Monday, June 26, 2017

Book Review: The Heirs

The Heirs by Susan Rieger

the heirs

I am torn about my feelings about The Heirs by Susan Rieger. The writing is exceptional. There were multiple times I reread lines because they were so full of meaning. Rieger expresses common ideas in a new way – a way that makes you nod your head in agreement.

Yet, while I loved the writing style, I am conflicted about the overall plot and characters. Generally, my favorite reads are family dramas – modern versions of Anna Karenina. And, this is what this novel sets out to do. What may have persuaded me to read this book was the comparison on the book jacket made to Edith Wharton – another all time favorite writer of mine. However, maybe this comparison was too much and set me up to be a little disappointed.

Rather than reading like a family drama, it reads more like an in-depth character analysis as each chapter focuses on one of the family members (or someone closely related). The chapters move seamlessly back and forth through time, and readers get a glimpse into the true behavior and feelings of the Five Famous, Fierce, Forceful, Faithful, Fabled, Fortunate, Fearless Falkeses.

I thoroughly enjoyed the way Rieger focused on developing the characters rather than just writing a drama-soaked plot. And, their family is intriguing. I wanted to learn more about them.

My main concern is that the characters are terribly flawed – so much so that I had a hard time liking any of them. At the end, I was disappointed in most of the main characters. I wanted so badly to root for someone, but I was ultimately saddened by how these characters seem to only love themselves and their family. Everyone who is not a Falkes is easily discarded.

What was a beautifully written and moving novel left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. I want to believe people are better than the Falkes. But, at the same time, their weaknesses and fallacies are common – as symbolic patterns surface throughout. Stubbornness, pride, and entitlement are things that we ignore or look past, but when a writer as talented as Rieger forces them into our viewpoint, we can no longer pretend these things are benign.

For more information, please see:

·         More Info
·         Author Bio

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

If You Have Lego Fans In Your Home, You Need These Books

Introducing the BRICK Series

I am one of those people who will do whatever it takes to get my kids to read. Take this a step further, and I will do anything I can to get them to read the classics. As a teacher, I fully believed in allowing students to read material or view material in other mediums (films, graphic novels, etc.) to help their overall appreciation for the text. (I’m such a rebel – ha!)

Just learning about Macbeth's witches
Totally normal to see this in our home

I was thrilled to come across the BRICK series. Essentially these books are comic versions of classic stories told using Legos, creative photography, and storytelling. Lo and behold, as soon as my son saw these in our home, he grabbed hold of them. So, I just kept adding to our stack. The kids are drawn to the bright pictures and ask questions about what they are “reading.” It makes me very happy to answer questions about Macbeth to my little ones. (Once a teacher, always a teacher.)

* I do need to point out that these books are not all intended for children. Apparently, some people have mistakenly purchased the Bible thinking it would be a Children’s Bible. Its Lego pictures depict the more graphic scenes in the Bible, so use your own discretion. My husband and I are fine with it as we think it will open doors to difficult, but necessary conversations about truth and interpretation. However, the creators of the BRICK Bible did take note of parent’s complaints and have released a smaller less graphic one – The BRICK Bible for Children. *

Brick Shakespeare

Brick Greek Myths

Brick Shakespeare

Brick Fairy Tales

Brick Bible

Brick Bible for Kids

If you like the idea of your elementary children knowing Shakespeare and mythology, these are fun books to add to your collection.

* You may order all these books from amazon by clicking the links or simply clicking the picture. These are affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog!