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The Little Red Chairs
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
A woman discovers that the foreigner she thinks will redeem her life is a notorious war criminal.Vlad, a stranger from Eastern Europe masquerading as a healer, settles in a small Irish village where the locals fall under his spell. One woman, Fidelma McBride, becomes so enamored that she begs him for a child. All that world is shattered when Vlad is arrested, and his identity as a war criminal is revealed. Fidelma, disgraced, flees to England and seeks work among the other migrants displaced by wars and persecution. But it is not until she confronts him-her nemesis-at the tribunal in The Hague, that her physical and emotional journey reaches its breathtaking climax.THE LITTLE RED CHAIRS is a book about love, and the endless search for it. It is also a book about mankind's fascination with evil, and how long, how crooked, is the road towards Home.
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review
Kazzie
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
Panpan

I didn‘t like this - seems like the whole piece with the Serbian warlord (?) would have been better from someone with that cultural experience. The scenes in Ireland were well told, better story if just from those view points

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Sapphire
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Great last lines: "You would not believe how many words there are for home and what Savage music there can be wrung from it."

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Sapphire
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien

"Love is everything...love is sacred...love is your last chance."

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Sapphire
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Only on page one, and wow! I love writers who can create imagery so vivid you feel it. "A straggling necklace of icicles, bluish in that frosted night". The beauty of real winter as I sit in the Texas summer heat. I know this won't be an easy subject matter in the story so I am preparing for the power of this author's ability to evoke emotion through images. This is a book about war and children.

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AprilMae
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Picked up this book this weekend, has anyone read it??

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Pricel101
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Pickpick

Some of my fave #irishauthors are women, but I couldn‘t leave out Sebastian Barry 🍀💚

The Little Red Chairs is set in a small Irish village where our main character falls in love with the mysterious new man in town. She is married but rushes full tilt into a sexual relationship with the man. When she discovers he is a wanted war criminal the town and her husband shame her into moving away to London. And that‘s just the start! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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PacingTheCage
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Book 3 for the weekend. It got cold again so, looks like another perfect day to read. 😊

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RowReads1
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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BooksGirlsCats
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Pickpick

Well this book nearly broke me.

I'll admit I didn't like the first few chapters- the mix of voices felt confusing, and I couldn't follow the plot. However, based on the rest of the book I think this was deliberate- the reader has no more insight than the characters, so the revelation shocks us as much as them. The second part was stomach churning, and I couldn't look away.

Book 25 of #52Booksin2018

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Miss_Kim
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Pickpick

The most painful book I‘ve read in a very long time, but a very important book as well. Having lived in the Balkans for several years I am well aware of the history of Bosnia so this twisting of truth was riveting and impossible for me to put down. O‘Brien is masterful and I‘ll be looking for more of her books. I ended this one in tears, but with a heart full of tenderness for all whose lives are touched by war.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Varske Thanks for writing the review, I didn‘t know about the book. (edited) 5y
tstan There are parts of this book that are so vividly burned in my mind. It‘s one of the hardest books to enjoy, but so well written. 5y
Miss_Kim 8 hours after finishing it I still feel it in my chest. What a heartbreaking story. 5y
76 likes4 stack adds3 comments
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HiddenGemBooks
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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When a man who calls himself a faith healer arrives in a small, west-coast Irish village, the community is soon under the spell of this charismatic stranger from the Balkans. One woman in particular, Fidelma McBride, becomes enthralled in a fatal attraction that leads to unimaginable consequences.

LikelyLibrarian Good review! 5y
51 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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RobinGustafson
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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‪Why yes, I did find a “new to me” used bookstore and did need to buy two books‬

UrsulaMonarch 😂👍 5y
15 likes1 comment
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kathleenaflynn
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Pickpick

Quite a book!

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Jazzper2
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this book, it wasn't what I expected at all. It's hard to describe -- about the nature of evil, how people's can deceive themselves, taking revenge and what it means to be angry, "the sins of the father" or in this case people who know them being forced to answer ... I started it as an audiobook then switched to a physical book and the back to the audio. And I preferred the audio as, the narrator did a fantastic job!

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emmaturi
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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I have just finished The Essex Serpent, I enjoyed it a lot. I liked the main character Cora, for some reason I kept on wondering who would play her if it got made into a film and decided on Rachel Weisz. #books #bookcover #bookworm #booknerd #currentread

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Moonpa
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Listening to audio for this book club pick (much easier than reading it) and crocheting. Interesting so far!

Rachellynnwright Yay for crochet! Listening while hooking is bliss! 5y
30 likes1 comment
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BooksAtNight
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Panpan

I finished the audiobook but I still feel completely lost. I won't deny there are beautiful sentences in here, but I kept losing track of the plot but I feel like the plot is important. There is also a very graphic scene that still makes me feel all disgusted so it is not for the faint of heart to listen to.

