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Profile for Victoria M. Willemse > Reviews

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Victoria M. Willemse

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NeuroTribes: The legacy of autism and how to think smarter about people who think differently
NeuroTribes: The legacy of autism and how to think smarter about people who think differently
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Really good book. Everyone should read it for greater understanding ..., 28 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Really good book. Everyone should read it for greater understanding of autism.

MKQPOWER Moon Star lighting Lamp, 4 LED beads Rotating Romantic Lamp Relaxing Mood Light Ceiling Projector Baby Nursery Bedroom Children Room and Christmas Gift
MKQPOWER Moon Star lighting Lamp, 4 LED beads Rotating Romantic Lamp Relaxing Mood Light Ceiling Projector Baby Nursery Bedroom Children Room and Christmas Gift
Offered by MKQPOWER
Price: £10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Nightlight for a child that's not a baby any more, 28 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This has been a really good nightlight for my son. He turns it on every night and it soothes him and calms him down. He's not a baby, he's a boy, but it helps him wind down

Build a Business From Your Kitchen Table
Build a Business From Your Kitchen Table
Price: £9.99

3 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars kindle support for this does not work, 7 July 2012
Trying desperately to buy the kindle edition: yes I have the amazon app and the kindle app on my iphone, all registered when I check my account.... does not recognise it. Cannot even purchase it. Fail for ease of use... Make it easier to download to a kindle/kindle app.

The book might be alright if I could get to it...
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 2, 2012 6:34 PM BST

Branching Out Magnetic Letters
Branching Out Magnetic Letters
Offered by Baba Me
Price: £13.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars learning the alphabet, 2 April 2011
my son is really enjoying playing with these - being magnetic, he can put them on the radiator, on his megasketch, as well as drawing round them... I think there's a lot of playtime in this.

Autumn Journal: A Poem (Faber Poetry)
Autumn Journal: A Poem (Faber Poetry)
by Louis MacNeice
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars academic, 2 April 2011
One of those poems that captures the age, both of the time and of the poet. It's a long poem, but can stand lots of rereading

Dutch Door Labels and Stickers
Dutch Door Labels and Stickers
by Anna Branning
Edition: Misc. Supplies
Price: £7.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dutch, 2 April 2011
This is actually quite beautiful - has a real quality feel to it. I was not expecting quite as much variety - and had not planned more than basic labels - now I think I need to make up proper projects

Goki Alphabet Puzzle
Goki Alphabet Puzzle
Price: £7.65

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars learning the alphabet, 2 April 2011
This review is from: Goki Alphabet Puzzle (Toy)
My son loved this from the moment it was opened. And best of all, we can actually go hunt the missing peieces, because it's obvious which ones they are.

The Gambler's Fortune: Book Three: The Tales of Einarinn
The Gambler's Fortune: Book Three: The Tales of Einarinn
by Juliet E. McKenna
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy, but not formulaic, 18 Sept. 2009
This is fantasy: it's a story which has swords, magic and adventurers. More unusually, this is a story with a woman as a protagonist: a woman who does exist below the belt as well. Livak fits into the class of 'rogue', being a professional gambler and sleight of hand expert - lockpicking and stealth are part of her repertoire of tricks.

The plot involves Livak meeting wizards, discovering artifacts linking to a new kind of magic, a colleague being kidnapped, tracking down the colleague in dangerous circumstances, being tortured discovering the colleague has died, and that Livak has some innate ability that chimes with this new magic.

Dramatic irony is employed - it is clear to the reader that this new magic is in fact old magic - that Livak's birth is fundamental to the understanding of this magic - there is a racial link between her father and the peoples who use this strange magic.

A nice change from women being nurturing and sexless - Livak is not overly sentimental and not motherly, she has wit and she is clearly attractive. She is monogamous, although serially so, and requires no equivalent of matrimony. We are sympathetic towards her, even though she possesses many qualities given to the 'bad woman' of fantasy - respectability is not something she worries about.

Glad I re-read this one

The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy
The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy
by Fiona Neill
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comfort reading!, 2 Jun. 2008
Oh, this is a fun read. It has proper Laugh Out Loud features in it.

I can honestly say that I have not left the house wearing my pyjamas, but this book makes me feel better for all that. It has a Bridget Jones feel to it - and appeals to all those who may have had "a life" before motherhood, and wonder quite what happened to it. It also helps assuage those worries about whether it is a Good Thing (TM) to be a Yummy Mummy or an Alpha Mum, and addresses the issue of Competitive Parenting with humour.

Ultimately, this is a restoring sort of read - comforting: although the main protagonist might have been a successful TV producer on Newsnight, and now works as a full time SAHM, the loss of status (and financial security) is not a real problem. She has produced four happy children, and remains happily married to the father of them - despite the attractions of Sexy Domesticated Dad. Her children seem happy, not over pressurized, and she still maintains a useful and rewarding personal life.

