Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Books: Two Books

This week I finished two books. The first I'll review is The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (I love the title). This is the story of two brothers whose last name is Sisters. They are in business together... as hit men. This is NOT the type of book I would normally read. I think I heard a report on public radio about it, and it piqued my interest enough to read it.

The story is actually rather readable. It is told in a very down-home, understated way. It's almost funny. The brothers go through some experiences together and do some attitude change as the story goes along (both of them, in different ways). It was nice to see their "evolution," as this is what made them more fully human. People do change; as life goes on people will develop new ideas about their families, how they want to live, and all that... so in that sense it was a good book.

What got to me was that they were hit men. And rather callous about it most of the time. So ... even though their occupation is pretty central to the story line, it is also what caused me to not be thrilled with this book. It wasn't a horrible book, it was even a tad enjoyable, but was not a favorite, so I give it three stars.

The second book is Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai. This is a beautiful kids' book that adults will love, also. It is the story of a Vietnamese family who escape Viet Nam at the end of the war and re-settle in Alabama, USA. The story is told from a young girl's perspective, in beautiful, simple yet deep poetry form. It is a gorgeous book.

The girl experiences many emotional ups and downs (admittedly, a lot more downs) as she tries to adjust to a new, confusing world. My heart broke for her many times. Her own heartache shows in this quote: "No one would believe me, but at times I would choose wartime in Saigon over peactime in Alabama."

Five stars, and this one is added to my list of Favorites.

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