Book Review

Book Review: Sleeping Beauties

Book Review: Sleeping Beauties
by Stephen King and Owen King

Fun fact – This book was written by Stephen King and his son Owen King.

One day, all the women and girls in the world fell asleep. A mucus web like cocoon formed over each woman, this sleeping sickness is called “Aurora”. Women who were awake fought hard to remain that way but the human body can only go without sleep for so long. If you try and wake up a sleeping woman, she will get up and attack the person who woke her up, only stopping when the person dies then the woman goes back to sleep. Women who are mothers of boys fell asleep, woke up, picked up their boy children and handed them over to the nearest man then went back to sleep. Doctors cannot figure out why this is happening. Rumors begin and women hating men say that God is punishing women for “moving away from their place in the kitchen.”

The events in the book happen within a span of five days and are focused on what happened in a small town of Dooling, West Virginia. When all the women in the world fall asleep men panic since now they have to take care of their sons. Fathers flood 911 with calls asking what to do with crying boys.

The women fell asleep and woke up in Dooling in the near future, there are only women and girls there. The women name this Dooling as “Our Place”. They begin to rebuild society, everyone has a job and it is harmonious. The women are given a choice they can stay in “Our Place” or go back to present day Dooling.

List of characters:

Lila Norcross – sheriff of Dooling, West Virginia and wife of Clint
Clint Norcross – psychiatrist at Dooling Correctional Institute for Women and husband of Lila
Eve Black – she is magic
Terry Coombs – alcoholic, deputy under the sheriff later promoted to sheriff; commits suicide
Frank Geary – animal control officer, later becomes second in command under Terry Coombs; has anger issues
Warden Janice Coats – warden of the Dooling Coorectional Insitute for Women
Don Peters – rapist, guard at the prison who abuses his power as guard forcing the prisoners to sexually satisfy him; later he puts a Xanaz in the warden’s coffee forcing her to go to sleep. He murdered his mother while she slept by burning down the house with her inside. Later on he becomes a deputy, helps Frank’s side and is killed.
Eric Blass – teenage boy poised to become a rapist, later becomes a deputy, helps Frank’s side, murdered the homeless woman
Jared – Lila and Clint’s son, has a crush on his friend Mary
Mary – Jared’s friend
“Our Place” – looks like the town of Dooling but maybe in the distant future
Magnificent tree – portal between the current Dooling town and “Our Place”
Elaine Nutting – Frank’s ex-wife, very religious
Jeanette Sorley – inmate
Vanessa Lampley – guard at the prison, she is an arm wrestling champion and very strong, she decides to commit suicide instead of falling asleep, ends up pushing herself to chase two criminals and take them down
Michaela – reporter, Janice Coates’ daughter
Angel Fitzroy – inmate
Willy Burke – volunteer, helps Clint’s side
Nana Geary – Frank and Elaine’s daughter, she is scared of her dad but later wants to go back home since she misses her dad

A big theme of the story was fear. When we let fear take over then we all make really bad decisions. Frank mobilizes the deputies with the goal of capturing Eve Black, torturing her until she gives them the cure for all the women. Frank is motivated by fear and believes that this will bring his daughter back.

Because men now have to take on the work women do (which they thought was not real work) they (men) were able to understand that it is work, it is hard work and it should be respected.
A few key things change in the aftermath – universal day care is passed. Women are more assertive and voice their opinions. Men have a smidge more respect for women.

I would not have chosen to come back because in “Our Place” I would have the opportunity to reach my full potential without fear, without having to disguise my ambition and having to change myself into a less threatening, smiling woman so that society (aka men and some women) can accept me. But the book was written by men and maybe that’s why the women in the book decided to come back.

I enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to others.

Book Review

Book Review: The Death of Mrs. Westaway

Book Review: The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Written by Ruth Ware

Harriet “Hal” Westaway is a 21 year old college dropout trying to make enough money to afford to pay for her apartment, pay off her loan shark and to eat. Hal took over her mom’s tarot reading booth on Brighton Beach. Hal’s mom (named Maggie) died three years ago after she was hit by a car in front of their apartment and the person left the scene.

Hal is really struggling financially and she sees no way out. One day she receives a letter from a lawyer named Mr. Treswick. In the letter Mr. Treswick tells Hal that her grandmother (Mrs. Westaway) recently passed away and left Hal some money so Hal should go there for the reading of the will. Hal believes that the letter was not meant for her but she decides to play along so that she can get a little money to help with her debt.

