Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Stand the Storm by Breena Clarke - DNF

Stand the Storm by Breena Clarke
Copyright 2008
Little Brown & Co.

Doggone it. I really wanted to fall in love with this book because I loved the sound of it - Annie and her son Gabriel have managed to buy their freedom from slavery. Gabriel was basically rented out to a tailor and Annie was the property of a greedy plantation owner. The book is about their struggles as free blacks.

Maybe, again, it was bad timing. When I opened Stand the Storm, it grabbed me immediately. I think, though, it was the shift from prologue to first chapter that did me in. I was rolling right along, enjoying the characters and the time and place. Then, I got to Chapter 1 and I just flat got lost. There was a Sewing Annie and a Knitting Annie -- and also, apparently a time shift. But, honestly, I just got lost. Maybe if there had been dates at the top of the prologue and chapter intros, I'd have known what exactly happened. I'm assuming the book went backward in time.

After struggling to page 20, I realized I was also becoming tired of the lack of dialogue and flipped ahead to see if that ever picked up. Nope. The book is mostly expository with little dialogue. I gave up and closed it, at that point. I just wasn't in the mood to read description without action. Plus . . . I was still lost. If you've read this book, feel free to straighten me out on what happened between the prologue and first chapter. Did it go back in time to when Sewing Annie was younger? That's how it appeared to me.

Now that I'm debt-free:

I think both my husband and I have decided, "Hey, it's cool not being indebted, but the house we own kind of sucks." So, I'll be off gallivanting around, looking at houses. We drove around a little bit, today. The far end of our own neighborhood has several newer, more spacious homes. It sounds kind of funny to think about moving from one side of the neighborhood to another, but I like my neighborhood in relation to town. We get power back faster than anyone else after hurricanes and other storms, so I don't want to end up out in the boonies where people end up fighting over generator gas.

Because I am weird and maybe a little bit bored:

Today, I started up a twitter account for my cat. And, as it turns out, there are quite a few cats twittering. So, she's already got 10 followers. Popular gal. I actually got called away from pretending I was my cat by the real cat, who let out one of her mournful howls. Since our other cat died, she has to periodically wail at me. If I just holler back, "I'm here!" she's fine. I think it's a loneliness issue and she really needs a fur buddy. We'll see.

Anyway, must dash. Husband is all excited about looking at houses. Kid's working (2 hours at a time, now, but it's better than nothing) and survived his first day of school. Cat's asleep. Hope everyone's having a good day!


  1. Ugh, that's so frustrating when you're all on board for a new book and then it just falls flat. Or runs all over the place making no sense. I think it's adorable your cat has a twitter. My BF had dreams of making our cat into the next Maru. But, I put the breaks on that pipe dream real fast; no need to have her jump into boxes and what not. Have fun house hunting!

  2. That's a bummer that this book didn't work out for you, but congrats on being debt-free! That is quite an accomplishment in today's economy. Happy house hunting!

  3. Sorry the book didn't work for you. There are actually 2 families in our neighborhood who have moved within the neighborhood. I'm not going to tell my dog that your cat has a Twitter account - it would just make her jealous.

  4. Rosemary,

    I guess I should just be happy that I haven't had that many books fall flat for me, lately. In general, this has been a fantastic reading year.

    LOL! Your boyfriend is funny. I love the twitters of other felines (and a few dogs -- one said he's cohabiting with a cat and the cat is a little scary, so he gets his nose batted). They often make for ridiculously fun reading. :)

    Thanks! We had fun driving around. Just nixed one neighborhood. The best part of the drive was seeing a baby bunny in somebody's front yard. We don't see rabbits, here, for some reason.


    Yeah, bummer about the book but I have plenty of others waiting in line. Thank you! It's really exciting not having a car or house payment. I wonder how long that will last!! Really, what I need to do is be patient and save so that when we do find a house we can make a decent down-payment and keep any future debt within reason. You're right that we're very, very lucky to be debt-free in today's economy.


    Really? That's nice to know. We just got back from driving around in a neighborhood we've considered in the past and we were both shaking our heads. You have to get on a congested highway to get out to the neighborhood. Our area is so much easier and safer for driving to and from work, shopping and school.

    LOL about your dog potentially getting jealous.

  5. That's too bad about the book, but how exciting about the new house! I'm tickled pink for you. Oh, and being debt-free must be an awesome, liberating feeling. Good for you, Bookfool.

