Tag Archives: books

July: Hidden Wives and The Five Love Languages

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I’m back, bitches and not-bitches. Now time to play catch up.

In July, The Girly Book Club read Hidden Wives by Claire Avery. I was so-so on the book, although our group had very polarizing viewpoints. Becky loved the book (and I believe has listed it among her favorites of chosen books), while Ali felt that there was far too much rape. To be fair, she did request a book without any rape. “I’ll read anything, just please no rape, you guys!” Oops.

I thought that the topic of a polygamist colony was interesting, but overdone at this point. Under the Banner of Heaven has been out for years, Romney is running for President, my best friend in high school was Mormon- is Mormonism still a hot-button issue that needs exposure? I also thought the characterization was completely predictable and unrealistic. Rachel (sister of Sara, our protagonist) was so under the spell of the religion that it made sense that she freaked out, but her complete 180 self-actualization in the end was a bit too cathartic for me. Honestly, I would have found the story much more interesting if she had died. I know that sounds harsh, but hear me out. If Rachel had died, then Sara’s reaction after the court case would have been totally justified. It would have also made for a more interesting story if Sara’s anger could be focused on revenge. Like in the show, Revenge. Overall, I give this book a “meh.”

Now, onto the The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts. I liked parts of this book, but I did not finish it. Mostly because I didn’t want to because I wanted to read other things. I did really like the idea that humans communicate and receive love in different ways. It gave me perspective on members of family and friends. Other than that, I think the book is directed at couples who are married. I couldn’t utilize a lot of the information in my daily life. This may be because I am an embittered single woman in my late-twenties, but I digress. I recommend this book to married couples everywhere who don’t feel like reading something else.

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Up Next…

We selected two books for our July meeting: a novel and a self-help book.

The novel: Hidden Wives by Claire Avery

Amazon says: 

Fifteen-year-old Sara and her beautiful sister, Rachel, are too young to legally drive a car—but are approaching spinsterhood in Utah’s secret polygamist Blood of the Lamb community. Having long since reached the “age of preparedness,” they will soon be married off to much older men chosen by the hidden sect’s revered Prophet.

As Sara, chosen to become her uncle’s fifth wife, grows more distraught over her impending incestuous marriage, she begins to scrutinize the faith she has followed blindly her entire life. But for Rachel, who will be married to one of the many powerful community leaders vying for her hand, disobeying the Prophet means eternal damnation. Her friendship with the newest member of the community, the young and handsome Luke, starts as an attempt to save his agnostic soul, but ends with the pair falling helplessly in love. When Rachel is forbidden to see him, her absolute faith in the Prophet is severely tested.

When Rachel’s future husband is finally announced, violence erupts, and the girls must find the strength to escape the only life they have ever know…before it’s too late.

Claire Avery has woven a stunning tale that could be ripped from today’s headlines. Shocking and empowering, Hidden Wives is a page-turning debut that will stay with the reader. [http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Wives-Claire-Avery/dp/0765326892]

The book: We also decided that we would read a section from The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts. This will be the first meeting where we’re reading something nonfiction and two at once. We’re reading Chapters 1-3 for our July meeting.

Amazon says: 

The secret to love that lasts!  “How do we meet each other’s deep emotional need to feel loved? If we can learn that and choose to do it, then the love we share will be exciting beyond anything we ever felt when we were infatuated.” —Dr. Gary Chapman.  Dr. Gary Chapman’s international bestseller has brought back or intensified the love in millions of marriages by revealing the five distinct languages we all use to express love: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.  Couples who understand each other’s love language hold a priceless advantage in the quest for love that lasts a lifetime— they know how to effectively and consistently make each other feel truly and deeply loved. [http://www.amazon.com/The-Five-Love-Languages-Secret/dp/1589269063]

Happy reading!

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June: The Magicians

I did not finish this book. I did not come close to finishing this book.

I mentioned before about how our group (particularly me) did not want to get stuck reading one particular genre just because we all liked it. One of our newest members suggested we read The Magicians, a fantasy book about twenty-somethings who attend a school for magic. She made the sell by saying, “It’s like Harry Potter goes to college. A darker Harry Potter.” And I’ll admit that there definitely was an element of that. There was even a quick quidditch joke, which I enjoyed.

My problem with this book was that it was so goddamn slow! I’m all about books that are heavy on exposition, but a book with no conflict until page 300 out 400 is not enough for me. Sure, there were mini-conflicts throughout the book, but none were significant enough to keep me interested. There was no central conflict introduced until the very end, as @No_Yes_NOYES, one of our members, explained to us during the meeting.

This book club meeting was drastically different than other meetings. Not a single person, even @No_Yes_NOYES, the one who actually liked the book, did not finish it. Ali had read the most, so it was her job to explain what had happened as far as she had read. We actually had a really interesting discussion because so many of us did not enjoy different parts of the book. The biggest complaint was that Quentin (protagonist) was not a relatable character. The author kept Quentin at a distance from the readers, even though he was our main guy to follow around. I never understood or related to his motivations for doing things, and thus never quite aligned with him throughout the book.

The way @No_Yes_NOYES described the rest of the book was actually quite interesting, although she even said that it may not be worth it to read the rest of the book because there was SO MUCH explanation. She actually just finished the book and was telling me everything that happens at the end, and as stated in her email, “SHIT GOES DOWN.” I’m not sure it’s enough for me to actually finish the book [spolier: someone’s hands get EATEN], but the end sounded a hell of a lot more interesting than the bit that I read.

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