Sunday, March 6, 2011

(31) Three Stages of Amazement by Carol Edgarian

Okay - I am going to be honest - I *hate* books that have political undertones, blatant or otherwise. I *hate* books, outside of biographies, where an author pushes his or hers political agenda on the reader. I want to read my books without feeling like I am being talked down to because I do not share the same political beliefs as the author.

Three Stages of Amazement starts off on New Years Eve 2008. The main characters, Lena and Charlie Pepper have had a rough year. One of their twin daughters died at birth and their other twin daughter has had to fight for every breath of her young life. Their marriage, like their finances are strained so Charlie can develop his medical robot project, which they are sure will solve all of their problems if they can just sell it to the right people. They both think that 2009 will be a year of sunshine and roses. With Obama as President they are just sure that all of the country's problems will be solved. And then they aren't. The economy is still in the tank, Charlie and Lena are more strained than ever, an old love of Lena's comes back into the picture, and Charlie and his business partner are being sued by their competition. Will their marriage survive?

Three Stages of Amazement is a very well written look at America in that transition period between Presidencies. The thing is, I think it was written for a very specific audience, and it is not a Conservative, Middle-Class Woman from the most Conservative state in the nation. I think the author is really trying to get across the point that people of all status have problems, and how they deal with those problems, but it mostly came across as being, well, smug. I had a great disconnect with all of the characters and I really wanted to put the book down after reading the characters were just SO SURE that President Obama was going to solve ALL of their problems and make their lives better. I stuck with the book, though, and was not shocked to read of their disappointment when he didn't.

I am sure that there are many people, critics, etc that will give this book rave reviews, so I am sure my "dislike" won't hurt book sales, but it really wasn't a book that I would recommend to anyone I know, because of the way it made me feel. You may have a different opinion though and I would love to hear what you think about the book if you have a chance to read it.

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Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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