Tuesday, October 25, 2016

My Current Read: The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud

MARCH 
Chapter One
Our Chef Is Very Famous in London 
"Darlings! Welcome! You must be Danielle?" Sleek and small, her wide eyes rendered enormous by kohl, Lucy Leverett, in spite of her resemblance to a baby seal, rasped impressively. Her dangling fan earrings clanked at her neck as she leaned to kiss each of them, Danielle too, and although she held her cigarette, in its mother-of-pearl holder, at arm's length, its smoke wafted between them and brought tears to Danielle's eyes.

The Emperor's Children
by Claire Messud


I'm experimenting with my Tuesday Intro post this week... expanding it by adding Brona's Salon, a new Sunday feature at Brona's Books. Please let me know what you think.


What are your currently reading?
I'm currently reading The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud.

How did you find out about this book?
I initially heard about it from other book bloggers. The premise sounded intriguing, but I was put off by mixed reviews. After loving The Woman Upstairs, Messud's later novel, I added The Emperor's Children  to my reading list.

Why are you reading it now?
Claire Messud is speaking at a nearby university early next month and my book club decided to plan a meeting around it. Most members will read The Woman Upstairs, but a couple of us are diving into her backlist.

First impressions?
I love Messud's writing! Her word choices, sentences, and characters drew me in immediately, as did her description of New York City. She also really nailed upstate New York's "north country" in the second chapter. I had to check her bio to see how she might have gained such insight and found that she'd briefly attended Syracuse University's MFA program. Mystery solved.

Which character do you relate to so far?
I understand where all of the main characters are coming from, but can't say I'm relating to any one in particular yet. The way the characters are presented in the opening chapters reminds me of  The Interestings  by Meg Wolitzer... another book I loved.

Are you happy to continue?
Yes, definitely. I wish I had even more time to read right now.

Where do you think the story will go?
The groundwork is still being laid as I continue to learn more about each character. I have a feeling Frederick “Bootie” Tubb , the high school valedictorian and college dropout from the north country, will migrate to New York and have a negative impact on the lives of the group of friends from Brown.

Click here for more information, including the goodreads summary.
What do you think of the intro? Are you tempted to keep reading?


Tuesday Intro is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea.
Brona's Salon is hosted by Brona at Brona's Books.


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38 comments:

  1. um, sorry, this doesn't sound like something I'd be interested it but I hope you like it and enjoy the author talk/bookclub meet.

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    1. Tiens Blurb - Thanks. I can't wait to hear Messud speak :)

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  2. A comparison to The Interestings always piques my interest!

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    1. Sarah - I hope I can still make the comparison at the end!

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  3. The intro alone doesn't draw me in but I read this years ago and thought it was pretty good.

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    1. Diane - Glad to know you gave it a thumbs up!

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  4. Read this book quite some time ago. Forgotten the details, but I liked it and would definitely recommend.

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    1. JudyMac - Messud's writing is excellent! I'm happy to know you recumbent this one.

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  5. I like the intro! I would keep reading :) Thanks for stopping by!

    Colletta

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    1. Colletta - She sure paints an interesting picture of Lucy!

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  6. I thought the first paragraph was lovely - a hint of beautiful writing ahead. I like your new format as well. It's a bit more information, but not too long. I'm going to check it out myself.

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    1. Margot - It looks like Brona may do this once a month. That seems just about right, so I'll probably follow suit and use it for books I'm especially enjoying.

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  7. Another author I haven't read (yet!) ... but the cover would draw me in even if I didn't know anything else about it.

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    1. Audrey - I love that cover, too! Almost wish I had this in print instead of on my kindle so I could look at it more often ;-)

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  8. What a vivid impression we get of Lucy in the opening lines. And I enjoyed the expanded portion.

    The author's name didn't ring any memory bells for me when I first saw this book, until The Woman Upstairs was mentioned. I enjoyed that book....and now I want to read more of this one.

    Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I like this format, but will probably use it only once a month or so. Messud is such a talented writer!

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  9. I like your Brona's interview! The book sounds interesting. Keep reading.

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    1. Debbie - Brona came up with some good questions! I may use this to introduce a book every few weeks.

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  10. Sounds like Lucy is "mahvelous!" I love the way the author describes her, and I can easily envision the scene. Good opening.
    I enjoyed the Q&A from Brona's Salon and will consider participating myself.
    Thank you for commenting on my blog post.
    Sandy @ TEXAS TWANG

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    1. Sandra - It is easy to envision Lucy from the passage! It lookalike Brona may be posting a salon once a month... that's about right. Can't see going this deep with every book I begin ;-)

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  11. How cool that the author will be nearby soon!

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    1. Nise' - We don't get a lot of author visits here, so I'm pretty excited!

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  12. I'm not sure this is one for me based on the intro but I did like the extra questions you answered. It made me like the idea of the book more. Happy reading!

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    1. Thanks, Emma. I may use this format once a month or so :)

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  13. I love that you give us a bit of context to your choice - I haven't read anything by Claire Messud but based on your love of her writing, each little detail, I think I must give this one a try.

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    1. Cleo - It's been a few years since I read The Woman Upstairs and I'd forgotten how smart and incisive Messud's writing can be. She's becoming a favorite!

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  14. I like this new meme. Very fun. Thanks for sharing this book.

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    1. Deb - I like that it gives me a chance to explain the reasons behind my choice as well as initial impressions.

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  15. Great idea to combine with Brona's Salon. I have done it separately this past Sunday, but I was thinking of doing that as well. We'll see

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    1. Emma - I enjoyed your post on Sunday. It inspired me to give it a try on Tuesday :)

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  16. This format is a great idea. I was thinking about joining in with Brona's Salon too. Wonderful combined with Intro Tuesday!

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    1. Debbie - Thanks, I thought the two seemed to work well together. The only think missing from the salon is a small sample of the writing.

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    1. Patty - Thanks! I think I'll do this every 3 or 4 weeks.

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  18. I've read mixed reviews about this book so I'm eager to see what you think of it. Hope you like it!

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    1. Athira - Yes, the mixed reviews put me off initially, but at 25% I really like it. Fingers crossed this continues!

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  19. Oh I like this format too -- might have to borrow it! :)
    I really loved The Woman Upstairs and have been meaning to read this one but just haven't gotten to it. Hope you continue to enjoy it!

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    1. Iliana - I hope you do! Messud's writing is excellent... so smart and incisive. Still loving it at 25%.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

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