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BarbaraBB
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Mehso-so

In a remote Irish village Fidelma falls in love with a strange newcomer to the village, Dr Vlad. He turns out to be 'the Beast of Bosnia' (no spoiler!), his character and crimes based on Karadzic. Fimelda has to deal with what happened between them and follows him to his appearance before the International Tribunal.
All the ingredients for a good novel are in here, but somehow O'Brien fails to deliver.
(Picture: Beach of Tayrona, Colombia)

lauralovesbooks1 I agree. Fell short of what I was expecting. 5y
BarbaraBB @lauralovesbooks1 There were some horrible descriptions of the war in Bosnia, which I think are important to remember, but the story itself fell short indeed, in my opinion. 5y
31 likes2 comments
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BarbaraBB
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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And this is just the intro...
I wonder what I am getting myself into.
#currentread

tstan I liked this very much, but there is a scene that's going to enrage and sicken. Almost as much as the story of the chairs. 5y
BarbaraBB @tsan I finished it and know what you mean now. Both scenes are beyond humanity. 5y
30 likes3 comments
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RobinGustafson
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien

"When I read a great poem, or a great novel, or even a chapter of a great novel, I feel so nourished, and so thankful" -- Edna O'Brien

This!!!!

From A great interview with her on Writers and Company http://www.cbc.ca/radio/writersandcompany/edna-o-brien-on-fear-dreams-and-lsd-1....

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lauralovesbooks1
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Mehso-so

First half was incredible, 2nd half didn't come together quite as well. Lots here to discuss, including the idea of home and the definition of evil.

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lauralovesbooks1
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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" . . .the reason they loved books was because the crimes in people's hearts were rendered more fatefully and more forgivingly in literature."

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Kimmie
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Pickpick

While it dragged in certain areas overall a thumbs up. An interesting way to tell a story of a war criminal and the wide reaching effects of their actions. To be able to see inside the mind of twisted individuals is eye opening

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LeslieO
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Happening in my library right now- author Edna O'Brien- speaking to students and signing books. #liveauthor

mrp27 I've been wanting to read this one! 6y
35 likes1 comment
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sarahelizabeth
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Mehso-so

In two minds about this book, it was beautifully written but there were certain bits I was not expecting at all that were told in great descriptive detail. I was gripped with the need to finish the story and see how it ended. And once finished I would say I enjoyed the story, but I did struggle to stay with it at times. I think it is genuinely a book that you really have to try for yourself to know.

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alanacristin
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
Bailedbailed

Whoa. Okay. Nope. New mom can't listen to this! 💔💔💔 #audiobook #dnf

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beckygracelea
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Now on to this on my day of reading - it'll be started in between exciting bits of rugby.

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alanacristin
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Only an hour in and I'm already craving a cozy tavern, scones with jam, and a massage. Well played, Edna. #mommyreads #audiobook #cravings

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Gnoe
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Next book group read. Bought on a trip to Florence, Italy. :)

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kellock
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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I've just a had a job interview 😥 so to treat myself for feeling nervous for 2 weeks I bought books! Obviously 😆

14 likes1 stack add
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Itchyfeetreader
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
Mehso-so

This is a really difficult book to review – on one hand it is an undoubtedly well written and touches deftly on any number of important issues but I also struggled at times with the style and did not warm to many of the characters as appalling as their circumstances were. Ultimately I think a book that I struggle to rate highly but am still glad that I read

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Thekelburrows
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Look at this adorable little red chair!!

Alfoster Too cute! Where did you get it?😍 6y
Thekelburrows @Alfoster google image search for "small red chair" ?? 6y
47 likes2 comments
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schmia
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Mehso-so

Seems like it would have worked better as 2 separate novels. Started as though it would be about a community, shifted to an individual, and sporadically swung back to the town. Both are compelling perspectives but I never felt immersed enough in either. I was sickened by the actions described in the book but not otherwise emotionally invested in any of the characters. I definitely want to give other books by this author a try, though. #litsyatoz

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schmia
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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"It was all a lie, but lies can be just as persuasive and as palatable as truth in desperate times."

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BkClubCare
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Pickpick

Brutal. That is all I can say. I have no idea how to rate on the 5 star scale. I thought it might be clever to ask Siri to find me an image of the red chairs and she came up with this. I am glad she didn't find what I hoped/feared she would find. #tob2017longlist

BkClubCare I did have problems which could have been me and/or the audio - I felt like I missed things and it bothered me but not enough to always replay. The narrator was excellent but it won't be my favorite of hers (Juliet Stevenson) Too many characters, perhaps and not understanding their role in the story. Again, I think I just missed a few key things. (edited) 6y
BkClubCare @Lakesidemusing - there's mention of greyhound rescue 6y
Suet624 This was my least favorite book of hers. 6y
See All 7 Comments
BkClubCare @Suet624 - I would love your recommendation for what would be best for me to read next! (edited) 6y
Suet624 Well I've just discovered something and I'm slightly embarrassed. I read Edna O'Brien's book and I was surprised by how little I liked it. After reviewing some of my notes, I just realized I was confusing her with Anne Enright. I've apparently only read one Edna O'Brien book. But I really loved The Gathering. Thanks for clarifying this for me. 6y
Lakesidemusing @BkClubCare Greyhounds!💕 6y
Lakesidemusing @BkClubCare @Suet624 Glad I'm not the only one to confuse them! Let me know when you decide to read The Gathering, maybe I can join you. Still curious about this book though... will read rather then listen when I get to it. 6y
12 likes7 comments
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BkClubCare
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Audiobooking with the Juliet Stevenson narration. Looking forward to trying this author. So far, am very impressed with the story telling; that comfort of being in the hands of a talented writer (and of course, excellent narrator).

