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The Turn of the Screw: A Case Study in Contemporary Criticism (Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism)
Peter G. Beidler, Henry James
Sapphira and the Slave Girl
Willa Cather
Larry McMurtry
Lord of the Changing Winds
Rachel Neumeier
Hyperion (Hyperion Series #1)
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Anne Brontë, Mary Augusta Ward
The Tea Rose  - Jennifer Donnelly This book has faults. The story was pretty far fetched at times-but I suppose in kind of an endearing "fairy tale" way (which is funny, since a great deal of the book is extremely horrible and depressing), and the main character didn't really have any flaws.Well, I take that back. Fiona, the main character, was in love with Joe. That is a fault, in my eyes. They grew up together, were in love, and had big plans to get rich together. Well, through a horrible chain of events, they ended up on opposite continents. I'm not saying that what happened was really Joe's fault - the whole thing was so pathetic, I was mad at him at first but really just ended up being sorry for him - but I am not a member of Joe's fan club. He is alright, I just think Fiona is better then him. I forgave Donnelly for making Fiona so perfect - because really, she earned it. Bless her heart, she really got run through the mill in the story.Okay...now for the two main reasons I loved the book beyond all reason:1. Nicholas Soames. He is officially one of my favorite characters of all time. He DID have his flaws (spoiled rich kid), but bless his heart, he did not live an easy life. I fell in love with him, and so did Fiona (in a friendly way). Their close friendship and devotion to each other is one of the main reasons I forgive Fiona for being perfect. I cannot say enough that I love this guy. From the very second he walked into the story, I knew it was getting five stars. I felt such an emotional connection to him, I have never wanted to be friends with a character so much. Ever. He melted (and then broke) my heart.2. The book made me feel. Just a few words into Page 1, Donnelly put me into the story...she just makes you feel like you are right there. Once I was in, she never let up. I was a part of that story from beginning to end, and that is a gift. No matter what problems the plot might have, you cannot ignore an author - or a story - that so fully captures you. Her descriptions and words are gorgeous. Also...I cried like a baby at one point (obviously I'm not going to tell you why, but when you read the book - then we'll talk). I mean...I put the book down for a few minutes and just sobbed. A book hasn't done that to me in...I don't know how long. I felt silly, but I couldn't help it. The story broke my heart.There was a happy ending though, no worries. Don't let my crying put you off.This is a great story, it is a long one...but I really think it is worth the time. It, in many ways, isn't very original...but there are plenty of twists you won't see coming. It is a strange combination of Gaskell's North and South, Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo, and heck...I'll even through in the musical Rent. (Ha! If that isn't an intriguing combination, I don't know what is.)