When the will is read, Mrs. Westaway’s grandchildren and maid are given money and the rest of the estate is given to Hal! Mrs. Westaway left nothing for her sons – Abel, Ezra and Harding. Abel is gay and his partner is Edward Ashby so Mrs. Westaway disowned him years ago and he was not surprised that he got nothing in the will.
Mrs. Westaway had a daughter named Maud (she’s also Ezra’s twin sister) who left years ago and no one knows where she is. It is important to note that Hal does not know who her father is.

Themes I saw:

Family shame – Mrs. Westaway locked Maggie up when she found out that she was pregnant. This was done in the hopes that Maggie would tell her who the baby’s father was. The pregnancy was the shame.

Friendship – Maggie and Maud are good friends and runaway together so that they can have a good life away from Mrs. Westaway.

Love – Maud loved her friend Maggie so later on when Maggie does not come back, Maud raises Maggie’s daughter as her own.
Mrs. Warren the housekeeper loved Ezra. She never told on him for the murder.
Mrs. Westaway loved her son Ezra and never turned him in.

Self-preservation – Hal found an opportunity to make some money by inheriting some money and she ran to take it. Ezra killed Maggie because she came back asking for money to raise his infant daughter. Ezra then kills Maud so she will not tell Hal that Ezra is her dad and that she suspects that Ezra killed her mom (Maggie). Ezra attempts to kill Hal because she was figuring out the truth and he kills Mrs. Warren because she knows most of the truth even though she (Mrs. Warren) would never have told anyone.

I think that Mrs. Westaway wanted to do the right thing by her daughter but still not hurt her most beloved son so she left all her money to Hal. Also, family secrets cause so much pain and they have to be addressed in order for healing to finally start – which is what ends up happening in this book.

All in all – I loved this book because in the end Ha’s situation is better than she started which I absolutely love!!!!

Book Review

Book Review: The Shape of Water

Book Review: The Shape of Water 

By Guillermo del Toro, Daniel Kraus

It’s the 1960s and Elisa Esposito works as a night janitor at an aerospace research center in Baltimore. Elisa cannot speak, she can hear and uses sign language to communicate. Elisa has two friends – Zelda (her co-worker) and Giles (her neighbor). One day an amphibious man is brought in to be studied and dissected afterwards. Richard Strickland is the one who caught him. Elisa and the amphibious man fall in love and she will risk everything to set him free.

Below are some spoilers; you have been warned.

Here are the main themes I saw:

Friendship
Elisa’s friendship with both Zelda and Giles is tested when the two (Zelda and Giles) have to decide whether or not they will assist Elisa with helping her man escape.

Stuck
Elisa Esposito is stuck. She is a woman and her choices of work are very limited especially since she cannot talk. Elisa is stuck at a dead end job doing the same thing over and over.

Zelda Fuller is stuck. Zelda is a black woman who dreams of saving enough money to open her own cleaning company and attain a better life.

Giles is stuck. Giles is a gay man during a time in history where homosexuality is illegal and you could end up in jail. Giles was fired from his job due to his sexual preferences and he is trying to make a living for himself and he stuck with limited options.

Amphibious man is stuck. He is a wild God like being who is powerful, mysterious and stuck in a tank with no way out.

Richard Strickland is stuck. He is stuck under the thumb of his boss (General Hoyt) and he hopes that by seeing through the research being done on the amphibious man, that he can finally be free of his boss.

Dr. Hoffstetler is stuck. He is a researcher tasked with studying the amphibious man. Dr. Hoffstetler is stuck having to pass along secrets to his Soviet handler……….YES he is a reluctant spy.

Elaine Strickland is stuck. She is stuck in a marriage to Richard Strickland where she tries her best to be a “good wife” which means cooking for her husband, cleaning, ironing his clothes and taking care of their children. Eventually Elaine gets a secret job as a secretary and she works, takes care of the kids and comes back home in time to make dinner and take care of her man.

Love
Elisa falls in love with the Amphibious man and because of that love she follows through a daring plan to set him free. It turns out that the Amphibious man falls in love! I was worried that the love could have been one sided since Elisa is free and he is a prisoner. I knew that the Amphibious man loved Elisa when she gets shot and he immediately kills the person who hurt Elisa then he saves her life. I loved the part where the Amphibious man turns Elisa’s neck scars into gills, thus enabling Elisa to breath underwater just like him.