Suet624 This is my least favorite of her books. Please be sure to try some of her others as well. 6y
BkClubCare @Suet624 - I'm sure I will. Someday! 6y
19 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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vivastory
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Pickpick

A fugitive war criminal appears in an idyllic Irish town; specializing in holistic medicine he soon establishes a business. O'Brien's powerful novel explores the notion of literature as moral improvement & as solace. She finds it to be insufficient on both counts & the war criminal, Vlad, even uses an epic poem as justification for the war. Parts of the novel read as testimonials as immigrants in London recount the violence they fled from.

36 likes1 stack add
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vivastory
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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This passage is pretty telling about this book

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SavidgeReads
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Mehso-so

Really torn on this read just finished today. Some of it I thought was stunning, moving and wonderfully written. Some of it I was left a bit non plussed and distanced from. Need more time to think about it and percolate a bit more. It's one of those. Stunning cover.

James Hope you're feeling better. Glad you are back! 😀 6y
40 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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roneea
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien

Litsyians have given this very bad reviews, but im trying to like it. I'm probably naive in thinking i will have a different opinion but im trying...

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ReadingEnvy
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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something about a "first edition" Iliad doesn't seem accurate

AnnaDesourdy 😂 um no 6y
Notafraidofwords Ummm weird. 6y
Marchpane 😂 is it a joke? 6y
39 likes3 comments
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ReadingEnvy
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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"She had scarcely exchanged a word with him in the bar and yet had a sense of him...."

39 likes2 stack adds
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Suet624
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
Panpan

Boy oh boy. I love Edna O'Brien but I did not love this book. Just no.

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originalembot
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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"One day he put it to her that the reason they loved books was because the crimes in people's hearts were rendered more fatefully and more forgivingly in literature."

4 likes1 stack add
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Irish_Bookshop
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Pickpick

This is a great, well-paced read from one of our favourite Irish writers. 5/5
Don't have an imwge of the book to hand, so here's an image of our shop in Ennis, Ireland :-)
#getindy #bookshop #bookstore

tpixie Lovely photo! 2y
3 likes1 comment
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becausetrains
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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"But she would not tell them that when she got up from that treatment bed and he had left the room, her energy was prodigal, a wildness such as she had not known since her youth, out in the fields when she pissed against trees, the way men did, pissed unashamedly. She would not tell them that." "Upcock Upcock Upcock Upcock." ????? edit to add: the tree-pisser is a nun ???

Laalaleighh It just keeps getting better 😂😂😂 (worse) 6y
BookishFeminist @Laalaleighh it's a real treasure of a book 6y
See All 8 Comments
KVanRead Whaaaaa? 6y
Beckys_Books My plan is to avoid this book like the plague. 6y
Sue @Beckys_Books I'm with you! 6y
GinaAnderson Steering unwitting readers away from terrible books is a valuable service. 6y
Zelma So the nun pissed against the tree manfully? Well, at least it's keeping within the theme. 🙄 6y
30 likes1 stack add8 comments
review
BookishFeminist
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
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Panpan

LONG REVIEW, CONT. IN COMMENTS | I don't talk about books I don't like unless they're inherently problematic bc personal taste varies greatly. At best, this book is boring to me. At worst, this book invalidates or undermines the trauma experienced by victims of the Bosnian War & Srebrenica massacre. Dr. Vlad is a war criminal masquerading as a healer in Ireland & entrances Fidelma, who has an affair w/him & comes under his spell. CONT. 👇🏼

