HRO Orange 2013

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HRO Orange 2013

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1Her_Royal_Orangeness
Jul. 18, 2013, 12:34pm


"Bessie" - the bronze sculpture awarded to the Orange Prize winner

I've neglected this group all year...so sorry! Here's a quick catch-up of my Orange reads in 2013 as well as my tracking for the remainder of the year.

What my ratings mean: 5=Loved it! 4=Really liked it 3=Liked it 2=It was ok 1=Didn't like it (DNF=Did Not Finish). A half star means it didn't quite make it to the next full star.

And some helpful abbreviations: W = Winner SL = Shortlist LL = Longlist NW = New Writer Award

2Her_Royal_Orangeness
Bearbeitet: Jul. 18, 2013, 2:13pm

JANUARY

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (2012 LL) 4 Stars
The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas (2008 LL) 3.5 Stars
Case Histories by Kate Atkinson (2005 LL) 3.5 Stars
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (2011 LL) 3.5 Stars

by Orange authors
The Beautiful Indifference by Sarah Hall 3.5 Stars


FEBRUARY

by Orange authors
Haweswater by Sarah Hall 4.5 Stars
St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell 4.5 Stars
The Knot by Jane Borodale 4.5 Stars
One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson 4 Stars


MARCH

by Orange authors
When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson 3.5 Stars


MAY

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (2013 SL) 5 Stars
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (2013 LL) 3.5 Stars

by Orange authors
Started Early Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson 4 Stars
Like by Ali Smith 3 Stars
The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith 2.5 Stars


JUNE

The Birth of Love by Joanna Kavenna (2011 LL) 3.5 Stars
The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox (1999 LL) 3 Stars

by Orange authors
The Rapture by Liz Jensen 3.5 Stars

3Her_Royal_Orangeness
Bearbeitet: Jul. 18, 2013, 1:12pm

JULY



The Innocents by Francesca Segal
2013 LL
Rating: 2.5 Stars

Brief summary: In her debut novel, Francesca Segal recasts Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence with a story of a love triangle between a man, his fiance, and her cousin.

My thoughts:
My problem with this book was a weird one. I found the setting - an ultra-conservative Jewish community in northwest London - unbelievable. It seemed more like the 1950s than the present day. Are people really still like that? I didn’t understand the character’s actions or motivations, I found the writing dry and the dialogue stilted, and some plot points felt forced in an effort to mimic Wharton’s novel.

4Her_Royal_Orangeness
Bearbeitet: Jul. 18, 2013, 1:14pm

JULY



Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris
2002 LL
Rating: 2.5 Stars

Brief summary: An elderly woman returns to the village where she grew up. She deals with her memories of an event that happened during WW2 when the Germans occupied the village and learns more about her tragic mother.

My thoughts:
Unlikeable characters. Verbose writing style. Slow pacing. I really struggled to read this book and found it far lacking in comparison to Chocolat.

5Her_Royal_Orangeness
Bearbeitet: Jul. 20, 2013, 10:31am

JULY

Orange author: Liz Jensen


The Ninth Life of Louis Drax by Liz Jensen
Rating: 4 Stars

Brief summary: While on a picnic outing with his parents, nine year old Louis Drax suffers a tragic accident and the injuries he sustains cause him to fall into a coma. His father, accused of committing the crime, has gone missing. The police and Louis’ physician work to solve the mystery, and dark truths about Louis’ life are revealed.

My thoughts:
The character voices! The way the book is constructed! The plot twists! The suspense! I was so utterly enthralled by this novel and the author’s talent. The denouement was perhaps a bit predictable (at least, I wasn’t totally shocked) but how the author got there? Mind blown.

6rainpebble
Jul. 20, 2013, 3:35am

WOW! Isn't it fun how all of us are so different in our loves, likes, & dislikes of the same books. I loved Five Quarters of the Orange and it was a 4 star read for me whereas I found Chocolat worthy of only 2 1/2 stars. So interesting.
Nice to see your thread here HRO & I have you starred.
:-)

7Her_Royal_Orangeness
Jul. 20, 2013, 10:35am

Which did you read first - Five Quarters or Chocolat? I wonder if that makes a difference in your impression because in many ways the books are similar, and that lack of originality bugged me. And I felt there was a philosophical/psychological depth to Chocolat that was missing in Five Quarters.

8rainpebble
Jul. 20, 2013, 10:45am

I read both in October of 2011. Chocolat on the 11th & Five Quarters of the Orange on the 13th. I may have to go back and reread them before I read Peaches for Father Francis to see how I missed that or if I even pick up on it. Thanks.

9Nickelini
Aug. 27, 2013, 4:43pm

I like your thoughts on Five Quarters of an Orange. I rated it higher when I read it a few years ago, but my memories of it are negative. I'm not in any hurry to read anything else by this author.

10avatiakh
Sept. 5, 2013, 1:45am

While I didn't particularly enjoy The Innocents by Francesca Segal, I have to say that the Orthodox Jewish families do live like this. Naomi Alderman's Disobedience has a similar setting.

I haven't read anything by Joanne Harris though I have a couple of her books gathering dust on my shelves.

You have caught me with The Ninth Life of Louis Drax by Liz Jensen, I'm noting that one for a future read.