In the Midnight Rain: A Novel de Barbara O'Neal

de Barbara O'Neal - Género: English
libro gratis In the Midnight Rain: A Novel


Barbara O'Neal Publisher: Lake Union Publishing, Year: 2024 ISBN: 9781662521355,9781662521348

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So much wasted potential. Fair warning, I did not enjoy this book. (I don't think there's spoilers but proceed at risk)

I’m absolutely gutted at how dreadful this book was. It has firmly lodged itself in my top five least favourite books of the past couple of years and almost led me to have a January DNF – as if January 2020 hasn’t been bad enough as it is.

This year I decided to put aside some of my beloved fantasy in favour for a little more dramatic reading. After this, I think I’ll be converting back again.

I was so excited by this premise; a potentially faked death; a house filled with history and mystery; a tortured past interwoven with melancholy and intrigue; the question of where did it all go wrong; the beautiful back-drop of New Zealand and a family ripped apart – but by what?

Instead, we got a couple of hundred pages of two colourless women reflecting on a much more interesting, if tragic past, interspersed with a surplus of flowery language that added nothing to a story with absolutely no plot.

The tone was so confused. O'Neal should have made up her mind – was she depicting a romantic vision of two sisters torn apart by time and reconnecting in a peaceful re-imagination of their childhood home by the sea? Or was she writing a tragic and gritty story of two traumatised adults looking for closure? Because she failed at both.

In more skilled hands, the dual tone of this story could have made for a heart-breaking and emotive piece, something that made you recoil in horror from their grim childhood but empathise with the women they became as a result. Quite frankly I didn’t really care if either of them got a happy ending. They were boring characters who need to go to therapy asap, not go on a magical mystery tour down memory lane.

The flashbacks were the most interesting, but they felt they were written by someone else entirely. Not just because of the tonal shift in these memories, but the style was altogether more readable, cohesive and enjoyable.

All the nonsense with Kit running around New Zealand and her affair with Javier was… fine, I suppose. But what on earth did that add to the plot?? If she hadn’t met him, her story wouldn’t have changed except that we’d have heard her side through internal monologue. His relevance only really appears at the end, along with the other shreds of plot.

And why, WHY, did we have to hear so much about Mari and her house renovations? We’re not reading Architectural Digest and I didn’t care at all what her opinion on windows was. It added nothing and slowed down an already dragging story.

The attempt to shoehorn a side plot investigation about the movie stars death could have made an excellent addition and breathed some much-needed life into Mari’s dull as hell story, but it was completely forgotten! I thought that with the mention of the computer and the journals we would get a tasty little puzzle to solve but no. It’s literally not mentioned again, other than as a very brief after thought at the end. What was even the point in including it??

All in all I think this was a poorly constructed and weakly executed story that the author had no real direction with whilst writing. I'd heard good things about O'Neal, but off the back of this, I won't be heartbroken if I don't encounter her again.229 s6 comments Jeff1,434 133

You're Going To Want To Read This Somewhere Where You Can Cry. Wow. This is a tragic tale, all around. It is primarily about two sisters and the scars they share - and the lengths they will both go to try to overcome them. Amazing story, solid mystery (though some of it becomes obvious earlier than the actual reveal). This one will grabs you with the first line, has you tearing up a bit early on... and then can have full on water works through the last quarter to third or so of the tale. Light and airy, this aint - but it *is* one of the better, more intense dramas I've read this year. A remarkable contrast to O'Neal's 2018 book The Art of Inheriting Secrets. Very much recommended.192 s Julie4,145 38.2k

When we Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal is a 2019 Lake Union publication.

A drama that probes the complexity of family, sisterly bonds and the power of love and forgiveness

Kit’s sister, Josie, died years ago during a terrorist attack. But, while watching television footage of a club fire, Kit swears that one of the people stumbling out of the smoke and debris is Josie. The resemblance is so uncanny, even Kit’s mother is shaken by it and urges Kit to take time off to pursue the possibility her sister might still be alive.

