Wednesday, April 18

Books I've Read

Recently, I finished reading two books. The first was Shannon by Frank Delaney and I enjoyed that one a lot. I'm not sure whether the book takes its name from the river in Ireland or from the name of the main character, Father Robert Shannon. Father Shannon is of Irish descendant, an American hero who served in France during World War I. He returned to the United States with a case of shell shock, now called PTSD.

He'd made almost a full recovery when he came upon a secret within his church and involving the archbishop. That secret caused such a trauma that he relapsed, becoming a bare shell of a man. It's also caused him to question his faith. Father Anthony Sevovicz begins to work closely with Robert, hoping to bring him back to recovery. The archbishop proposes a trip to Ireland for Shannon, allowing him to trace his roots. But what is the real motive for the trip? Is it so Robert can heal or is it to keep him quiet about the secret?

One thing that fascinated me was that Delaney also explored the PTSD caused by parental abuse. There is a character called Vincent Patrick Ryan that suffered horrible abuse as a child. He finds himself unable to form attachments and is surrounded by cruelty and violence.

As Robert travels up the Shannon River in search of relatives, he meets many different people, kind, interesting people. He begins to heal again slowly.

I'll stop there so I don't give away too much. I just want to say that the book is very well written. Some of the passages are beautiful, like the country of Ireland, and some are very suspenseful!

I also read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins to see what all the fuss was about over the movie and the character Katniss Everdeen. I'm probably one of the few people who read it that didn't like it much. The story is set in the future, in the ruins of the United States. Now it's called Panem and is made up of twelve districts.

Apparently there was a rebellion against the central government, located in The Capitol (somewhere near the Rockies I think). The rebellion was put down and as punishment each of the districts have to send a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to The Hunger Games every year. It's a televised event at which the participants are supposed to hunt and kill each other until there's one person left standing.

It could've been a great story in my opinion. The main reason I didn't like it, though, was that it was very superficial. I never felt connected to Katniss, the heroine. She just seemed like a cardboard character to me. The events that happened were predictable, which was disappointing. I would have liked a big surprise or a twist. It was all just too melodramatic for my taste. I don't plan to read the other two books in the series. Oh well.

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