Curse of the Spellmans – Lisa Lutz

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Curse-LutzWe mostly liked this book.  People found it amusing and the wackiness of the character entertaining.  Yes, there were some annoying aspects to it — the footnotes were particularly irritating and a few of us were confused by references to characters and episodes from the previous book.  But on the whole, the group enjoyed this and some even went on to read others in the series.

Joan led the group through a list of very silly questions and the bottom line was that we decided Henry put up with the Spellman nonsense because he wanted a little crazy in his life.  Some of us weren’t so sure WE would want that craziness.

Isabel Spellman is described elsewhere as “sassy” but some found her to be immature, socially inept, and not terribly likeable. Rae, her significantly younger sister, seems to have it together better than Isabel.

The book did lead to an interesting discussion about some of the crazy antics of the characters.

Favorites were Morty, Milo, Rae, and Henry. 

Least favorite characters were Izzy, Bernie, Rae, Milo and Petra.

 

3 stars

The Water’s Lovely – Ruth Rendell

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The_Waters_Lovely-200x312Wow, another book that went over like a lead balloon. Joan didn’t attend the meeting, so this is Pam’s report, as told to Joan.

Nobody really liked this book, but everyone sure had a lot to talk about!  The group found the characters really unlikable and the mystery was not compelling.

Joan did liked how the different plot lines were woven together and then the characters all became interconnected.

Favorite characters: Heather, because she was so straightforward and grounded.  Joan liked the relationship between her and Edmund.  Others like Fowler and Marion. 

Least favorite – Andrew, almost unanimously.  Ivan, the mother-in-law, Ismay, Marion with her schemes and skipping (Joan wanted to slap her SO MANY TIMES!).

The contrast between Ismay and Eve was interesting.  Eve was portrayed as so frail, helpless, and entitled, but in many ways, Ismay was exactly the same way, except for the entitled part. She was nothing without Andrew and convinced that Heather had done what she did to protect her.

The rest of the characters were just kind of sad and pathetic. Barry with his India stuff, the mom and her dementia and ranting, Pamela and her desperation.  So many of the characters were just nasty and their psychological issues were disturbing.

1.25