BookishFeminist Based on events surrounding real-life "Beast of Bosnia" Radovan Karadžić, a fugitive who was finally found & sentenced for genocide in March 2016 for his ethnic cleansing campaign and extermination of over 8000 Muslim Bosniaks during the Srebrenica massacre. After outed & arrested as as war criminal, Fidelma undergoes abuses & tortures by her town in opposition to her affair w/Vlad, she flees to London where she lives in poverty. CONT ?? 6y
BookishFeminist There is little, if any, discussion of the trauma she faced which is common among victims such as herself, but instead she is painted as a heroine who quickly overcomes & sheds her past life. As a person with PTSD, I find this very irresponsible & I can't imagine what a victim in her shoes must feel. CONT 👇🏼 6y
BookishFeminist O'Brien maintains too much distance from her character to the point where it is implausible & paints an unrealistic picture of abuse trauma that creates stigma.
O'Brien's writing is so sloppy that it reads like a satire at parts—there are very long paragraphs, poor imagery, too many jumbled narratives and asides, & disjointed pacing and plot structure. She also loves the passive tense. CONT 👇🏼
6y
See All 79 Comments
BookishFeminist She attempts to take a very gruesome war & topic & use this to propel her novel forward but barely addresses the context of it. She drops in local, brutal translations of Bosnian phrases with zero context, which I find irresponsible to its culture and people particularly given this topic. CONT 👇🏼 6y
BookishFeminist In short, this book seems to grapple at the very problems with white privilege, where oftentimes, conflict, torture, and abuse is used voyeuristically rather than responsibly. TRIGGER WARNINGS | torture, rape, abuse, female genital mutilation, war 6y
BookishFeminist Thank you to @Biljana for providing context and information for me regarding the Bosnian war and its culture so that I could do some research before formulating this review. 6y
Dogearedcopy I was wondering how much longer you were going to hang in there! 6y
Megabooks Wow! That's like a million of my TWs. I hope you're ok after reading it. The book sounds awful!! 6y
NovelGirl82 Ugh!! Will NOT be adding this one! 6y
BookishFeminist @Dogearedcopy I hung in there and finished! I do that with problematic books so I can properly understand the context & critique them with my own viewpoints. Silver lining: this book made me do a lot of research, so I learned a LOT! 😊 6y
BookishFeminist @Ebooksandcooks I am! Thank you for checking. ❤️ I took a klonopin before finishing (especially for the torture scenes) and skimmed, so I'm fine. 6y
BookishFeminist @NovelGirl82 Ugh indeed! There has to be a better novel involving the Bosnian conflict that is more responsibly written than this. 6y
LitHousewife 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 6y
BookishFeminist @LitHousewife I did throw the book when I got home and then wrote this review, so I feel better now. 😂😂 6y
CareBear You may like this one more! 6y
kammartinez Thank you for your review. I was mildly surprised to see it on my shopping list for books I might want to read, and have decided to scratch it off the list and back away from it now. Slowly. Like one backs away from a wild animal that's liable to bite. 6y
Yamich49 Yikes! This has been removed from my TBR. ☹️ It sounds awful and offensive and so disrespectful of the people who actually experienced these horrors. 6y
AliBG Thanks for the warning. 6y
BookishFeminist @CareBear I might! I met Sara Novic last year and have been meaning to pick that one up. Now might be the time. Thank you! I've been looking for other books surrounding this conflict and missed this one! 6y
BookishFeminist @kammartinez 😂😂 that is probably what my partner will do when he gets home from work, as I am seething about this book. 😂 But yes. Good call. 6y
BookishFeminist @Yamich49 I thought it was, anyway! It's just my perspective but just so many things rubbed me the wrong way. It had so much potential but sadly got the established, lauded white writer "I guess I can write about this conflict to which I have no personal ties" treatment. 6y
BookishFeminist @AliBG No problem! Feel free to read and form your own opinions, though. 6y
BookishFeminist Forgot to mention: this is (FINALLY) book 2 for me in the #BookishOlympics! 6y
Megabooks I'm so glad to hear you're ok. Awesome, thorough review, BTW! 6y
Owlizabeth Damn, fantastic review!! Thank you!!! 6y
Lindy I second @CareBear 's suggestion for Girl at War. Also, try: 6y
Lindy If you like mystery novels, one that respectfully engages with Bosnian war criminals is 6y
EnidBiteEm Glad I'm not the only one on book 2 for the #bookisholympics 😀 6y
BookishFeminist @Lindy Thanks for the recs! I have The Unquiet Dead sitting on my shelf actually. I grabbed it yesterday at the library because I knew it just had to have better treatment of the Bosnian War. 6y
TheJOMOreader Thanks for slogging through it for the greater good! You took one for the team! 6y
BookishFeminist @Ebooksandcooks Thanks ❤️ sometimes the best writing is angry writing, lol 6y
BookishFeminist @Owlizabeth Thank you for slogging through the review!! I mostly just needed to vent & no writing is better than angry writing 😳 6y
BookishFeminist @EnidBiteEm You're definitely not! 😊 6y
BookishFeminist @LindsayInTheLibrary Hahaha no problem 😂 mostly satiating my own morbid curiosity! 6y
Rebeccak I couldn't get past the first page of this one. Glad to see I didn't miss much. Great review. 6y
OrangeMooseReads Perhaps that will be a library get if I do ever get around to reading it. It dropped several spots on the TBR with your review. 6y
LauraBrook Thank you for "taking one for the team"! And thanks for writing a thoughtful and well-written review. You're right, sometimes hate writing is the best! And throwing a book across the room helps - I've done it before and thoroughly enjoyed it. Hope your next book is much better and less anger-inducing! 6y
Yossarian Thank you for the complete review. War books are such a challenge that doing them wrong can be a lot worse than not doing them at all. 6y
BethFishReads I was bored 6y
BethFishReads I mean with the book NOT YOU. 6y
BookishFeminist @BethFishReads Hahaha 💛 I didn't take it that way. It was really boring! I had no idea one could make a plot about a Bosnian war criminal turned sex therapist living in exile and having affairs with folks boring, but now I know. 6y
BookishFeminist @Yossarian Thank you- and I couldn't agree more. If you write one, you better make damn sure you do the conflict and its victims proper lip service, otherwise you have no business writing the book. Also, I'm very worried this book will be long listed and possibly win awards because OMG Queen Edna can do no wrong! There are some glowing reviews in major publications that I turned a side-eye on after reading this myself. 6y
BookishFeminist @LauraBrook Hahaha yes, throwing books is often good therapy if problematic and/or scary. I sure hope my next read will be better- I'll be reading If I Was Your Girl! I've heard wonderful things. 6y
subwayreads Oh my god thank you! I have started this FOUR times and I just can't do it. I get to about page 100 and my mind needs something else. My bf's mother loves Edna so I keep trying because she gave it to me. 6y
BookishFeminist @OrangeMooseReads Yes, I'd recommend that. If I read problematic books I don't like to "feed the beast" so to speak and buy it, I'll always get used or borrow it somewhere. If you do read it, I'm interested to hear your reactions. 6y
BookishFeminist @Rebeccak Haha bless you! Yea you didn't miss much. I wasn't riveted by the first page and should have stopped there, but it's too late now! 6y
BookishFeminist @subwayreads Yes, this might be why! It's boring as all get out at the very least and I LOVE BORING BOOKS. The writing in this is so sloppy (if you couldn't tell from my previous posts). I've heard better things about The Country Girls though- that seems to be a good starting point for her, but I can't say I'm interested anytime soon. 6y
