Tag Archives: The Girl in Green

WWW Wednesday, 15-April-2020

15 Apr

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: Solid hold on White Oleander by Janet Fitch. I’ve lost the hold on the ebook again. I own a physical copy of this book so I think I might visit it in that medium. The platform I’m using to get it as an ebook tends to have long wait times so I’d rather move to another platform where ebooks are more readily available.
I don’t think I’ve been alone in the car for a week so The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz is still where it was before. I’ll try to find some excuses to drive, but I don’t foresee that happening much.
I pushed my reading buddy to have our second meeting on The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern yesterday. I’m flying through this book and dragging her to keep up with me. I think we’ll get through it super fast since we’re both on lockdown right now and reading fantasy is a great way to escape reality.
I started on The Alice Network by Kate Quinn but have put it on hold because a more pressing hold came in. I was enjoying it a lot before I stopped so I hope to get back to it soon and keep moving forward.
That pressing hold was A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold on audio. My whole book club is fighting for a few copies of this one so I wanted to start it as soon as I could and start making my way through so someone else can get this copy before our meeting next month. It’s a hard book to read/listen to but also very interesting and well written. I think we’ll have a great discussion about it.
I switched my ebook to The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel. This is available on a platform that’s easier to use with my slow ebook-reading habit. I’ve just started and it’s not a long book but it will probably take me a while still.
Just to make this list longer, I started a new physical book as well. My logic is to read through my autographed books since I don’t like those leaving the house and I’m a bit homebound at the moment. I picked up Moby-Duck by Donovan Hohn. I’m interested to see if I can fly through this one or if I need to switch to fiction to keep myself going for a while. Maybe I’ll switch back and forth.

Recently finished: I was able to finish Cuando era puertorriqueña by Esmeralda Santiago Friday morning. It was a great way to start off my Friday! It always feels great to finish my Spanish language read for the year. I was able to write up a review and get that posted on Monday. I gave it Four out of Five Stars.
I also read a short book, Pope Francis Speaks to Our Hearts. It was a collection of quotes from early in his papacy and a nice light thing to get into over Easter weekend. I gave it Three out of Five Stars and posted a review yesterday.

I also reviewed The Girl in Green by Derek B. Miller last week. I’m still not sure if this book fell flat for me or if I had unrealistic expectations because of the author’s other books. Either way, I gave it Three out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: With how long my current reading list is, I’m not looking ahead. It’s too daunting.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: The Girl in Green by Derek B. Miller (3/5)

9 Apr

I added this to my list after thoroughly enjoying my first Miller book, Norwegian by Night but before enjoying my second, American by Day. I knew this one would be different but I don’t think I’d gathered how different. I’m not sure if that affected how much I enjoyed it but I think it was pretty significant, unfortunately.

Cover image via Goodreads

The Girl in Green by Derek B. Miller

Other books by Miller reviewed on this blog:

Norwegian by Night (Sigrid Ødegård #1) (and Book Club Reflection)
American by Day (Sigrid Ødegård #2)

Summary from Goodreads:

1991. Near Checkpoint Zulu, one hundred miles from the Kuwaiti border, Thomas Benton meets Arwood Hobbes. Benton is a British journalist who reports from war zones in part to avoid his lackluster marriage and a daughter he loves but cannot connect with; Arwood is a mid-western American private who might be an insufferable ignoramus, or might be a genuine lunatic with a death wish–it’s hard to tell.

Desert Storm is over, peace has been declared, but as they argue about whether it makes sense to cross the nearest border in search of an ice cream, they become embroiled in a horrific attack in which a young local girl in a green dress is killed as they are trying to protect her. The two men walk away into their respective lives. But something has cracked for them both.

Twenty-two years later, in another place, in another war, they meet again and are offered an unlikely opportunity to redeem themselves when that same girl in green is found alive and in need of salvation. Or is she?

I guess a war novel isn’t much of a stretch from a police novel so I shouldn’t be surprised by the topic here. What felt very different is that the Ødegård stories are funny and lighthearted at times while this one never gave me that feeling. It was always very serious and the situation Hobbs and Benton wind up in is never lighthearted. It’s very deadly and doesn’t seem as defined as the other Miller books I’ve read. I never got a read on Arwood and it bothered me. I didn’t understand what he was after and her personality type was not one I’d run into before and I couldn’t find any sympathy for him. I didn’t connect well with this book.

As I said, Arwood didn’t feel real to me. He was really aggressive in a way I haven’t encountered and that didn’t make me comfortable. He had me on edge the whole time. Benton seemed more human, but he was really different from me and it kept me from connecting. Marta was a bit more relatable to me because I understood her logic and determination a bit more than the other characters and I could sympathize with her a bit. But because she wasn’t one of the two major characters, it wasn’t enough for me to really connect with the book.

Marta was smart. She was able to negotiate the alphabet soup that is the aid agencies in a recovering region. She knew who to call and who was fighting with who and how to make things happen. I had a lot of respect for her and the way she made things happen when she shouldn’t have been able to make them happen.

Charlotte was the only character I related to. She was helpless to do anything to help her dad but she wanted to do something. I think that feeling of helplessness is shared with the current COVID-19 pandemic situation. We want to do something, we want to help, but we can’t. We get updates and news but nothing substantive happens. She felt like her world was falling apart and she couldn’t do anything to fix it. Right now, I really get that.

