Juno’s Daughters by Lise Saffran + giveaway
Posted by Caitie F on June 18, 2011
This is a good summer read!
Summary (from goodreads):
Jenny Alexander has sought refuge from a troubled past on a tiny, verdant island, off the coast of Washington state. Surrounded by the cold water of the Puget Sound, she does her best to raise her girls, innocent Frankie, and thrill-seeking Lilly, in a tight-knit community of eccentrics and dreamers.
The island bursts open each summer with the arrival of actors leading the annual Shakespeare production. A handsome thespian from New York reawakens Jenny to long-buried desires. As the intensity of rehearsals builds toward the live run of The Tempest, a potent mixture of actors, islanders and tourists, besotted by verse and swept up in the romance of the theater, spills the enchantment of the play into the lives of the players.
When Jenny finds her daughters caught up in a “brave new world” of love and heartbreak, she is ultimately thrust into a command performance that will resonate in all their lives.
Since this isn’t a rave review, I will break it into two parts
What I Liked:
I loved the Shakespeare references and all the talk of Shakespeare in the book. I am a fan and really enjoyed The Tempest when I read it, so it was really cool to read a book that had a whole island enthralled and excited by the Bard.
I also loved the setting. It is on a small island that can only be reached by ferry. The setting was fun, vivid, and made me want to visit the islands off the coast of Washington, a place I was never interested in before.
In addition to the great setting, the characters that lived on the island were really interesting and realistic. There were characters who loved it and others that can’t handle it. They were also a tight0knit community and everyone cared about each other. That aspect made for a better plot and made me care about some characters that I wouldn’t have otherwise.
I also love the end. The last 50 pages were amazing.
What I didn’t like:
Jenny, the main character. She has all of the issues of single, middle aged women that is irritating. She doesn’t like nice guys and wants someone more “daring”. She is an irritating parent (but I won’t go into why, there are lots of spoilers there). I did not find her likable, unless she was dealing with her younger daughter, Frankie. Luckily, the other character made up for it a little.
Some of the plot points. Lily trying to seduce a middle-aged man even though she was seventeen was creepy and I didn’t think it was handled well.
That said, if you really like women’s fiction, I would give it a chance!
I am giving away a copy to a reader. Leave a comment that says you want to be entered and make sure you include your email address.
Contest ends June 28th.
US and Canada only.
One extra entry for a tweet (please include a url to your tweet!)