To that end, she travels to New Zealand, where her search will lead to a host of startling revelations and will change forever her perceptions of the past, the present, of her family, and of herself…

I am a sucker for family dramas packed with secrets and lies. This is a touching novel that reminds us that family is family, and that certain bonds, no matter how complicated or difficult, are unbreakable. While mother and daughter relationships are lightly examined, the bond between sisters is at the heart of the story.

The other relationships featured in this tale, are romantic ones. While ‘Josie’s’ marriage is one that must be explored, Kit’s burgeoning relationship with Javier, a man she meets upon her arrival in New Zealand, is often in the forefront- maybe too much so in the beginning.

I had begun to question Kit's resolve to locate her sister as she spent more time pursuing her attraction to Javier that looking for Josie. I also had trouble feeling the chemistry between the couple, initially, maybe because I was more interested in finding out if Kit’s sister was alive, and if so, what would happen when they finally met face to face. I was also more invested in Josie’s marriage and what her husband would do once he found out the truth.

But, as the past began to merge with the present and the fragmented pieces of all the relationships began to form a cohesive unit, I warmed up to Javier a bit more, and absolutely loved the way the story came together in the end.

Overall, this was a wonderful, very engrossing story, with strong themes of familial love, forgiveness, and redemption. It’s also a story about finding inner strength, owning one’s mistakes, resilience, personal growth and love’s power to heal broken relationships. While there are some serious issues explored in this novel, ultimately, it is an uplifting, satisfying book, and I’m glad I finally got around to reading it.

*Content warning-

sexual situations, drug use, child sexual abuse, suicide, and child neglect 2020 contemporary-fiction e-book ...more164 s Ahmad Sharabiani9,564 174

When We Believed in Mermaids, Barbara O'Neal

Barbara O'Neal is an American romance novelist who has written under different pen names. When We Believed in Mermaids is about two sisters, Kit and Josie. Josie Bianci was killed years ago on a train during a terrorist attack. Gone forever. It's what her sister, Kit, an ER doctor in Santa Cruz, has always believed. Yet all it takes is a few heart-wrenching seconds to upend Kit's world. Live coverage of a club fire in Auckland has captured the image of a woman stumbling through the smoke and debris. Her resemblance to Josie is unbelievable. ...

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «وقتی پری‌های دریایی را باور داشتیم»؛ «وقتی پریان دریایی را باور کردیم»؛ «آن زمان که به پریان دریایی باور داشتیم»؛ «زمانی که پری دریایی را باور داشتیم»؛ نویسنده: باربارا انیل (اونیل)؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز هفدهم ماه فوریه سال2022میلادی

عنوان: وقتی پری‌های دریایی را باور داشتیم؛ نویسنده: باربارا انیل (اونیل)؛ مترجم: یاسمن ثانوی؛ تهران، روزگار، سال1399؛ در408ص؛ شابک9786222331153؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده21م

عنوان: وقتی پریان دریایی را باور کردیم؛ نویسنده: باربارا اونیل؛ مترجم: فرنوش جزینی؛ تهران، نشر نون، سال1399؛ در408ص؛ شابک9786226652698؛

عنوان: آن زمان که به پریان دریایی باور داشتیم؛ نویسنده: باربارا اونیل؛ مترجم: فریبا بردبار؛ تهران، کهکشان علم؛ سال1399؛ در461ص؛ شابک9786227020519؛

عنوان: زمانی که پری دریایی را باور داشتیم؛ نویسنده: باربارا اونیل؛ مترجمها: سهیلا رضایی، آنیتا احسانی؛ کرج، نشر ایهام؛ سال1400؛ در432ص؛ شابک9786227552461؛

