Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Book Our Book Group Hated

Harper - 2004

Our book group has been reading quite a bit of non fiction about women the last few months: The Bell Jar, Z: Zelda, and now this month, Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation.  Although The Bell Jar and Z were well received, only one person in our group enjoyed Founding Mothers.  In fact many didn't even finish the whole book.

(Description)

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Cokie Roberts comes New York Timesbestseller Founding Mothers, an intimate and illuminating look at the fervently patriotic and passionate women whose tireless pursuits on behalf of their families–and their country–proved just as crucial to the forging of a new nation as the rebellion that established it.
While much has been written about the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, battled the British, and framed the Constitution, the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters they left behind have been little noticed by history. #1 New York Times bestselling author Cokie Roberts brings us women who fought the Revolution as valiantly as the men, often defending their very doorsteps. Drawing upon personal correspondence, private journals, and even favored recipes, Roberts reveals the often surprising stories of these fascinating women, bringing to life the everyday trials and extraordinary triumphs of individuals like Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Deborah Read Franklin, Eliza Pinckney, Catherine Littlefield Green, Esther DeBerdt Reed and Martha Washington–proving that without our exemplary women, the new country might have never survived.

Here's some of the reasons we didn't like the book:

  • Although the research and historical points raised were excellent, the author had an annoying habit of frequently adding commentary of her own. Her male-bashing got to be a bit much.
  • The book felt disjointed, there was no smooth flow. The story jumped from one woman to another and back and forth in time.
  • It was difficult to follow the time period and relationships based on how the material was presented. There were too many names and time periods covered.
Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it?

DNF

24 comments:

  1. I have not read it, but I work at with my local library Friends group, which takes in books from people for resale, and that one comes back a lot! LOL

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  2. Aw, it's too bad because it sounds like it could have been interesting.

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  3. I have seen this book but glad to know it is worth passing on! lol I did read PRINCESSES BEHAVING BADLY recently and that was a good book in sort of the same vein. :)

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    1. I've heard of that one but haven't read it. Glad you enjoyed that one.

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  4. I think I'd have less problem with the commentary and more with the disjointedness and jumping about. Almost ordered this one on Roberts name alone. So glad I pulled it back out of my virtual bag!

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    1. I do like Cokie Roberts but, this one just didn't work.

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  5. Shame it did not work out for the group as it could have been a good read.

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  6. Laughing at Jill's comment... I'm active with Friends of the Library and we have quite a few copies of this one, too! Sounds like your book club is in tune with the general reading public's opinion of this one.

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  7. Oh no, I love Cokie Roberts. Too bad the book didn't live up to it's promise. I think nonfiction books work really well for book clubs.

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    1. I like her as well. We read a lot of NF which yes, does work well for book discussion.

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  8. My book group disliked this book as well. If I remember the complaints were mainly that it was boring, and it was inconsistent. Disappointing, I think it had such possibilities. Have a fabulous weekend. Bonnie

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    1. Bonnie - I'm glad to hear that it just wasn't us. I hope you are enjoying the summer.

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  9. Oh no! I've seen her books in the bookstore and wondered about it, since the subject matter appealed to me. But with all her journalist skills you would think her writing style would have been better-- too bad :(

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    1. I think that is another reason we were so disappointed. Based on her journalist skills we expected more.

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  10. I haven't read it, and probably wouldn't have even without reading your review, but now I definitely will skip it.

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  11. Sounds like some pretty good reasons to dislike it!

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    1. Yes, Brian - too many books and too little time.

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  12. I have not read this one, but my reading group The Bookie Babes just discussed Mary Todd Lincoln by Jean M Baker and most of us had the same complaint!

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  13. I started this years ago and didn't make it very far. When my cousin visited and saw it, she said she had tried to read it and thought the writing was horrible. Great minds think alike :)

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