All in all – I loved the book!!!!

Movie Reviews

Movie Review: The Widow

 nbMovie Review: The Widow

8 episodes
Created and written by Harry Williams and Jack Williams
Directed by Sam Donovan and Olly Blackburn

Georgia Wells (main character, widow of Will) – Kate Beckinsale
Martin Benson (Georgia’s friend) – Charles Dane
Judith Gray (Georgia’s friend, Will’s boss) – Alex Kingston
General Azikiwe – Babs Olusanmokun
Ariel Helgason (blind guy) – Olafur Darri Olafsson
Emmanuel Kazadi (Georgia’s friend) – Jacky Ido
Pieter Bello – Bart Fouche
Adidja (child soldier) – Shalom Nyandiko
Molisho (Adidja’s friend and child soldier) – Likho Mango
Gaelle Kazadi (Emmanuel’s pregnant first wife) – Luiana Bonfim
Will Mason (Georgia’s husband) – Matthew Le Nevez
Sally Newell (Judith’s girlfriend) – Siobhan Finneran

Georgia’s husband (Will) died aboard a plan in Congo, Africa. Three years later, Georgia catches a glimpse of him on news footage. Armed with his picture and the hope that her husband is alive, Georgia goes to the Congo to find him.

As I watched the show I kept asking myself “how far would I go to find my loved one?” And at the end of it all – my answer is until I find my person.
Georgia faces death threats, a car bombing, rape attempt, murder attempts, trapesing through the jungle which is full of armed militia, military, lots of betrayal and a huge helping of corruption. The truths Georgia uncovers put her life in danger and he must decide what to do next. The truth will hurt but I’m with Georgia, I would rather know the truth then live with never knowing. And in the end, Georgia finds her new family.
I loved that they spoke Swahili and French in the show. I was happy to hear my language (Swahili); it was a nice surprise.

Themes throughout the show that I saw:

Love
Georgia loves her husband and that love motivates her to try and find him.

Peiter loves his daughter and that motivates him to do dangerous and illegal things to provide for her.

Judith loves Sally Newell and so she willingly gives Sally the money she inherited from her mother to help with Sally’s business.

Adidja’s love for her friend Molisho leads her to look away and let him escape.

Fear
Will feared coming out and so he just stayed “disappeared”.

Ariel Helgason was too scared to tell the truth because he is the only survivor and so he disappears and changes his identity.

Greed
Pieter tries to edge out the military from taking most of his profits so that he can increase his share of the money.

Will joins the smuggling because he wants to make lots of money.

When Judith loses love, she decides to get all the money and joins the smuggling ring with Pieter and General Azikiwe.

Betrayal
Will betrayed Georgia.
Sally betrayed Judith.
Judith betrayed Will.
Peiter betrayed Georgia and Emmanuel.

Loss of innocence
Adidja and her friend Molisho are children who were taken from their families and forced to become child soldiers for the Mai-Mai militia.

Pieter forces Adidja to shoot someone so that he can keep her secret (which is she let her friend Molisho escape). Adidja is the age of Pieter’s daughter but instead of seeing Adidja as a little girl who could be his daughter and this should not be happening to her; Pieter makes her kill someone.

Survival
Adidja survives her time as a child soldier, she is clever, brave and intelligent.

Georgia survives the loss of her husband and goes searching for him.

If we look out for each other than good has a chance.

All in all, I loved The Widow!

A female main character, no naked women for no reason, fighting for love and not falling apart after discovering the truth. Women = survivors
And after you survive then you can create a new family and LIVE!!!!

Rossy's Corner

Tips for a successful doctor’s appointment

                                          Tips for a successful doctor’s appointment

Going to the doctor can be very stressful and talking to the doctor can feel intimidating a lot of the time.

Here are my tips to make the most of your visit; they are:

1.       Have your ID, insurance card and copay ready (or cash/card/check if you do not have insurance)

2.       When filling out the forms, make sure to read what you are signing. I also recommend taking a picture of all the forms you filled out using your cell phone.

3.       Make a list of all the medications you are taking – include supplements and over the counter medications. The list should include the name of the medication, dosage, number of tablets, how often you take them, etc. Bring the list to your appointment.  

4.       Have the name, address, phone number of your primary physician and the name, address, phone number of the pharmacy you use.