آن زمان که به پریان دریایی باور داشتیم، اثر «باربارا اونیل»، نخستین بار در سال2019میلادی در جهان منتشر شد؛ نویسنده چیزی فراتر از یک راز را در این رمان با واژه هایشان به تصویر خیال کشیده اند؛ داستان دوران کودکی، پاکدامنی، نبودن، قضاوتها، دروغها، خیانتها، بی توجهی ها، فراموشکاری، بهبود یافتن و رازهایی که سالهاست پنهان بوده اند را، در قالب زندگی دو خواهر (جوسی (جوزی) و کیت)، که زخمهای مشترکی داشته اند، بازنمایی مینمایند؛ هر کدام از آنها به شیوه ای دیگرگونه با مشکلات دوران کودکی خود، برخورد میکنند؛ «اونیل» با آفرینش شخصیتهایی که هر کدام ناتوانیهای خویشتن خود را دارند، خوب بودن را، به نیکویی گوش دادن را، و آماده ی دگرگون شدن و بخشیدن را، به خوانشگران خویش یادآوری میکنند؛ رمان «آن زمان که به پریان دریایی باور داشتیم» به کسانی پیشنهاد میشود که دوستار مرور و خوانش یادمانها هستند، و میخواهند بینش و درک بهتری نسبت به دور و بری های خود و زندگی به چنگ آورند؛ «جوزی بیانچی» سالها پیش در قطار، و در جریان یک یورش تروریستی کشته شده؛ برای همیشه رفته و این همان چیزی است که خواهرش «کیت»، پزشک اورژانس در «سانتا کروز»، هماره به آن باور داشته؛ با اینحال، تنها چند ثانیه دلخراش میتواند دنیای «کیت» را آوار کند؛ پوشش زنده ی آتش سوزی باشگاهی در «اوکلند»، تصویر زنی را در حال تلوتلو خوردن در میان دود و آوار، به تصویر میکشد؛ شباهت او به «جوزی (جوسی)» باورنکردنی است ...؛

نقل از آن زمان که به پریان دریایی باور داشتیم: (مادرم ساکت نشستـه است؛ به آهنـگِ صدایش در آن لـحظه ای که به من گفت «جوسی» مرده است فکـر میکنم؛ میبینم حـالا دستش دچـار لرزش خفیفی شده است؛ او که ظاهراً میخـواهد لرزش آن را پنهان کند، طوری که انگار این یک صبح عادی با اتفاقات عادی است، فنجانش را برای نوشیدن قهـوه بالا میبرد؛ او میگوید: «رفتی موج سواری؟» سرم را به علامت تأیید تکـان میدهم؛ هر دوی مان میدانیـم که من به این نحو، اتفاقات را در ذهنم پردازش میکنم؛ به این نحو آرامش پیدا میکنم؛ به این نحو با هر چیزی زندگی میکنم؛ می گویم: «بله. عالی بود.»)؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 26/12/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی Jeanne Adamek755 120

I am planning, sometime in the future, on re-reading this book. Barbara O´Neal is one of my favorite authors, her descriptive abilities are powerful... lush. I have to admit that I couldn´t dnf this story. it wasn´t boring or slow. If anything it was (for me) too detailed, too dark.

I admit I read to a certain degree to escape. To experience things (even if only on paper) visiting new places, foods, ideas or even time periods. And this story did give me the first three of these things--it was truly well written. But it didn´t give me enough hope. I feel you do when you eat too much of something really heavy and you feel it sitting in the pit of your stomach hours latter.

I said, I plan on re-reading this. In the hope that I just picked the wrong time in reading this the first time. Now the story is sitting heavily in my mind, and it is dark.71 s Kiki Z1,056 53

This book was a solid read but a few things kept me from really enjoying it. One, Josie is very selfish, and when she's young, with her issues, it's understandable. As an adult though... I really cannot fathom how she stayed away from her family for fifteen years seemingly without remorse, lied to her husband for over a decade, and thought she could get away with it. Two, Josie and Kit reconnect far too late in the story for real drama to happen, so the ending is lackluster. Everything is forgiven rather quickly.