Zelma I have nothing of great value to add except that I'm glad you're done for your own sanity, but I'm also sad because I will miss the ridiculous threads! 😋 6y
Zelma @EnidBiteEm I think plenty of us are lagging. I only have one book and one graphic novel done. 6y
BookishFeminist @Zelma The ridiculous threads aren't going anywhere, my friend. Something else ALWAYS crops up. The world is my oyster. 🌏 6y
Lizpixie Let's go team! We got more books to read #goingforgold🏅 p.s I'm sorry the book sucked☹️ 6y
Zelma Celebrate! 😋 these threads have mDe me laugh for days. Mr. Z was cracking up today as I relayed the idea of air quality and dark libraries. 6y
Laalaleighh We learned a bit about this war in my poli-sci classes. Enough that the fact that someone who has no ties to the conflict using it as a backdrop sickens me. But particularly the fact that she would term a war criminal responsible for ethnic cleansing into a sex-therapist- is disgusting, if one knows anything about their "ethnic cleansing" methods. I'm going to post why below under a spoiler tag, so noone accidentally reads it if they don't wish to 6y
[DELETED] 1409720085 Bleh, no thank you. 6y
BookishFeminist @Laalaleighh She actually didn't make that part up- I'm not sure whether the actual Beast of Bosnia included "sex therapy" in his list of trades but he did live as a fugitive for 13 years in Europe practicing "holistic healing." I had a lot of problems with that plot point originally as well, but when I did the research, I can see that it's not too far removed from the actual story. It doesn't make the book any less insulting though IMO. 6y
BookishFeminist @Zelma LOL. My partner's been having fun with it too- everything has been manful this, manful that. 🙄 he posted an exchange on one of my threads about it that I don't think you saw! 6y
Laalaleighh Their method of "ethnic cleansing" was to chain women to fences, rape them til they were pregnant, kill their husbands, sons, fathers etc. in front of them, keep them in captivity (literal chains) til childbirth, force them to nurse their children, and then murder the women once the kids were weaned and raise the children as their own. And. She. Turned. Someone. Responsible. For. That. Into. A. Sex. Therapist. For. A. Story. Morally bankrupt much? 6y
BookishFeminist @Laalaleighh what's worse is the woman in this book from the Irish village who falls in love with him becomes pregnant by him and is then given a forcible abortion by the town. It's utterly disgusting how many layers of this tragedy she probably unintentionally made light of with her irresponsible research. I remember studying this in a course I took on genocide in college & wanted to throw up after hearing the stories. (Poli sci major!) 6y
Laalaleighh I've never read anything by her and after seeing this I don't plan to start. 6y
Laalaleighh @BookishFeminist you're kidding. The level of irresponsible research is astounding. 6y
BookishFeminist @Laalaleighh I wish I were kidding. It's the same thing a lot of well-established white authors do- write a book about a massive world topic but don't do it proper lip service and to me it always comes across as disrespectful, but the press seems to like it and give them awards since that author clearly can do no wrong 🙄 6y
Laalaleighh @bookishfeminist the times, they are a-changin (as my great grandmother would say). But for real. They have to realize they can't get away with that stuff anymore. There's no excuse for ignorance in this day and age. You have to be willfully ignorant to not understand the problem with what she did here. 6y
BookishFeminist @Laalaleighh if you are white and privileged in my opinion it's awfully hard to justify writing a book about any sort of __ism committed against people of other races or cultures. It can be done but you better make damn sure you have the facts not only straight, but i's dotted, t's crossed, and checked by people within that culture for offensiveness. And you better NEVER use the mass pillage, cleansing, or genocide. 6y
BookishFeminist @Laalaleighh I completely agree- it's ignorance I think. At the most her writing is incredibly damaging, at the least she doesn't give proper historical and cultural context for the things she discusses in the book, and considering she is an author with a wide fan base who read her books on name recognition alone, you have a responsibility to not miseducate with your writing about something to which you have ZERO. PERSONAL. CONNECTION. 6y
Laalaleighh @bookishfeminist 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 6y
BookishFeminist @Laalaleighh LOL now that you got me on a tangent, it's also worth noting that I learned way more about the nature of this conflict from a couple of Google searches than I did from this 300 page novel that relates to the problem. It's usually the opposite where I learn stuff from a book with historical or cultural context & then Google to find MORE about it. However that context was almost entirely missing so what I ask you was the point of it? 😒 6y
Laalaleighh @BookishFeminist it's one thing if she was trying to genuinely bring attention to the conflict. It's another if she just exploited it for story, and literary acclaim. 6y
BookishFeminist @Laalaleighh and the fact that I'm not sure which one it was is exactly the problem. 😑 I'm sure part of it was wanting to bring attention to the massacre because white saviors do that bullshit, but if that's what she really wanted, the facts would have been front and center, you'd think, and it would have focused more on the actual conflict. 6y
Laalaleighh @bookishfeminist is she really popular? I've never heard of her. 6y
BookishFeminist @Laalaleighh She is- Google her and you'll find tons. She's got quite a following. 6y
Biljana @BookishFeminist ❤️ Now you know why I rarely read fiction about the Balkan wars by non-Balkan authors. If you want to get into this subject, than the best would be The Fall of Yugoslavia by Misha Glenny or BBC documentary with the same title. Many great movies about the subject. Black Lamb Grey Falcon by Rebacca West; Balkan Ghosts by Robert D. Kaplan, all non-fiction. 6y
Biljana @BookishFeminist Or Balkan authors especially new generation and both on and not on the wars. 6y
BookishFeminist @Biljana ❤️ Thank you so much! Adding them all to my TBR (& to watch) list. I want to learn more about the Balkan wars because they're rarely taught well, if at all, in the US, and books like this drive that point home perfectly about how misinformed a lot of people are about them. Have you read this one, a detective novel that has a context of the Srebrenica massacre? I've heard good things but I'd love your opinion on it if you've read it. 6y
BookishFeminist @Lizpixie Thank you! Books sucking happens sometimes. At least this one has the excellent silver lining of me doing research and learning about the Bosnian War! So it wasn't a wasted effort for me. 😊 6y
Biljana @BookishFeminist I haven't, will add it :). For movies, try Pretty Village, Pretty Flame; No Man's Land; Underground by Emir Kusturica; Vukovar Post Restante; Fuse; Grbavica. All very hard to watch, just a warning... 6y
Biljana @BookishFeminist The script for Premeditated Murder was done by its author, so it's excellent movie, but book is still better :). 6y
BookishFeminist @Biljana Those all sound excellent- noted on the hard watch. I'll keep my anti-anxiety meds close and pace myself if need be. Again, thank you! This stuff is so important & I'm glad we have this community here to share resources so openly. It only adds to the critical reading of books. 😊❤️ 6y
BookishFeminist @Biljana (the book is always better! 😅) 6y
Zelma I'll go back and look at the old threads! I don't want miss anything. 😋 6y
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blurb
BookishFeminist
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
post image

