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Wednesday, February 11, 2015
4:21 pm est
Compare and Contrast
Remember back in high school when we had to write those dreadful book reports? Groans all around in remembrance!
But, in retrospect, to me they were back then excellent training for my task of reviewing books today. Especially the ones
where we had to “compare and contrast” two characters in a novel; significant parallel plot events; even, as in
this case, comparing and contrasting two different books I recently reviewed. Both of which, I must state, I thoroughly enjoyed
reading. No penny dreadfuls here.
There is at first sight nothing similar between Jonathan Odell’s Miss
hazel and the Rosa Parks League (a new, rewritten rendering of his earlier The View from Delphi) and A Memory
of Violets by Hazel Gaynor who last year brought us the blockbuster novel, The Girl Who Came Home.
At second sight, though…
Hazel’s name is in the title of Jonathan’s book! Both titles contain
the name of a flower. Both are set in the 1900s. Both stories deal with freedom and class prejudice in significant historical
eras: one is set in the deep South during the Civil Rights Movement; the other in London at the turn of the last century.
One is about the plight of flower sellers; the other the plight of black domestics.
Both are written by very
talent writers who each deal in his/her own way with what it means to love, to be a family, a friend, and, most importantly,
with the value of sisterhood – in all of its defining, often disparate forms and characteristics. Both, of course,
are great reads and are best-seller list bound.
And these are just the obvious similarities…
My complete reviews of them* are posted on www.authorexposure.com.
Now, your assignment is to read my comments, buy a copy of each novel, and do a little leisurely “comparing
and contrasting” on your own. Once again, written book reports are not necessary. But your reading enjoyment factor
will be graded.
* Incidentally, A Memory of Violets marks a major milestone for me: It’s the 100th
book I’ve read and reviewed since I started this labor of love less than four years ago…Here’s to 100 +more!
J. McInerney, the host of this Literary Blog, is
an author, poet, and librettist. Her currently published works include a novel, a book of spiritual inspirations,
volumes of poetry, stories
for children (of all ages) and
a variety of children's musicals. Her titles include:
Hose, Hook & Ladder: A Novel of Phoenixville during World War I
Columbia Hotel: A Novel
of Phoenixville during the Early 1900s
the Schuylkill Monster: A Novel of Phoenixville in
The Prisoner's Portrait: A Novel of Phoenxville during World War II
Rainbow in the Sky
of Oreigh Ogglefont
The Basset Chronicles.
Cats of Nine Tales
Water: A Collection of Poems
Exodus Ending: A
Collection of More Spiritual Poems
We Three Kings
Beauty and the Beast
Peter, Wolf, and Red Riding
Originally from the New York metropolitan area, June currently lives near Valley Forge Park in Pennsylvania with her constant and loving companions, FrankieBernard and Sebastian Cat. She
is currently working on her sixth novel.