Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sisters and Friends

Before I read (or finished) Lord of the Flies, I had to read Henry's Sisters by Cathy Lamb for our book club. And that was quite an interesting book that dealt with a lot of different issues. Overall, I liked it a lot, the voice was great and the author kept me interested the whole way through. It's about a dysfunctional family, one with a single mother and four kids. There are three girls and one boy, Isabelle, Janie, Cecelia, and Henry. Henry is mentally disabled and has always been the one favored by their mother. After their father left, the Bommarito family is left in a financial crisis and their lives growing up had been very difficult. But now, years later, Isabelle and Janie are asked to return to their home (Cecelia never left) because their mother needs open heart surgery, and they need to help out with Henry and their grandmother (who believes she is Amelia Earhart). They return, bringing back all the memories from their childhood and leave them trying to figure out their place in the world. It's a great exploration of mental handicaps and relationships in families.

Like I said, I liked this book because of the voice (it's told from Isabelle's point of view) and how it kept me reading. I also kind of liked how it started out, it was some what of a shocking image. The book starts out with Isabelle burning her bra, which you later learn that is something that she does quite often. I like the effect of starting out this way because you think "Woah. Now how is this going to continue?" It really gets you interested in the story, and I liked that a lot.

I also finished Lord of the Flies, which is quite an interesting book. I originally read it because of Beauty Queens because I heard that it was loosely based on Lord of the Flies. So I read it, and I can see how Beauty Queens relates to Lord of the Flies. It's not quite the same...the girls don't get quite as savage and evil as the boys, but it was still a similar plot line. And they are both very good reads.

Lord of the Flies is about a group of British school boys that crash land on an island, and how they survive. They start out very civilized, going by rules, appointing a chief, etc, etc. Everything is fine at first, since everyone wants the same thing. To be rescued. But soon people start letting their instincts take over, becoming more and more savage, resorting to actually killing other human beings to "survive." Soon the boys descend into absolute chaos, and you wonder who is going to survive and who isn't.

I think this book is a very good look at human nature, and how we all have an evil part of us. Our society tries to mask our evil tendencies, but deep down, they're really all there. At least, I think that this is the point that Golding is trying to get across. I would have to disagree with him, because I don't think we're all essentially evil. Yes, we all have bad parts of us, but to say that deep down all we all are essentially evil, I don't think that's right. Maybe it's a little optimistic...but I would like to think it's true. Anyway...I guess that's all for now. Next, I will be reading iBoy by Kevin Brooks, which should be interesting because I read something by him that I absolutely hated.

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