"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Review and quotes: FIFTY WORDS FOR RAIN


Title:
Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie

Book Beginnings quote: 

(Kyoto, Japan. Summer 1950) It came quickly, the pain. It arrived with startling fanfare. Nothing could stop it once it had set on its morbid path.

Friday56 quote: 

"Well, yes. Yes, we are. But I'm not...I'm not supposed to be here. She told me that I couldn't talk to you unless you talked to me first and...well...you didn't. And I'm not allowed to leave my room without permission."

Summary: In 1948 Nori's mother drops her off at the home of grandparents she has never met with these words of advice: "Do not question. Do not fight. Do not resist." That is the last time Nori sees her mother. In her grandparents' home Nori is confined to her bedroom in the attic unless she is let out to take a bath of acid designed to lighten her skin, skin too dark according to Japanese standards because of her African American father. Her grandparents worry that if anyone knows about Nori's existence it will be a stain on their royal Japanese pedigree. Nori is obedient to a fault. Though lonely she still has an active and curious mind. When her half-brother, Akira, moves onto the estate Nori takes a rare opportunity to speak to him even though it is forbidden. In Akira she finds an ally and a friend. The story spans decades and takes place on several continents. It is a story about human connections and the ties that bind us together and break us apart.

Review: I am torn in half as I analyze Fifty Words For Rain. Half of me was completely swept up in this historical saga of Japan as it emerges from its old empire and the lives that are made or destroyed by it. Yet, I wanted more---the details that would make the setting come alive and the motivations of the characters more understandable. And I also want to love/like at least some of the characters at least most of the time but often the characters, especially Nori, would disappoint. In fact, the ending was maddeningly unexpected and awful. Either the author was setting us up for a sequel or just wanted to shock the readers. Either way, I was unsatisfied. 

Fifty Words for Rain is a book club selection and I suspect that we will have a fairly good discussion about the book, especially if one of our members attends. She lived in Japan for a few years and taught Japanese language at the high school level. I'm curious what she will think of the book and how her perspective will help me cope with the bits of the story that I found so distressing. Though not a personal favorite I find myself agreeing with the reviewer from Publisher's Weekly, "Lemmie’s heartbreaking story of familial obligations packs an emotional wallop." I did find myself wiping away tears several times as the story unfolded. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from current book.
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e Friday56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56 to share. 

Visit these two websites to participate. Click on links to read quotes from books other people are reading. It is a great way to make blog friends and to get suggestions for new reading material.   
 

-Anne

18 comments:

  1. That's good that there is a lot to discuss at least. It does sound depressing. I hope it doesn't have too many pages.

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    1. It was over 350 pages. I kept wondering whose suggestion is was that we read it. We sometimes pick with so little discussion and other times we deliberate for a long time on one choice.

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  2. I haven't heard much about this one. Enjoy your current read. :-)

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  3. Wow, the book sounds like it could have been powerful. Too bad about the disappointing aspects. I love the title!

    Here's mine: “TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE”

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    1. I wish I remembered where the title came from. I don't recall it from the text.

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  4. I think I will be adding this to my tbr. Thanks for introducing me.

    Lauren @ Always Me

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  5. I'm enamored by the Japanese aspect to it. Sorry to hear it was just an ok read for you. Happy weekend!

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    1. Perhaps the discussion will elevate my opinion of the book. It has simmered well in my mind since I finished it.

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  6. I've not heard of this one. I am sorry it was just an ok read for you. I hate when that happens.

    Have a great reading weekend!

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  7. It's always a bummer when a book is a bit of a disappointment. Sounds like it'll bring up some great discussions though. Thanks for sharing! Hope you have an awesome weekend! :)

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  8. I heard of this book a while back, but then it seemed to be forgotten.

    I guess that's why. Shame really, it sounds so interesting!

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  9. I think I would like this one. I do like books set in this time era.

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  10. Sometimes the best book discussions are about books readers have mixed feelings about. I love the sound of this one, but your comments about it are disappointing,especially in regards to the ending. I won't rush to read this if I do pick it up.

    Have a great weekend!

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  11. In theory this one sounds really good, but then you're so disappointed in it. Bummer!

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  12. This sounds like such a promising premise and I'm tempted to give it a try. Sorry you were so torn... bet the discussion will be(was?) interesting though.

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  13. Thanks for the report on this one. I'm a bit on the fence about it though I like the Japanese setting. Sometimes endings done poorly can really ruin the entire experience.

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