Sigh, we meet again.

Relaxing in Starbucks with some iced tea lemonade and this damn book again. I am too far in to not finish it. 🍹

CoffeeK8 Your blurbs make me so glad I dropped out after 2 chapters 6y
BookishFeminist @CoffeeK8 I feel bad for hating on this book! It's very rare for me, but it has some legitimate problems that go beyond simple personal taste for me. Glad it's helping to confirm your decision! 6y
CoffeeK8 I feel the same way, I almost never drop a book, but like you said, the tone just seemed disconnected 6y
See All 27 Comments
BookishMarginalia I'm happy not to be picking it up 🤓 6y
LitHousewife I am so sorry to laugh at this post, but I did. After a shit day at work, your exasperation with this book reminds me that life is good. You've got to have books like these to truly appreciate the life changing ones. 😁 6y
lisakoby Reading sunk cost is the worst. You know you should cut it loose but... 6y
BookishFeminist @LitHousewife Hahaha don't feel sorry! I've been chuckling throughout the whole thing because it's the only thing keeping me grounded, lol. I just finished and WHOO BOY. That was a trip and a half if I've ever seen one. (Also- so sorry to hear you had a shit day at work. Cheers to a better evening! 🍻) 6y
BookishFeminist @BookishMarginalia LOL yep, steer clear. It's the best choice. 6y
BookishFeminist @Lisa4 It is! Especially during the #BookishOlympics. Just had to finish. I also tend to finish things I find legitimately problematic so I can properly critique it and make sure I don't mischaracterize my criticisms of it. But if it's just not my thing, I tend to bail & don't give it a bad review. It's very rare for me to flat out not find merit in a book. 6y
LitHousewife @BookishFeminist Question: did you pitch the book against the wall when you finished it? I've done this twice in recent memory and I treasure those books even though I hated them so much. 😂 6y
BookishFeminist @LitHousewife I sadly did not because I didn't think it would go over too well at Starbucks 😂😂 6y
BookishFeminist @LitHousewife (also psst: what books did you pitch against the wall?!?! Inquiring minds want to know 😳😇) 6y
LitHousewife @BookishFeminist Starbucks should be progressive enough to understand and respect your need to pitch a book. 😉 6y
LitHousewife @BookishFeminist Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult and Eat, Pray, Love. EPL was a borrowed audiobook from a coworker, so that cost me 💳💰💳💰💳 to replace because the CD cracked against the back of my car. 6y
BookishFeminist @LitHousewife LOLLLLLLLL. You threw it and had to replace it! 😂 I'm not a fan of that one either. 6y
BethM The Sandcastle Girls was an excellent novel but on Armenia genocide. 6y
BookishFeminist @BethM I do want to read that! I actually just grabbed it from the library. I'm specifically looking for the Bosnian War & Srebrenica massacre books though (which are probably harder to find) because it was much more recent than the Armenian Genocide. 6y
BethM @BookishFeminist I will await your Sandcastle discussion! Sadly, I don't know much about the Bosnian War. 6y
BookishFeminist @BethM yes, I'm looking forward to it! I don't know as much either and am hoping to learn more. 6y
Ashley_Nicoletto You're never to far in to stop reading a book. Too many books in the world and not enough hours. 6y
Hazel0303 Your love/hate relationship with this book has my my lifetime this week. Thanks for the laughs!! 6y
NovelGirl82 Thank you so much for these posts! I've had such a shit week, that it has kept me on the verge of a migraine & I haven't been able to read. Thanks for cheering me up! 6y
BookishFeminist @Ashley_Nicoletto I do stop if it's just a matter of personal taste, but this is more than that. I want to offer a proper critique of its issues so I finished it, but I didn't spend much time and energy on it. 6y
BookishFeminist @Hazel0303 😂😂 you're welcome, I'm just glad someone else is getting enjoyment out of it aside from me! 6y
BookishFeminist @NovelGirl82 Aw! ❤️ I hope your week improves. If not, tomorrow's Friday and TGIF! I get chronic migraines and stressful weeks are the worst for them. Glad I could help, being able to post here has been helping me this week too. 6y
NovelGirl82 Yes! I'm so glad this week is almost over! Stupid chronic migraines put a major damper on my week & my reading habits! My daith has helped, but nothing will ever take them away. 6y
BookishFeminist @NovelGirl82 Ugh! I feel your pain. They put a damper on mine too a lot of the time, the worst is when I have terrible light AND sound sensitivity, so I can't even listen to audiobooks on low volume in the dark (my usual relaxation when I have a minor chronic migraine). Meds rarely work, only if I catch it in the aura stage before it's even a head ache. 🔪🔪🔪 I am right there with you in solidarity. 6y
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quote
BookishFeminist
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
post image

