Half Nelson

An inner-city junior high school teacher with a drug habit forms an unlikely friendship with one of his students after she discovers his secret. Dunne (Gosling) is introduced to the viewer as though this film is one of those “inspirational teachers” changing lives films. The white saviour come to the poor black neighbourhood inspire his […]

Girl with a pearl earring

In seventeenth century Holland Griet is about to become a maid. She is sixteen years of age. Her father was blinded in an accident so the family are suffering financially. She will not make much money, but what little she does will help feed her parents, she will also be living where she works, so […]

Elysium

In 2154 the rich and privileged have abandoned Earth and now live happily ever after on a space habitat, Elysium. There all your illnesses can be healed, and Jodie Foster runs the defence. I’m not quite sure what the people who live there do all day apart from look pretty and attend posh looking dinner/garden […]

The dollmaker

I originally read this book in October of 2010, my original review is below but I have a few additional thoughts after my reread.

It is still a hugely powerful and effective read, I reread it because I suggested it for a new book club I’ve joined and thought I should refresh my memory. I’m not sure it was a great choice for the club, it is quite hard to find here in in Ireland and the second hand copies people have been buying has quite small print. Plus it is a big long book. But it is a great book club read because of its contents, imo anyway, we will see when we meet up at the end of the month.

I adore the character of Gertie Nevels. She is just a wonderful person, and yet at the same time she isn’t idealised or held up as some shining example. She is a person who makes the best out of what she got, and what she got is not a lot.

Spoilery discussion to follow.

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It is a great book and everyone should read it.


original review :

ISBN: 0380009471

The world is at war, and the army is stealing away the men, and those that are left are being hauled off to work in the factories in order to assist the war effort. In rural Kentucky Gertie is lucky enough to still have her husband around, he drives the coal truck, but knows that this situation cannot last. He has his date with the army already lined up. But she is preparing as best she can. She has been saving her money and almost has enough to offer on a nearby farm. Without having to pay half what they earn on rent Gertie and her family will be able to plan for the future. But on the eve of her plans coming to fruition all is ruined and she must uproot her family and follow her husband to the city of Detroit.

Read more about The dollmaker

Rainbow Pie

a memoir of Redneck America ISBN: 9781846272578 Before picking this book up I’d never heard of Bageant, and in the middle of reading it I learned from Metafilter that he had died, cancer. And that he was a well-known voice of “Redneck America”. In many ways this book reminded me of Harriette Arnow’s The Dollmaker, […]

The Pursuit of Happyness

At the start of the film Linda is pulling double shifts while Chris is out selling bone density machines, struggling to make ends meet and support their young son Christopher. Things are not going well, the bone density machine isn’t selling as well as Chris had hoped and he had invested all his money in […]