  6. Looking for houses is so exciting! I hope that you share some pictures of prospects with us.

    Good luck to your boy in this hot weather at school.

  7. That's too bad. The book sounded good. I'll have to see what other bloggers think of it. I already was unsure whether I'd actually read it or not.

    Good luck house hunting!

    Diary of an Eccentric

  8. Bummer about the book not working out. I have had two of those so far this year and hoping for no more.

    Happy House hunting!

  9. Booklogged,

    Well, not every book works out. :) No biggie! I've had such a great reading year. I don't know if we'll end up moving to a newer house -- there are other options (we're considering building a garage apartment) but it's certainly fun looking! Thanks. Yes, it's definitely liberating having no debts. :)


    I think I'd jinx myself if I showed photos of houses I'm interested in, actually. Is that weird? We're in such a small town. We realized, as we were driving around, that we're very, very picky. No ranch houses because I've lived in ranch homes all my life and I'm sick of them. A small yard would be nice, but it needs trees. Treeless lots give us the willies. On and on. It might take a while!!!!

    Thanks. It's cool, today -- 79, last time I looked. Kiddo can't swim with the team because we missed the free physical, so he's stuck outside the pool. Awww.

  10. Anna,

    Like every abandoned book, it could simply be bad timing. I was tired enough that I can imagine plenty of people had no problem figuring out the time period that confused me. It just threw me completely and I wasn't in a mood to try to untangle anything. I'd advise you to look for some full reviews before you make a decision whether or not to give it a try.

    Thank you! Having fun looking at houses, so far, even though we're just at drive-around-looking-for-signs stage.


    I don't know how many books I haven't finished, this year -- quite a few, I think, but I also think granting myself permission to abandon books has led to more enjoyment out of the rest of my reading, so it's all cool.

    Thank you! We saw a baby bunny in the yard of a house we drove past, yesterday! So cool. You don't see rabbits in our neighborhood (because of the dogs).

  11. I SO believe that some books just need the right time and place and it's not the book's fault.
    but, really? I'm really intrigued about your house-hunting. You 'just' decided - hey it would be fun to live in a different house? Is it really that sudden? I think it's great - just a bit odd. which is totally cool, too. just strikes me funny - maybe because I'm in my 7th house and am finally hopefully getting out of the moving lifestyle. Then, on the other hand, hub just had a job interview with a headhunter... sigh.

  12. Care,

    Yep, I think it was just the wrong time.

    As to house-hunting . . . no, this wasn't an overnight sudden impulse. We've been in the same house for 18 years. When we moved in, we planned to leave Vicksburg within 5 years. That didn't happen, obviously. We deliberately under-bought because we figured that even if we didn't leave town we'd eventually move to a nicer house. This house was a satisfice. We didn't fall in love with it. It's just a house. We want to move into a more permanent home that suits our needs better. Till the house was paid off, though, I don't think either of us felt like we could afford to take the chance of finding a new home and not immediately finding a buyer for the house we live in. Not having a payment frees us up a bit.

    I love a more nomadic lifestyle, myself. I've kind of hated being in the same place for 18 years.

  13. But you just got that cool new oven!
    Moving and NOT moving is one of my favorite discussion topics, so thanks for the explan. Hub and I are actually thinking about a major downsize (but then get a big boat!!!) Just read the Geo of Bliss book and it was sharing that globally, people move more now then ever in history. and of course, Americans are a shuffling bunch.
    Happy house hunting, don't force it, let the house find you. And don't be afraid to make a realtor call a house NOT for sale and see if they'd be interested in moving. You never know... I've always wondered about such daring.

  14. Care,

    We do have a very nice oven. :) Maybe we could put in a cheap one and take the nice new one with us.

    I've got The Geography of Bliss on my bedside stack. It's buried. And, it has a low priority since I'm trying to get through all the ARCs (note my added comment in the sidebar, saying I'm no longer accepting review books -- I'm swamped) but I'm anxious to read it.

    We're in no hurry. We were, in fact, in a hurry when we bought this house because I was very pregnant and we needed space. The house was small but it looked huge compared to our apartment, of course. This time, we do have the luxury of time. Plus, there is a lot of maintenance that needs to be done on this house before we could sell it. I don't think either of us has the guts to ask a person if they'd like to sell!!!


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