Twitterature // June 2014

Whilst in between classic novels, I’ve indulged in a few lighter reads; here are a few tweet-sized book reviews (okay, I’ve gotten a bit wordy this month, so they’re little longer than 140 characters!).

Parnassus_COVERweb  bridge-to-haven  labor day

Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley – the protagonist of this novel is rather charmless, but her counterpart, Roger Mifflin, is a delightful, chummy soul.  I’d like to have a pint of beer with him in a cozy pub and be regaled by one of his thousand stories.  This is a quick and breezy book (I finished it in half a day, whilst caring for my little ones) with an admittedly weak plot about book-loving booksellers and their gentle adventures.

Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers – this felt like a mash-up of Francine Rivers’s previous novels: the sexual promiscuity of Redeeming Love, the gifted and handsome builder from And The Shofar Blew and the penniless girl who happens upon work in a diner from The Atonement Child.  You get the idea.  The stale plot combined with surprisingly lackluster writing (lots of the pastor walked here, the pastor said hello, the pastor sat down, the pastor sipped his Coke, etc.) made for an unsatisfying read.

Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today’s Best Women Writers edited by Eleanor Henderson and Anna Solomon – I love hearing birth stories, and I love reading them just as much, so when I saw this book perched on a library shelf I just couldn’t resist. The contributors are mostly novelists, so the stories are well-written with delightful snippets like: “If joy is the conclusion of birth, pain is the plot” and “In my personal pregnancy mythology, an epidural would be a disgrace, a C-section a tragedy of Greek proportions.”  Love it!  That being said, the contributors all seem to be rather left-wing, so there’s also the lesbian deconstructing the myth than men are needed to make a child, etc.  If you’re looking for an absorbing collection of birth stories, I’d recommend Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent or The Midwife by Jennifer Worth instead.


Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges – a brave but untried knight is sent by the Faerie Queene to fight a grim and horrible dragon that is laying waste to the land.     The language in this book is vibrant and beautiful (“Gathering himself up, wild for revenge, he fiercely fell upon the sunbright shield and gripped it fast with his paw”), as is the wonderful tale of good triumphing over evil.  As an added bonus, the illustrations are spectacular, among the most striking I’ve come across in children’s literature.  Highly recommended, especially for 4-8 year old boys.

I’m linking up with Anne at The Modern Mrs. Darcy today; head on over to her blog to find more itty-bitty book reviews!


10 thoughts on “Twitterature // June 2014

  1. Anne says:

    First time reader, over from Twitterature link up. First, what a lovely, striking header! Really liked your short but well-written reviews. You reminded me I’ve read Baby Catcher! That was such a delightful book.

  2. Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy says:

    I’m putting Saint George and the Dragon on my reading list! And that baby stories book sounds like such an interesting compilation. I’ve only read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, and your review here doesn’t make me want to read anymore of her stuff…

    Thanks for sharing your books!

    • arendadehaan says:

      Thanks Anne!
      It’s more Francine Rivers’s newer books that I find disappointing; I love some of her older novels and wouldn’t want to put you off them entirely. The Mark of the Lion series, for example, I’ve re-read 20+ times (it was a favourite back in high school); The Scarlet Thread and The Last Sin-Eater are good reads, too.

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