34 responses

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  2. I like whaling books. Have mostly read fiction about the wives at home in Nantuckett waiting. I would enjoy reading more about the whales. I like the book illustration too.

    • If you enjoy whaling stories then this one’s a must ( although I can’t say how it compares to other whaling stories because I can’t recall having read any others… No, not even Moby Dick!).

  3. Kate…I’m probably one of the few people who’ve read “Moby Dick” more than once…so “Rush Oh!” sounds appealing to me.

    When I saw the name, Shirley Barrett, I wondered if she was related to Andrea Barrett, the National Book Award winning author of “Ship Fever”…but, alas, no relation. Interestingly, Andrea, like Shirley (I love the name Shirley, perhaps because I loved Shirley Temple…but, I digress) also took facts from natural history, and spun them into appealing yarns that gave vibrant life to stale subject matter.


    • I think you are most certainly one of the very few people who’ve read Moby Dick more than once! Have you read The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach? Some wonderful Moby Dick references in that story (and an ace book to boot).

    • After I’d posted my review I popped over to Goodreads to see what others thought and was surprised by the poor ratings. Seems quite a few gave it a low score because of the whaling element… 1) If you don’t want to read about whaling, then don’t read a novel that is about a whaling family. 2) I don’t ‘like’ or support whaling in any way but that’s different to reading an historical account – i had a new understanding of the danger of the whale chase and had never really considered how they caught a whale to shore… Anyway, the low scores because they ‘don’t like whaling’ seem incredibly unfair to me and do a disservice to this extremely well-written and thoroughly researched book.

      • No, it didn’t glorify whaling at all and I think that was why it was so well done – you understood the terror of the chase but it was very much tied to the survival of the family and the town ie. The need for one whale a year.

  4. Because I am an obedient person, I sat and watched Love Serenade from your link last night. Funny how I was able to pick yesterday that Miranda Otto was in it, because I have no memory of EVER seeing it before. It is SUCH a terrific film, I found it so delightful, I was captivated, and I will be sharing it far and wide, forcing people to watch it with me. Also, you might be interested to know, I just saw something about Hope Farm which means I am going to read it, as it falls under my ‘reading for research’ exemption. Stay tuned for my response. Have a great Easter and hols too, btw.

    • Hooray! Hooray! Hooray! I’m glad you enjoyed Love Serenade (I always worry that when I talk something up I end up doing it a disservice because it doesn’t meet expectations).
      I obviously will be BUSTING to hear your thoughts on Hope Farm (but truly hope our discussions don’t bias your reading).

      • It was seriously a WONDERFUL movie and I will be, as I said, pressing it on all, far and wide. As for HF, I read the first three pages or so just to look at. To me the tone is different entirely to the first one, but I will compare and report back when the time comes to read properly, which will be soon I think now. Will finish Blood Meridian first. Happy holidays!

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  6. I am reading it right now and I’m enjoying it, I actually like the whaling aspect (despite not “liking” whaling). I too was surprised at how harsh goodreads was.

    • I didn’t think it glorified whaling at all (And I obviously don’t ‘like’ whaling either). Thought Mary was such a unique and memorable voice and that it was a fresh take on historical fiction.

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