Not great literature, but definitely one to be recommended - for feelgood factor alone (rather than literary merit) this gets a 4

In Search of Adam
In Search of Adam
by Caroline Smailes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read, 2 Jun. 2008
This review is from: In Search of Adam (Paperback)
This is a really gripping read: from the first page to the end of the story, it's compelling. I read it in one sitting, because I found myself in the world of the child.

The book opens with the young girl Jude, climbing into her parent's bed, and lying next to her mother. Her mother has taken an overdose. Jude discovers a suicide note, explaining that her mother has "gone in searh of Adam". The horror of the opening scene informs the rest of the story - as Jude witnesses the funeral of her mother, and is scarred by her mother's absence. Throughout the book, Jude seems to be a figure on the outside of the main action of her life - she is a perpetual observer. It is as if she is waiting for her mother's return, perhaps with Adam.

Jude's early experience of isolation lead to her seeming apart - sadly, this leads her into situations that she cannot control: not only has she lost the protection of her mother, but her father seems to find it difficult to care for her - and her father's new girlfriend is so dissimilar to Jude's mother that there is an added distance between Jude and those who she would be close to. There is a clear lack of physical comfort - in direct comparison to the opening scene with her mother, Jude appears to have little comforting contact with anyone at all. The author describes unattractive physical details of Jude's father and new girlfriend, and events happening in the household and neighbourhood are related to the reader as a child might relay them. The neighbourhood gossip covers the scandals of marital infidelity, but fails to cover the more insidious horror of child abuse. Jude's neighbour, a single lady who looks after Jude on a regular basis has a brother who comes to visit: that brother molests Jude, and it is clear that the lady is aware of it, although not present.

As time passes, and Jude grows up, the full impact of the knowledge that her mother will not return starts to sink in. Jude is told that her mother was a murderess, and killed her child - and that this is the source of the estrangement between her father and his own parents. At last, she reads her mother's diary - and learns of the terrible post natal depression that assailed her mother. And discovers that her mother was racked with guilt over the death of her son Adam. The diary covers the period after Adam's death to the period of her mother's death, and continually asserts the guilt of Jude's mother - she flaggelates herself with the guilt of the loss of Adam, in an obsessive pseudo-religious way - the diary is peppered with religious references.

There are lots of frightening parts of the book - the opening scene is one - the rape is another - these are scenes which stand out fairly clearly for me - but one of the less obvious is the diary itself. Jude has used her mothers "bag of secrets" as something that she has to keep safe for her until she returns. Jude uses this as a pattern for her own life - keeping fragments of her own misery as "evidence". The diary is similar to the green notebook that Jude keeps - where Jude notes down the details of her surroundings in an attempt to force control over them. The diary's language is frightening in that it observes external events without any emotional connection - as Jude's mother must have felt emotionally separate after the death of Adam. The most frightening part of this is that a reader of the diary realises that Jude's mother needed some form of psychiatric intervention - formal or informal - and that similarly, Jude also would benefit from this. Each of us grows up knowing our own environment and thinking that is normal - even when it is clear to others that it is not: Jude's experience of normal behaviour is so warped that her decision to follow her mother is predictable. Jude has grown up knowing that Adam is the shining light of her mother's life - and the cause of so much loss to her parents and grandparents: and that there will be some sort of resolution in finding Adam - the conversation that Jude has with her father (where it becomes clear that Adam died from a cot death) comes far, far too late. Jude's father has been unavailable to Jude for so many years that Jude's tight spiral towards suicide cannot be unwound.

This is a grim book - not a misery memoir, but with certain similarities - as a reader there is no feeling of "refreshment" on conclusion: it is a intense read - the mental anguish of the characters is emphasised by the use of different fonts, font sizes and layout. Although I can see why the author felt it necessary to draft the book in the way it is, I cannot help wishing that it might have been a fuller and more rounded experience if there had been an intervention of some sorts - that the obsessional quality could have been tempered. The relentless isolation, bitterness and misery are believable, because this is a first person narrative: but the idea that suicide, lack of self respect, self abuse and self-degradation is all that is on offer for a child is so unbalanced that I wish there was something more that could be added to this book - to unwind that tight spiral.

One of the few things that could have been left out of my edition was the author's notes at the end: Thoughts and Afterthoughts. Some might have thought that T S Eliot's notes on the Wasteland are helpful - other pretentious. These read as if the author is examining the reader on their comprehension. I do not know whether this will be a book for schools, but the addition of the section "points to discuss or consider" was something I did not like. At all. I should like to respectfully submit that these be removed: far greater authors have not felt the need for such notes - they would be better kept to the author's website.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 12, 2010 6:58 PM BST

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