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What I Read in September

Book Reviews

You'll soon see that September was not a very solid month of reading for me!  I'm not sure what happened, but the one book I did read just seemed to drag.  Luckily I'm already ahead of this pace for October!  Who knows what November and the following months will look like once this baby has arrived - but for now I'm glad I'm able to get a bit of reading in!

The Secret Papers of Madame Olivetti - Annie Vanderbilt

The Secret Papers of Madame Olivetti Review

This is a book that had been sitting on my bookshelves for years - seriously, years.  My sister had passed it on to me, and between reading book club books, borrowing books from other people and buying new books it just never made its way to the top of the pile.  It finally did!!

I enjoyed the book, but I also didn't enjoy the book.  It was in the middle of love and dislike, but I have to say that the last 40 pages or so were my favorite.  (No, not because they signaled the book was over!)  The last pages wrapped everything up and I ended up liking the main character much more than I had throughout the book.

Lily is a widowed woman who was traveled to France by herself and is living in her deceased husband's family home (lovingly called La Pierre Rouge or 'The Red Stone').  She has secluded herself here to write her memoirs on her old Olivetti typewriter.  As she works through both the process of writing and of living, we learn her life story and meet the people who have shaped her into who she is today.

The story itself is a good one - if you're a fan of Under the Tuscan Sun, this story would likely be right up your alley as well.  The part that got difficult for me, though, was the writing.  It seemed like every sentenced was loaded with metaphors, similes, flowery language and this made what could have been a very enjoyable easy read into a much more time-intensive story to read.  Some degree of this writing can make for a lovely setting, but for my own taste it was used a bit too heavy-handedly in this book.  

I would rate this a 2.5 mainly because of the writing style.

Have you read it before?  What did you think?

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