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Mini-Reviews for Every Last Cuckoo, The Story of a Marriage, and Wishin’ and Hopin’

Every Last Cuckoo by Kate Maloy – I don’t have much to say about this book other than I just didn’t like it. I thought there were a couple of implausible things that happen, and I never really connected with the main character, Sarah. I read this book for my book club, and some of the women who liked it mentioned that perhaps I wasn’t in the right place in life to enjoy it because the main character is *ahem* mature at 75 years old. I still maintain, though, that a GREAT book will surpass age, culture, religion, and gender. Yes, it might speak to you differently if you can relate, but it shouldn’t be any less powerful.


The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer – Ultimately this book is about marriages and how we never really truly know the person we’re married to. Which, great premise, right? This book would have been right up my alley, if Greer had been a bit more subtle and not tried to beat me over the head with YOU NEVER REALLY KNOW THE PERSON YOU’RE MARRIED TO. *cowers* I get it! I know I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but neither am I the dullest. “We think we know them. We think we love them. But what we love turns out to be a poor translation, a translation we ourselves have made, from a language we barely know.” –pg 3 Love this quote! Except for there’s about 20 more just like it, scattered throughout the book.


Wishin’ and Hopin’ by Wally Lamb – I make no secret about loving Wally Lamb. Loving him to the point of wanting to fling my panties (and myself) at him. This is a short little Christmas story about Felix Funicello (distant cousin to Annette Funicello) in the fifth grade of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parochial School. Felix’s school year is thrown upside down when he gets a substitute teach from Quebec who isn’t as harsh as the other teachers, and Zhenya Kabakova, a Russian student who arrives in the middle of the year in his class. What I loved about this book is how Wally Lamb get’s Felix’s voice just right. I could hear Lamb in my head narrating the story in a slightly high-pitched, and certainly mischievous, voice. This is the perfect holiday book.

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14 Responses to “Mini-Reviews for Every Last Cuckoo, The Story of a Marriage, and Wishin’ and Hopin’”

  1. Mary ()

    I read Wishin’ and Hopin’ last year and really enjoyed it. Fun read.


  2. zibilee ()

    I have been looking at the Wally Lamb book, and wondering how it stacks up to his others, so I am glad to hear that it’s a good read. I might just have to grab it for a Christmas review. Also, I have heard some pretty negative things about Every Last Cuckoo, and from the way you describe it, I doubt I would find it entertaining. The main thing I remember about the reviews I have read on it is that most people found the narrator very weird. I also don’t like books that hammer their messages to death, so I am not sure I would like The Story of a Marriage, but I did like your mini reviews very much! I really love this format!


  3. bermudaonion ()

    I liked Every Last Cuckoo more than you did, but I didn’t love it. It was just okay to me.


  4. Jo-Jo

    I have Wishin’ and Hopin’ on my shelf at home so now I’m going to have to see if I can fit that into my reading schedule this Holiday season!


  5. Bibliophile By the Sea

    Hi Trish…I read Every Last Cuckoo and Wishing and Hopin and LOVED them both. Sorry, the Kate Maloy book did not work for you.


  6. Beth F ()

    I really liked Every Last Cuckoo — maybe not the best book ever, but I enjoyed it.


  7. Kylie

    I’ve just read (and posted a review if you are interested) Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone. Loved it! I’ve added all his stuff to my TBR list, so am looking forward to Wishin’ and Hopin’ even more now!


  8. frankie

    I too am a big Wally Lamb fan(even though he tears my heart out then puts it together again) so I’ll treat myself to his new book.


  9. nomadreader (Carrie) ()

    I’m glad to hear you loved the Wally Lamb. I’ve been getting hankering to read some holiday fiction, but it’s difficult to find literary recommendations. Thanks!


  10. Martha

    I’ve had Every Last Cuckoo on my list for a bit. I’m still going to give it a try but at least I have a heads up. I love, love, love Wally Lamb. I just won Wishin’ and Hopin’ and can’t wait to read it to start my holiday season.


  11. Lisa

    Agree with you about The Story Of A Marriage. But wow did he surprise me with some of those ways in which his characters didn’t know each other!


  12. Laurel-Rain Snow ()

    I actually enjoyed Every Last Cuckoo and it’s on my reread stack…I guess that’s how it goes, huh?

    I’ve been wanting to read the Wally Lamb book…I’ve read and LOVED several of his other books.


  13. Colleen (Books in the City) ()

    I read Wishin’ and Hopin’ last year over the holidays while I was on an overnight train from Delhi to Varanasi. I felt very far from home and Lamb’s nostalgic holiday story brought a little bit of holiday spirit to my trip!

    Glad you liked it too!


  14. Meg ()

    The cover of Every Last Cuckoo really appeals to me, for some reason! And I completely agree that a truly great book should stand alone as a fantastic novel, regardless of who is picking it up. Certain genres just don’t appeal to people, sure, but if you like literary fiction and this work of literary fiction doesn’t measure up? I wouldn’t say that’s an issue with YOU, the reader. I’d say… this book just didn’t measure up.


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