⁉️⁉️⁉️⁉️⁉️⁉️⁉️⁉️⁉️⁉️⁉️

I. I just. I just CAN'T. 😧

Edna, is everything okay? I am beginning to worry. At the very least we need to have a chat about your writing style. 😳

#LitsyAfterDark

(In all seriousness, this book is about a very serious topic and it reads like a satire, and that is not okay.)

EDIT | Thanks to @Biljana for explaining the context and meaning of this phrasing & this book's problems re Bosnian War. Scroll to read.👇🏼👇🏼

Laalaleighh I like your hashtag though 6y
BookishFeminist @Laalaleighh LOL thank you 6y
Laalaleighh I approve haha. 6y
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Bookworm-Bobbie What on earth are you reading? 😐 6y
BookishFeminist @Laalaleighh 👍🏼👍🏼 feel free to use it for shenanigans 6y
BookishFeminist @Bookworm-Bobbie I'm supposed to be reading literary fiction about a war criminal hiding in a small Irish town and is discovered after having an affair with someone. But that is not really what I am getting. 6y
scripturient Your posts about this novel are making my day! 😂😂 6y
BookishFeminist @scripturient I am glad for it! Litsy is helping me slog through this. It's supposed to be a serious novel, but I can't keep a straight face! 😂 6y
Biljana @BookishFeminist This is a translation, rather literal, of a word 'vukojebina', which actually means - in the middle of nowhere or a place hard to reach. The word exists in Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian languages. 6y
Biljana @BookishFeminist I agree, the subject is multilayered and difficult and I was not happy how it was dealt with. 6y
BookishFeminist @Biljana I never knew that- thank you for sharing it. Glad Litsy exists for this reason. This chapter title definitely caught be off guard because it's mentioned in this book with no context, really, which I don't think is very responsible of the author. Have you read this? I'm finding it to be incredibly problematic. 6y
Biljana @BookishFeminist I did, was disappointed. Let me tag you on my wall. You are very welcome xx 6y
BookishFeminist @Biljana Thank you. I'm learning a lot. I edited my post above so others can learn as well. Do you mind that I tagged you? 6y
Biljana Not at all, not at all. It should have been explained by the author, you're right. Thank you ❤️ 6y
BookishFeminist @Biljana Anytime, thank YOU! ❤️ 6y
Sue @BookishFeminist @Biljana Thank you both ! This is why I love the crap out of Litsy - I wouldn't have learned that anywhere else. 6y
BookishMarginalia @Sue me either 6y
ramyasbookshelf @BookishFeminist @Biljana I love reading translated works of fiction.. But this here is my exact problem with a lot of them.. Some phrases cannot be literally translated because we immediately lose the cultural significance of the phrase.. 6y
LitHousewife Shortly after this, the tone changes pretty dramatically. 6y
LitHousewife I read this in audio and had a different reaction to it. I don't even remember this chapter title, but I know where you are in the story. In the end I enjoyed this more than you or @Biljana. Im definitely thinking over it again reading your comments. My read might not have been close enough. 6y
BookishFeminist @Sue @BookishMarginalia I always learn something new on Litsy, especially where I least expect to find it. So grateful for our love of learning & appreciation of open minds. 6y
BookishFeminist @LitHousewife Yes, I see what you mean. The second half is like a completely different book! I love/hate seeing new reactions to books that I enjoyed- jarring at first but I am grateful for the learning experience and love reflecting back on things I didn't catch in my read. Our different perspectives can make our reactions vary widely. 6y
LitHousewife @BookishFeminist Being pretty much the only reader I know who reads what I like to read, I often miss out on others opinions. I love seeing what you think about this book. Litsy is the next best thing to living nearby someone. I still like the book, but my view of it is much broader now. I love the balance. 6y
BookishFeminist @LitHousewife Yes I do too! This community is so enriching. I've been finding that not only have I opened my perspective on things I hadn't considered reading before (some popular authors for instance), but that I'm also reading deeper & gaining a fuller understanding of the context and nuances of what I read. It's so wonderful! 6y
Hugoreads Yes, @BookishFeminist @LitHousewife ...I also feel that Litsy has made me a better reader. I absolutely love this community. 6y
Megabooks #bestthreadever #litsylove ❤️❤️ I love learning new things. I need to read more translated books. Thank you @Biljana @LitHousewife @BookishFeminist @Hugoreads Litsy has upped my reading in every way. I've been turned on to so many new authors and genres. 6y
AThousandLives87 Omg. All your posts on this book!!! I have it in my TBR stack but now I'm doubt even picking it up! 6y
Biljana @BookishFeminist @Sue @BookishMarginalia @ramyasbookshelf @Ebooksandcooks Thank you and you are welcome, it was my pleasure :). I am not usually negative about books but somehow this looks more like a draft... 6y
BookishFeminist @Biljana I agree- it does seem like a draft to me. I'm also not sure I feel about the whole "romance with war criminal" aspect of the book & then focus on her exiled life in London. I don't tend to hate on books either but I do feel that the way this plot is structured sort of makes light of the Srebrenica Massacre & uses it as a prop for a romance plot rather than having constructive material about it. Probably an over analysis but it's weird. 6y
Biljana @BookishFeminist Vlad is based on Radovanovic Karadzic, Bosnian Serb leader, who lived similar life for years hiding from the ICTY, so I get it that she wanted to spice it up, but my huge problem with it is the lack of focus on Fidelma's trauma. Elements of the story were popping up but I couldn't really link them to what I know about trauma, Bosnian war, survivors, Sarajevo, Srebrenica. Maybe I'm missing something, but... 🤔🔦🔎🔮 6y
BookishFeminist @Biljana I don't think you're missing something at all, I think that's spot on. That's another great point and something that's been rubbing me the wrong way too without knowing how to put my finger on it, so thank you! Having PTSD myself for non-war related things, the fact that Fidelma's trauma isn't properly or hardly addressed is hard to justify. It's very invalidating for survivors I'd have to imagine. 6y
BookishFeminist @Biljana Thank you again for the wonderful discussion- your points are giving me a lot of great context while I finish the rest of the book. It's making me really interested in other books on this topic- do you know of any good fiction ones that relate to the Bosnian War/Srebrenica without all of these problems? 6y
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BookishFeminist
The Little Red Chairs | Edna O'Brien
post image