5.       Before going to the doctor, write down a list of questions you have and bring the questions to your appointment. If you are too embarrassed to ask the questions, hand the list to the doctor and say that you had these questions (while pointing to the list). – have a notebook ready so that you can write down the answers.

6.       If the doctor ends up prescribing any medication for you – the doctor usually does not give you a paper prescription, they send it directly to your pharmacy so ask what the doctor is prescribing – name of the medication, what is it for, how you should take it, number of pills a day, and for how long. (Write this down so that later you can check to see if that’s what was sent to the pharmacy – remember that it might be the brand name the doctor told you but at the pharmacy it might be the generic medication hence the name might not match)

7.       Read back to the doctor what the plan is and the doctor will agree or clarify something. 

8.       At the end of the appointment, thank the doctor and schedule the follow up appointment before leaving.  

Let me know what other tips you would add!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Astro Boy

Directed by David Bowers
Freddie Highmore as Astro Boy/Toby
Nicolas Cage as Dr. Tenma
Donald Sutherland as President Stone
Bill Nighy as Dr. Elefun
Kristen Bell as Cora
Dee Bradley Baker as Trashcan (dog)
 
I must confess that I love anime/cartoons! And Astro Boy did not disappoint.
Astro Boy is the story of a father (Dr. Tenma) who has no time for his son (Toby) until his Toby dies. Through his grief, Dr. Tenma creates a perfect replica of his son Toby, the only difference is that this Toby is a robot. Dr. Tenma takes Robot Toby home and tries to make him act like the original Toby. Dr. Tenma realizes that Robot Toby is different. Dr. Tenma rejects Robot Toby and Robot Toby goes out into the world to find out where he fits in.

The themes I saw in the movie are as follows:

Father/son relationship
Not having time for your loved ones
Destiny and finding your place in the world
What defines family?
What makes you human?
Protecting the ones you love
Finding where you belong
What it means to be a friend
Figuring out who you are and what you stand for
I loved this movie and I did get teary.

Rossy's Corner

List of Books I read so far this year

Below is a list of books I have read so far this year:

1-   Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This is the author’s thoughts on what it means to be a feminist and how to raise a daughter in this world that forces girls to confirm to what society feels a woman should be and instead raise a girl to be a fully formed healthy adult who is not afraid to pursue her dreams. Because of this book, I started thinking about why I am the way I am and who I want to be. I loved this book!

2-   And Again by Jessica Chiarella

Hannah, David, Connie and Linda were all dying and they signed up to get new bodies, genetically perfect bodies through a pilot program where if everything goes well the FDA will approve the program. Now that they have their new bodies, they need to figure out how to go back to their old lives or create a new path for themselves. I liked this book!

3-   The Power by Naomi Alderman

Women develop the ability to give electric shocks from their fingers and then women become the dominant gender. The book takes the reader from the first few cases of women developing the power until all women get the power and the shift from women being second class citizens in all societies in the world to fighting to become the dominant gender. And then what happens centuries after the first cases happened. I loved this book!

4-   The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel rides the train and she has made a fantasy about a couple whom she sees while the train passes by. Rachel’s husband (Tom) left her for another woman (Anna) and married the other woman. Rachel struggles to cope with the end of her marriage and drinks a lot. The woman from the couple ends up murdered and Rachel puts herself in the investigation by getting close to the husband and the woman’s therapist as she tries to figure out who murdered the woman. I liked the book because of the ending when we find out what really happened and how she was murdered!

5-   All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Ten years ago, Nicolette Farrell’s best friend Corinne disappeared from their rural hometown and Nicolette left home. Now Nicoletta has to go back home after receiving a note from her father who is suffering from Dementia. Another girl is missing and the list of suspects is growing. The story is told backwards from day 15 to day 1. I liked this book because I did not predict the ending!

6-   The Art of Public Speaking: Lessons from the Greatest Speeches in History by Professor John R. Hale

The author gives tips for public speaking and uses speeches from famous people through history. For example: Martin Luther King Jr, Queen Elizabeth, Susan B. Anthony, Gandhi, Mark Anthony, Abraham Lincoln, etc.

7- Snow Falls – by Gerri Hill

Jennifer Kincaid gets lost in the mountains while driving to a writer’s workshop. A mysterious woman who goes by the name of Ryan saves her, taking Jennifer to her cabin where they stay until the snow melts in spring. I liked this book because it’s a slow burn of love forming from friendship and I secretly believe in love …………… for other people.