Derek B. Miller
Image via Twitter

I thought the hostage situation in this book was well written. Arwood was very aware of how fear could be used to make their situation worse and was always logical about how he and Benton were being treated. He knew what to do to give them the best chance possible. It was a good contrast between how Benton reacted and how Arwood reacted that made the scene interesting.

The way Arwood left the book bothered me. We got a lot of bits and pieces of his life between 1991 and 2013 and I didn’t see how they built him the personality he had in the later segment of the book. He seemed really impulsive and vindictive for someone in his field and it was hard to fathom the extent of his anger and determination. I found Benton’s ending appropriate and fitting. Arwood left me more confused than I had been when he was still in the book.

The audiobook I listened to was narrated by Will Damron. He did a fine job but nothing that stuck out to me. His voice sounds like other male narrators I’ve listened to before and I could swear I’ve listened to him but his name doesn’t sound familiar. Maybe he just sounds like someone else. He did well with the accents for all the international players in this novel. And I didn’t feel his female voices were at all demeaning.

This book has been called the modern Catch 22 and I can see why. Some things in war are not as serious as others and we have to laugh. Hostage situations are not funny. A non-native English speaker not understanding the difference between tiger and Tigger is funny. Some things in war are so complicated that we have to laugh and the bureaucracy that has to be navigated is comically complex at times. This book addresses those challenges and puts them in a context that does allow us to laugh but also to see the grim reality of what’s going on and how people are affected by it.

Writer’s Takeaway: Miller did a great job of having a very diverse cast of characters in his story. Benton is probably most like him (based on what I know of Miller) but he created a lot of people who weren’t like him at all and had different experiences and skills that the story needed. He did a great job creating a diverse group that reflects the reality of international aid groups.

I think I had different expectations for this book than could have been realized. I give it Three out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
“The Girl In Green” by Derek B. Miller: Highly Recommended | Mike Finn’s Fiction
Review: The Girl in Green by Derek B. Miller | Simon McDonald

WWW Wednesday, 8-April-2020

8 Apr

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: Stalemated with White Oleander by Janet Fitch. I’ll get to it eventually. But this one will languish.
I’ve been inside more and more so The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz hasn’t moved much. I’m still on disk three.
I’ve made good progress with Cuando era puertorriqueña by Esmeralda Santiago. I was hoping to have it finished this week but it’s slower for me to read in Spanish and I haven’t quite made it through yet. I suspect I’ll be done next week, though.
My reading buddy and I had our first Zoom Book Club meeting on Monday to talk about The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. I didn’t realize I’d left us at such a cliffhanger so when we finished, we immediately found the next time we were both free to meet so we could keep moving forward.
I needed to make some changes for my next eaudiobook. My book clubs are starting to move online. I’m not sure if the one group will meet, but I’m still going to try to read The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. It has been one our club has been talking about for a while so I hope I enjoy it.

Recently finished: I wrapped up The Girl in Green by Derek B. Miller pretty quickly. I had this book on my list after reading his first novel, Norwegian by Night. It was very different and I’m still considering how I feel about it. I think I had it set in my mind that it would be like Miller’s other books so I’m wondering if I’m disappointed at the difference or I truly didn’t enjoy it as much. Either way, look for a review tomorrow. I’m still debating my rating.

Reading Next: Needing to move forward with book club books, I’m hoping to start A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold. There’s a hold on this audiobook since my book club is reading it and we’re all hoping to get a copy. When it’s my turn, I’ll try to get through it as fast as I can.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 1-April-2020

1 Apr

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: Yet again, I’ve barely moved forward with White Oleander by Janet Fitch. I did renew the check-out so I’ll have another three weeks of nothing with it. Oh well, it’s there when I do need it.
I keep finding excuses to drive to get dinner so I can listen to The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz. I know as soon as I get to go to work again I’ll start flying through this but for now, I’m happy to have started the third disk.
I’ll be moving slowly through Cuando era puertorriqueña by Esmeralda Santiago but it feels good to finally have my Spanish language book on the move. It takes me a while to finish one of these, but it always feels great to have finished it.
My reading buddy and I ‘met up’ so I could give her a copy of The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. In reality, we met in a park and I put the book down on a hill and backed up before she came forward and picked it up. But anyway, I’ve started reading this in fits and starts. It’s what I pick up when I have a few minutes before something else starts; it lends itself well to that.
I started the audiobook of The Girl in Green by Derek B. Miller. This is very different than the other Miller books I’ve read so I’m still unsure what to make of it, but it’s getting interesting and I’m curious to see where this one goes.

Recently finished: I finished up The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman as quickly as I thought. It was a fun group of short stories and I enjoyed reading them. It was even more fun when I realized that the audiobook and my physical copy had different stories so I got to read and listen. I posted a review yesterday. I gave it Three out of Five Stars.

I also posted a review of Fingersmith by Sarah Waters on Monday. I was a little disappointed by the story in the end after enjoying the beginning so much. It was still a fun ride, but I’m not sure I’m going to be recommending this one to may people. I gave it Three out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I haven’t through too far ahead because I feel like I’m just starting so many books. I guess my next need will be an audiobook.  Next up on my TBR is The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson. I don’t quite remember how this made it to my list, but books about books are always welcome.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!