Trap, identical twins are separated when their parents get divorced. The twins grow up leading very different lives and have not been in touch with one another for some time. When the twins’ father dies, the women have to form a plan to renovate his house, help with their mother’s failing clothing store, and provide guidance to a teenage daughter all while navigating complex relationships of their own.
SKIP The Island House – I would read The Identicals instead. I like the idea of a huge house on a east coast beach where your kids and your “summer children” come every year even into their adulthood. Unfortunately, this story had too many characters with too many stories to really get invested. Plus, some of the story lines are just a tad too unbelievable.
Want more good books to read? Check out what I recommended in August.