Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Nevermore: Mrs. Adams in Winter, Rule of Four, Beyond Belief, Twelve Years a Slave

 Summary by Meygan

Mrs. Adams in Winter: A Journey in the Last Days of Napoleon by Michael O’Brien was recommended. In 1815, Louisa Catherine Adams along with her son left St. Petersburg to meet her husband in Paris. She traveled by herself for over a 1,000 miles. The Nevermore reader states this book is about so much more than her travels. Even though the descriptions about the villages get a bit tedious, there are great descriptions and lots of history provided about St. Petersburg. The reader said the book also tells you so much about the aftermath of Napoleon’s battles. Even though this book isn’t considered a page turner, it is still interesting. 

The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason was re-read by one of our Nevermore members and was enjoyed even more the second time around! This book is about seniors at Princeton who are working together to reveal the secrets of the 500 year old text Hypnerotomachia. There are also two murders that take place within the story, causing the reader to not only piece together the information about the text but to also help solve “whodunit”. It was enjoyed so much because the story had a lot of references to courses she had in graduate school, but it was mainly enjoyed because of the writing quality. She said the writing was of a higher quality than most contemporary books. She also likes the imagery. 

Next was Emlyn Williams’ Beyond Belief. This is a non-fiction book about the Moors murders that happened in Britain in the 1960’s. Ian Brady and Myra Hindley killed three (some say 5) people between the ages of ten and seventeen. They had no motives; they were just cold blooded killers. This book delves into the murders and touches briefly on a woman’s point of view of being involved in murder. The reader said those parts reminded her of the Manson murders and what exactly caused the women to participate in the killings. She said she realizes why Myra helped Ian kill the children—she never felt connected to him and she finally had control of him once he involved her in the first murder. She said there were mixed reviews about the book on Amazon. Some reviewers said the story didn’t make any sense at all and some said it made perfect sense. 

Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northrup was highly praised by a Nevermore member. This is the true story of a slave who actually was a free man, but he was kidnapped and sold to the south. It isn’t until twelve years later that he is set free, thanks to a person who was willing to take a risk and help him. The reader said the story is so incredible because of how something like that could have happen and did happen. 

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