Review: Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

 

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Synopsis: 

Dept. of Speculation is a portrait of a marriage. It is also a beguiling rumination on the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and the condition of universal shipwreck that unites us all.

Jenny Offill’s heroine, referred to in these pages as simply “the wife,” once exchanged love letters with her husband postmarked Dept. of Speculation, their code name for all the uncertainty that inheres in life and in the strangely fluid confines of a long relationship. As they confront an array of common catastrophes—a colicky baby, a faltering marriage, stalled ambitions—the wife analyzes her predicament, invoking everything from Keats and Kafka to the thought experiments of the Stoics to the lessons of doomed Russian cosmonauts. She muses on the consuming, capacious experience of maternal love, and the near total destruction of the self that ensues from it as she confronts the friction between domestic life and the seductions and demands of art.

With cool precision, in language that shimmers with rage and wit and fierce longing, Jenny Offill has crafted an exquisitely suspenseful love story that has the velocity of a train hurtling through the night at top speed. Exceptionally lean and compact, Dept. of Speculation is a novel to be devoured in a single sitting, though its bracing emotional insights and piercing meditations on despair and love will linger long after the last page.

My Review:

“Advice for wives circa 1896: The indiscriminate reading of novels is one of the most injurious habits to which a married woman can be subject. Besides the false views of human nature it will impart … it produces an indifference to the performance of domestic duties, and contempt for ordinary realities.” (BHaha, Really?!)

This book was on many “2014 Best Reads of the Year” lists and after reading the synopsis, I decided I needed to read this book. My curiosity behind all the hype surrounding this book was another reason I wanted to check it out.

The narrator in this book who’s a wife and mother of a baby girl, describes her life’s up and downs. The story is centered around both the baby girl and the marriage but has the feel of being a collage of significant life moments. Each moment was described in a way that drilled down to the details of that moment but the situations leading to these moments was not told in a detailed story like way that she feels defines her life. The author was able to compartmentalize these events and speculate as to why these events occurred and how it impacted her life. (Hence the title of the book!)

I read another review on this book and it described the book as as set of life events strewn around on a table as if the events were puzzle pieces and then placed together to figure out how she ended up where she was in each phase of her married life, and I agree. The narrator seems also convinced that her point of view is all that matters. Honestly, after completing this book I felt like it was a very interesting read. I found the fun facts entertaining. The narrative writing style is a bit different than what I’m used to. I did find the that Dept. of Speculation was a interesting, but short read.

“There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 52 weeks in a year, and X years in a life. Solve for X.”

3-star

Review: Revved by Samantha Towle

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Synopsis: 

Race car mechanic Andressa “Andi” Amaro has one rule—no dating drivers. With a good reason behind the rule, she has no plans on breaking it.

Carrick Ryan is the bad boy of Formula One. With a face and body that melts panties on sight, and an Irish lilt that leaves women on their knees, begging for more. He races hard and parties harder. The youngest driver to ever sign with F1, he’s still at the top of his game five years later, breaking hearts on and off the tracks.

When Andi is offered her dream job working in the glamorous world of F1, she leaves her home in Brazil, positive she can handle working for Carrick. But she’s not prepared for the off-the-chart sparks that fly the moment they meet.

Now, Andi has a crush on the one man she can’t have, and her resolve is about to be put to the test, because Carrick has decided he wants Andi, and he plans on testing her to the very limit…

My Review:

  First off, I love the cover of this book! It’s Super Sexy. I’m a sucker for a nice cover and it’s even better when I love the book! The cover absolutely drew me in and the synopsis is what sealed the deal for me to read the book, oh and besides the fact that I’m A HUGE fan of Samantha Towle. (Yep, I’m still and always will be a Jake Wether’s Fangirl!)

  I absolute LOVE this book! How often do you read a book about a super model looking chic who’s also a mechanic?! That absolutely does something to me! I’m a big fan of women doing a job that is predominantly performed by men! (Yes, what a man can do women can do better, if we want to!) Not only is this a great book for women but I can imagine this being a book for men (especially since some scenes are explicit) since it’s probably a wet dream of their’s to have a WOMAN who, knows cars inside and out, can fix them, be a freak in the sheets, and still look like a beauty queen all of the time!

  Due to her past and for personal reasons, Andressa (Andi) Amaro Wolfe doesn’t date race car drivers. However, when she first meets the sexy, playboy, and race car driver extraordinaire Carrick Ryan, who she now sort of works for, sparks fly and the chemistry between them is simply undeniable! BUT Andressa doesn’t date race car drivers. Carrick’s tactics of trying to make Andressa his, his ways of coping with rejection, and being “friend zoned” makes this book very entertaining and hard to put down! (What’s a man like the Sexy, Irresistable Carrick Ryan to do?!)

“I can’t do this anymore, Andressa. I thought I could handle just being your friend, but I can’t. I’m tired of pretending, pretending that I don’t feel what I feel for you. I want you, and it’s not going away. And I know you feel the same. I can see it in your eyes…feel it in your body.”

This book is written from Andressa’s Point of View and I like the fact that sometimes she’s speaking directly to the reader.

Andi & Carrick love fast and furiously! Definitely buckle up because things get REVVED UP! I LOVE this BOOK!

It’s totally a MUST READ!

“You do realize, now that I have you, I’m not letting you go, right? From my garage or my bed. You have to stay forever.”

But will she? Read this book to find out! 

5-star