Snow Dream

comments: 163

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Though a massive winter storm is pounding the South and Northeast as I write, the snow that enchanted me here in town last week is completely gone. All gone. As if it were a dream. The temperature was so warm today it felt like spring. Everything's muddy, and green, and gray, and wet, and squelching again. I'm wishing good luck, safe days, and patience to everyone out east; the videos of the storm that I've seen on the news today are really astonishing. I hope you can stay inside and stay warm and safe.

I spent pretty much every free moment I had this past week finishing The Goldfinch and

 

! ! ! S P O I L E R    A L E R T ! ! !

Don't read below this if you haven't read The Goldfinch and plan to!!!

 

oh man, I was soooo disappointed in the ending. I almost screamed. I was putting up with my own confusion once Horst, and Sascha, and Ulrika, and Gyuri, and Martin, and Viktor/Cherry showed up in the story, and going along with things, more or less trusting that the end would be worthy of this huge, looooooong story. But his inability to write the four letters in the hotel room was just a complete cop-out. That, to me, was the worst moment. He writes two of them and then pretty much says, "Aw dang, these aren't as good as I wanted them to be — forget it." I went from being in almost total sympathy with him, through everything, to feeling so irritated and disappointed that he wasn't going to be able to get himself together — or actually, it felt to me that the author wasn't going to be able to pull the character together, because I really think it is actually inconsistent with his character that he blows it there. For him not to be able to be honest at the apex of his crisis, when there was nothing left to lose — I actually almost put the book down. That was such a disappointing moment, for me. Then, at the absolute height of the tension, to instead just have Boris show up and say, "Oh hey, here's your passport, don't worry, it's all good, the painting's safe now, oh and actually here's a bunch of money, OH and you're a hero!!!" WHAT?!? Seriously? It was such an "and then I woke up" ending. No, it was an "and then I woke up AND found out I'd won the lottery overnight!!!" ending. MAD!!!

And to still be engaged to Kitsey, a year later? No way. :(

Maybe I'm wrong that these things are inconsistent with his character. And maybe the story is, at the end, about someone who, I hate to say this, utterly fails. Because I thought it was a fail.

Did anyone else think that?

I write of my disappointment because I truly LOVED reading this book. I have read few books in my life so fast or so furiously. I talked about it to almost everyone I saw (and hardly any of who were actually reading the book). There was so much about it that I loved and admired. But the ending left me quite cold. . . . I felt like the book deserved better, somehow.

Now to find another book. . . . Hrmmmmm.

163 comments

May I recommend a marvelous read to counteract your disappointment with The Goldfinch? The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan (and any and ALL of her books, for that matter, including her memoir, The Opposite of Fate). Your reading mind and heart will be in good stead. Also, The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert ... And each and every one of Ann Patchett's books! Then there is Louise Penny's wonderful Inspector Gamache series ... Excuse me for going on and on here ...!

Kristy Lawrensen says: February 13, 2014 at 09:41 AM

Alicia,
You should read John Grisham's new book "Sycamore Row" if you haven't already. It's really suspensful and has a great/satisifying ending. Lately his books have been a miss in my opinion, but this one is well worth the read. I hope you find a good book if you don't read this one! I love reading too and know that feeling of reading a terrific book!

Thank you for posting this. I couldn't get into the book (nothing I could put my finger on exactly), so I read a couple of reviews to try to regain enthusiasm for it, but that didn't work and I eventually turned it back in to the library.

I wish I could send you some of our snow. It's been snowing since Tuesday and it's pouring snow as I type. I live in upper South Carolina and I can tell you we're not used to having this much snow. There's about a foot of snow on the ground and more falling. I try and convince myself that Spring is just around the corner. Oh, but the cardinals. I think I counted over 20 outside my sunroom yesterday eating the seeds I put out for them. They are so beautiful, especially against the snow white backdrop. Hopefully, it will be over soon and things can get back to normal again. It simply must!! I'm getting low on milk and bread!!!! LOL

Code Name Verity is an awesome book!

Oh I hate when a book falls apart at the end like that. I read one at xmas that was so promising in terms of characters and world, but the end just made me so mad. Instead of trying to do anything about the weird situation they were in, they just went, "huh, ok, I guess I'll accept this". I felt like the author copped out rather than the characters.

ps. Maybe you would like The Triumph of Bacchus by Douglas Skeggs for a good book centered about a painting and a mystery.