Three, Kit as an adult is often an uninteresting character to me. Four, the romance between Kit and Javier seems out of place and took up time that should have been dedicated to the family drama. Not to mention, the fact that romance is part of how to show Kit is all healed is a problematic trope. I would have given her close friends to start with it; it doesn't seem she has any.

Five, the travel talk. Parts of this book read a travel to New Zealand ad. I could have used less talk about how beautiful the harbors were and more of the plot. And finally six: there's a distinct lack of tension, probably because it takes too long for the sisters to meet again. Their tragic past is the most interesting part of the novel. Everything else is mired with too much focus on romance, entirely too much focus on the backstory of Josie's new house, and unnecessary discussion about things that don't affect the plot. I don't care Josie's daughter may be having issues in school and I don't care about how she'll renovate her home or her walks with her friends or anything else. Josie shouldn't have been a point of view in the beginning of the novel because all she does is silently regret things and make no effort to fix them. She doesn't impact the plot at all for the first half. Not to mention, knowing she's alive and well and totally fine while her sister's life is a mess... again, there's no tension in that, and it doesn't make her character very likable. By the end of the book, I'd pretty much lost most of my sympathy for her. I felt sorry for Josie but not Mari, if that makes sense.68 s John Gilbert1,074 159

Trigger warnings: child sexual abuse, drug abuse, suicide, alcoholism

This is one of those very popular novels with 250,000 ratings on Goodreads, so it is indeed well d. I previously read the Lost Girls of Devon, so I kind of knew what to expect. This novel was very ambitious and tried to do far too much, but so much of it resonated with me.

Kit and Josie grew up in Santa Cruz California as severely neglected children, yet they had each other and surfing. And then Josie is gone, blown up in a terrorist train attack, yet her sister Kit and mother see her on a news clip fifteen years later in Aukland New Zealand. So that's the main story, but Ms O'Neal brings in a lot more, sometimes working, sometimes superfluous.

For me, the story about Kit meeting a man, who quickly becomes a rare lover for her in Aukland, was too similar to my own story. My wife of 36 years and I met in New Zealand on holiday, both from separate continents, in a story not too dissimilar to here. A bit contrived at times, but I did it. 3.5 stars60 s10 comments Susan Peterson1,784 341

When We Believed in Mermaids is an engrossing, turbulent, and poignant book about two sisters, Kit and Josie. When the story begins, Kit is shocked to see her sister in the background of a news broadcast from New Zealand, thousands of miles away from their home in California--especially since Josie had been killed 15 years earlier. When she goes to New Zealand to find her sister, Kit unknowingly sets off a chain of events that will impact her own life, as well as that of her sister and the life she has built. Kit and Josie were such complex, fascinating characters, each of them reacting to the pain of their childhoods which left them emotionally scarred. The flashbacks in the story give so much insight to the horrors of their childhood; the neglect, the abuse, the addictions. But they also show us the love the two sisters had for each other, the closeness they shared until it all went horribly wrong. The setting of the book was fantastic, from the beaches of Santa Cruz to the beauty of New Zealand. And the surfing! The author's descriptions of the girls as they surfed from the time they were children made it feel I was in the middle of those waves with them! The pages of this book are filled with love; love between sisters, the love of children for their parents, steadfast love, and new love; and how love can somehow withstand everything that threatens to destroy it.56 s Ink_Drinker207 460

The book is primarily about two sisters, the scars they share and the lengths they will both go to try and overcome them. I was immediately drawn in! I instantly connected with this author's writing style and characters.

The book is an easy read and may be predictable at times, but I tend to look for this in a light read. The book provides romance, lies, passion, and betrayals with a little mystery thrown in. Something for everyone52 s Jo Furniss7 1 follower

I just found this whole book so unrealistic. As a NZ’er who lives in Auckland I have to point out we don’t get earthquakes in Auckland, we also don’t refer to Maori people as ‘Maori’s’ (the slim Maori girl behind the counter, the chubby Maori driver)
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