LMFAOOOOOOO. Omg this has to be the most ridiculous expression for penis I have ever seen. 😂😂

Boule d'amour = basically bundle of joy 🍒

I have no idea what is going on in this book or why she is tucking his shirt in or why he needed to tell her exactly where tf she should tuck it to, but I am DYING.

💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻 #LitsyAfterDark

(Not meant to offend anyone- if it does, let me know and I'll put it behind a spoiler.)

OSChamberlain 😏😏😏 6y
BookishFeminist @OSChamberlain LOL. There needs to be a facepalm emoji just for that. 6y
OSChamberlain Hahahaa. This cracked me up. Love the #LitsyAfterDark tag too 😂. Get scandalous up in here! 6y
See All 21 Comments
BookishFeminist @OSChamberlain These late night comment threads needed something to spruce 'em up! 😂 6y
Texreader 😂😂😂😂 6y
shawnmooney I'm SO offended! ;) 6y
BookishFeminist @shawnmooney Hey, you never know! Some folks may object to seeing this on legitimate grounds. I certainly didn't think you'd be one of them though. 😉😂 6y
kammartinez Would you believe me if I said that that's pretty mild? Because I've been reading Simon Sebag Montefiore's history of the Romanovs and some of the nicknames they've given to their genitalia are just... Well. 6y
BookishFeminist @kammartinez 😂😂 I'd believe you. But you know what you just did? I have that book sitting on my shelf and haven't had the motivation to pick it up yet, but BOY DO I EVER NOW. 6y
kammartinez Oh man, that book is QUITE the ride. It talks about politics, yes, but Montefiore spends A LOT of time on all the deliciously scandalous details of the Romanovs' personal lives - and since everything's accurately footnoted back to primary sources, I have to accept that what he's saying is true. 6y
BookishFeminist @kammartinez 😏😏 Hellooooooo weekend! 6y
scripturient Hahahaha! 😂😂 6y
LitHousewife I wouldn't have been able to look for a translation of this while listening. I'm glad I didn't. Also Juliet Stevenson is a consummate actress. Those scenes you've been posting didn't come off as absurd in audio as your comments clearly make them. 😂 6y
BookishFeminist @LitHousewife ? I get punchy when I am up late reading so don't mind my snark! I don't catch things like this when I'm listening on audio either. But they fall right off the page when I'm reading in print & she's already had a few questionable analogies. The French grabbed me because I speak it so I was like...WHAT?! That is just ridiculous, lol. The literal translation is even worse- "ball of love" ?? 6y
LitHousewife @BookishFeminist Ahahahahahaha!!! I am loving your thoughts on this book. They make my damn morning. I feel like updating my review to point to #Litsyafterdark and your thoughts. 🤗 6y
LitHousewife @BookishFeminist "Ball of love!" OMG! The tears... ???? 6y
BookishFeminist @LitHousewife hahahaha right?! I had to put the book down for a while because I was laughing so hard that u couldn't even type the post. I'm so surprised I didn't wake my partner sleeping in the other room! 😂😂😂😂😂 6y
Megabooks Sexy 😉🍌 6y
BookDude Dang, I thought I was the only one who called it that. 6y
BookishFeminist @Ebooksandcooks Nothing like a good ole sexy shirt tucking! 😉 6y
BookishFeminist @BookDude 🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄 DUDE. LOL. 6y
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