I LOVE that little rain coat! I'm also in the NW and it is so hard to find cute, warm rain coats. Do you mind sharing the brand?

I am reading (and loving so far...) Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield. I absolutely LOVED her first book, The Thirteenth Tale, and it has been almost 10 years since she published again. I'd recommend both!

I LOVE how Mimi's red sweater looks on and I love, love love it with the gray!

You. Are. KILLING. Me. Not to be able to read the rest of this post yet or reader comments as I am about 1/3 of the way through The Goldfinch, but as usual, you're a total doll to announce your Spoiler Alert ;). I live in South Carolina and am snowed in, so after I finish this, it's back to the book! Can't wait to finish and see what you and all the rest of the Posie-ettes here think! Have a great day! Lovely pictures as always ;)

Hi Alicia, please try Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. Set in 1800's Iceland, there's plenty of snow AND knitting. The end will move you. What is going on with the weather? I live in the South West of England and we've never seen so many terrible storms and flooding, stay cozy, Amy x

I've been putting off reading this book because I was never able to get into one of her books before and was afraid I'd find the same with this one. Have you read The Snow Child? I read that last year and enjoyed it a lot.

Weirdly, this is the second time today that I've recommended this book, but, have you read "The Paper Garden"? http://www.amazon.com/The-Paper-Garden-Artist-Begins/dp/1608196976

As they say in the Princess Bride, it's got everything: art, pretty dresses, beautiful collage, botanicals, meditations on women and art, love, betrayal, the 18th century. . .

It's a really lovely book and as it IS snow-bound where I live, it's fun to spend each night in an imaginary garden.

Christine Horlbeck says: February 13, 2014 at 10:18 AM

I'm following up with "Ahab's Wife". Agree about the Goldfinch. The ending really let me down.Definitely not as gritty as the rest of the book.

Very nice.But,Carolina Air Control ServicesI live in the South West of England and we've never seen so many terrible storms and flooding, stay cozy, Amy x wish I could send you some of our snow. It's been snowing since Tuesday and it's pouring snow as I type. I live in upper South Carolina and I can tell you we're not used to having this much snow x.

Yes! I also recommend The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. Best book I've read in years. It kept me engaged, which is saying something as I tend to read in short fits and starts these days, stealing moments. Yes! Great book. I almost put it down in the beginning, around the time she started spending time in the bookbinding room...but I stuck with it and all made sense in the end. Glad I read it. Oh! And Kisses for your 4-legged and 2-legged kids!

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It is a retelling of the book of Hosea, set in the old west. One of the most powerful and beautiful love stories I've ever read.

Faith proctor says: February 13, 2014 at 10:24 AM

Michael 0' Brien is a great author...good one to try if you haven't. I loved Island of the World.
Happy reading!

What a shame about The Goldfinch! I took a look at it a few weeks back and could not get "into" it. Now I know I won't bother again. I would like to heartily endorse another's comment about the Louise Penny Inspector Gamache series. Talk about not being able to put a book down! I have never read a series (13 books!) so fast in my 70+ years! If you haven't read them, please know they are best read in order.

As always, I get a big grin on my face every time I see a new post from you.... You and your wonderful family are very dear to me.

Maggie O'Farrell is a favorite author of mine. Her books are all wonderful but I particularly loved The Hand that first held mine. Wondering if you could tell me what brand your couch is? Perhaps it's the dear photos of your sleeping girl, but it looks oh so cozy and comfortable. Thanks!

I don't know why, but I became so happy when I saw that Marimekko jacket (Finnish product, got to be little proud :) ). I am your long time reader and I love your blog. Greetings from Finland, have a happy Valentines day tomorrow!

I am equally frustrated with the lazy ending of such an epic read. All through the book, the author works hard at painting very complete pictures of each stage of his life (too much detail for me at times) and then... the whole story unravels so gratuitously with these what seems like inserted-at-the-last-minute characters to give the story an ending, not the ending you expect after slugging through the first 600 pages.
People I love have suggested I read: The History of Love and The People of the Book, which I have started and seems promising.
Love the warm, soft, relaxed baby girl on the home-sewn bedding... you are the best Mommie...

Sleepy baby, warm baths, mangos...love, love, love.

Christine Horlbeck says: February 13, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Another vote for the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny.

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About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.