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Nick Hornby
In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
Erik Larson
Heavenly Hydrangeas: A Practical Guide for the Home Gardener
Joan Harrison
The Uninvited Guests
Sadie Jones
Bad Marie - Marcy Dermansky Marie is one of those people who go through life taking whatever they want, with no thought about the consquences. She has no conscience, no sense of right or wrong. While this makes for interesting reading, it does not make a likable character. Part of what's missing in Dermansky's book is the presence of anyone who's likable. No, a character doesn't have to be likable, but they need you to want to connect with them some way. Marie, no. More later. Ellen, no. Why did Ellen let her "friend" fresh out of prison take on the job of nanny for her baby ???? They have a history, Ellen knows Marie is not a good person. Because really she's (Ellen) all about her job, and Caitlin is more of an acquisition than a child. Benoit Doinel, no. He doesn't work, he doesn't cry when he learns his grandmother died, he uses women. Okay,the baby is not unlikable, but she's pretty one-dimensional, so she's more of an aside than a real person.

A little about Marie. Marie felt a return to her better self. The Marie who did not care, who did not worry. Who took everything that was offered to her. Who did not look back. When she wants something, she takes it. She doesn't justify her choices; she has more than me, she doesn't need it, or I've had a hard life. She doesn't think about it because she doesn't care about anyone other than herself. This could've been a better book, one where you struggle along with Marie as she makes poor decision on top of poor decision, one where you fight by her side for her soul. But you don't because the story is kind of short and breezy and you just go along for the ride, without caring about anyone, without fighting for anyone. Okay, there was one time. When Marie left Caitlin on the beach in Mexico and proceeded to try and drown herself, I couldn't imagine what would happen to the baby. Would she get returned to her mother, get absorbed into some family in Mexico, die of heat prostration? This was the only time I found myself caring about anyone. Except the cat. I cared about what happened to the cat. For the most part, this is a story of selfish characters who don't generally feel much of anything, thus making it hard to care about them or their story.