Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The River Wife

I was tagged by this meme awhile back, and I'm just getting around to it now. If you have a blog, consider yourself tagged! Books, books, books

* Bold the ones you’ve read. (
* Italicize the ones you want to read. (
* Leave in normal text the ones that don’t interest you.
* Put in ALL CAPS those you haven’t heard of.
* Put a couple of asterisks by the ones you recommend.

I put a ++ by those I started but didn't finish.
I put a :-) by the ones where I saw the movie. :-)

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)

2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) :-) **

3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) :-) **

4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell):-)

5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien) :-) ++

6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien) :-)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien) :-)

8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)

9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)

10. A FINE BALANCE (Rohinton Mistry)

11. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Rowling)**

12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)

13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix** (Rowling)

14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)

15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)**

16. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)**

17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)

18. The Stand (Stephen King)

19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)**

20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)**

21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)

22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)++

23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)++

24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)

25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)

26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)

27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)

28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)

29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)++

30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)

31. Dune (Frank Herbert)

32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks) :)

33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)**

34. 1984 (Orwell)**

35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley) :-)

36. THE PILLARS OF EARTH (Ken Follett)

37. THE POWER OF ONE (Bryce Courtenay)

38. I Know This Much Is True (Wally Lamb)

39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)

40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)

41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)

42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)

43.Confessions of a Shopahaulic (Sophie Kinsella)

44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)**

45. The Bible **

46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)

47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)

48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)**

49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)

50. She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb)

51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)**

52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)

53. ENDER'S GAME (Orson Scott Card)

54. Great Expectations (Dickens) **

55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)**

56. THE STONE ANGEL (Margaret Laurence)

57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling) **

58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)

59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)

60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger) **

61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)

63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)

64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)

5. FIFTH BUSINESS (Robertson Davies)

66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)

68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)

69. Les Miserables (Victor Hugo)

70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

71. Bridget Jones's Diary (Helen Fielding)

72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

73. Shogun (James Clavell)

74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)

75. The Secret Garden(Frances Hodgson)

76. THE SUMMER TREE (Guy Gavriel Kay)

77. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn (Betty Smith)

78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)

79. THE DIVINERS (Margaret Laurence)

80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)

81. NOT WANTED ON THE VOYAGE (Timothy Findley)

82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)**

83.Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)**

84. WIZARD'S FIRST RULE (Terry Goodkind)

85. Emma (Jane Austen)++

86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)++

87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

88. THE STONE DIARIES (Carol Shields)

89. BLINDNESS (Jose Saramago)

90. KANE AND ABEL (Jeffrey Archer)

91. IN THE SKIN OF A LION (Michael Ondaatje)

92. Lord of the Flies (William Golding)**

93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)

94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)++

95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)

96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton) :-)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch) :-)

98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)

99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)

100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

The River Wife by Jonis Agee is the story of Jacques Ducharme and the women who fill his life, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say he fills their lives. The story begins with Hedie Rails who has just married Jacques' great- grandson and finds herself often alone in their Missouri home as he goes away on mysterious business. Hedie fills her time by reading the diary of Annie Lark Ducharme, a young girl who was imprisoned under a log beam in her home during the great earthquake in New Madrid and abandoned by her family. Jacques, a fur trader, comes along and rescues the poor girl before making her his wife. All is well between the couple until he decides to build an inn. Soon Jacque's acquisitive nature sours their marriage and tragedy strikes. Hedie goes on to read the stories of Omah, a freed female slave who becomes Jacques' partner as a river pirate and then Laura, Jacques' second wife and mother to Maddie who becomes mother to Clement, Hedie's husband. Each woman responds to Jacques' seductive nature in her own way, one is consumed, another fights fire with fire and loses, only the one who accepts him as he is remains. Clement and Hedie's troubles soon start to reflect some of Jacques' vices, and it's clear that sinning runs in the family. Agee brings depth and life to each of her characters, so much so that at times it's painful to keep reading. Annie has the strongest voice, and when she leaves, the rest of the book is haunted by her absence. Hedie also is a powerful character, and the reader can't help but want to slap her out of her intentional blindness to her husband's activities. The book is filled with amazing characters whose actions are both true to life and frustrating to watch. Jacques looms large in every story, even long after he is gone. The book will take you back nearly two hundred years with its historical accuracy and detail, and the characters will move you to rage and tears. My one complaint about the book is that the ending felt rushed and weak compared to the rest of the intense book. In a recent interview in BookPage magazine, Agee said that it was originally over 700 pages long. I for one would love to read that version. Maddie's story suffers most from the shortening.

Today's pic is of a baby bonnet macaque monkey named Gus from the DeYoung Zoo.