Beside Two Rivers (Daughter of the Potomac #2) by Rita Gerlach
Back in 2015 I added this book to my kindle with tons of others and promptly forgot all about it. Fast forward to 2022 and I have decided it is finally time to really go through and try and clean out my kindle collection and get rid of books I will not read again. I decided to start at the beginning (with all the books alphabetized by title) and read them and decide whether to keep or delete.
I started reading this book and just could not connect to it, which surprised me as I tend to enjoy historical fiction. The story is set in 1797 Maryland and follows Darcy Morgan, (daughter of the previous books’ protagonists), who has grown up with relatives as her mother died when she was young and her father went out West, and hasn’t been heard from again.
Darcy feels very much alone as she loves her family but doesn’t quite feel as if she fits in. She loves to walk and read; her cousins love to focus on how they look and trying to find a beau. Her aunt Mari is very silly and consumed with matchmaking while her uncle William, is intelligent but droll and likes to poke fun at others.
Darcy especially hates focusing on her looks, as she feels more comfortable being natural in no stockings and bare feet. Her aunt however will not allow it and when an invitation comes to visit the Twin Oaks plantation, she is beyond delighted and goes into planning mode.
Aunt Mari gets even more excited as not only will the son, Mr. Daniel Rhendon, of Twin Oaks be attending (an eligible bachelor) but he plans to bring with him a party from England. “…it says he brings two ladies and a gentleman.”
At the party Darcy is embarrassed by her aunt who is trying to dig for information and doing other things that draw too much attention to their family. Darcy decides to go on a walk and ends up running into an English gentleman who is intrigued by Darcy’s opinionated self. Darcy refuses to give her name to the stranger as she wants to be “mysterious” and returns to the party. There she is further embarrassed by her aunt, who continues to make a bit of a fool of herself.
Back at the party Darcy spots the handsome English man from before and he also spots her. He is Ethan Brennan, one of Daniel’s friends, and he also spots her. When Darcy hides from the public with her cousin to remove a small stone from her shoe; she accidentally overhears Ethan talking about her-and becomes extremely offended at what he said.
I think you can tell where this is going. Darcy is basically Elizabeth, Ethan is Mr. Darcy, Miss Roth is totally Miss Bingley, Daniel is Mr. Bingley, Aunt Mari is Mrs. Bennet and so on.
So eventually the two, Darcy and Ethan, fall in love but Ethan has to go back to England and it seems that is it for over for our two lovers. Except Darcy receives a letter from English relatives she hasn’t know of and also heads off to England. At that point I gave up in the story as it just couldn’t capture my attention. I know a lot of people said that it was slow until the England part and that is where it picks up, but I wasn’t going to even try. I have a giant list of to-read books that I own and have checked out form the library.
If I want to make a dent in that I don’t have time to be wasting it on a book I don’t like.
End thought: would not recommend. Instead here are a few I would recommend.
Well there is a fantastic site that you can get ebooks from. They range from being free to being low cost-and have every genre you can think of.
The site is called BookBub and I suggest you check it out today. I mean who doesn’t love free stuff?
But free books can either be good:
And some are horrible.
This is one of the horrible ones.
Our main character is supposed to be based on Elizabeth Bennet but is gifted with the name Prudence Higginbottom.
That is the name the author came up with? Did she put a blindfold on and pull out random Scrabble tiles?
Anyway, Prudence prefers Prue as she hates her full name. Besides being bullied about that she also had to contend with being overweight growing up.
She has since then lost the weight, gone off to university, and successfully operates a farm to fork organic café with her family. Her family consists of her quiet father, outlandish mother, and three sisters. Of the sisters I’m not entirely who is who as they change the names (Alice, Mary, & Cate), but I’m pretty sure that Cate is Jane. I don’t know why they have to complicate things for us readers.
So Prue and her mother have been fighting over the organic farming for years, (Prue’s mom thought it was a horrible idea) but it looks like Prue’s plan is really going to pay off. An organic food distribution company is moving to the area and will need someone to provide food for the workers during lunch and catered events. Mrs. Higginbottom works hard to become their choice.
Prue ends up getting there later and is stuck with a jacket XXXL jacket. She bemoans this fate as she feels it makes her look fat.
Now I had a problem with that plot point. If someone wears something that is that much bigger than them, as Prue is a medium; it shouldn’t make her look fat but as if she is wearing the wrong size. The author uses it as an important plot device, but it makes no sense.
As she is moving things around and doing her duties as a caterer, she overhears the company owners-the handsome Charles Bradley (Charles Bingley) and William Darling (Mr. Darcy). Charles tell William he should help the caterer girl, Prue, but William says no she looks big enough to handle her tray on her own and makes fun of the name Prudence Higginbottom.
She becomes so upset over what he said that she starts talking smack about him. She also overhears another conversation and thinks he is talking about immigration, continuing her bad-mouthing to everyone.
She also looks up William Darling online and finds a report by a Georgina Wickham (George Wickham) on CheatingDirtyB*******.com and believes it.
Anyone can put anything on the internet. Why would you believe it?
Then the author is against free speech, as when Mrs. Higginbottom shares her beliefs and right to speak her mind:
“What kind of world do we live in where people can’t express their opinions in their own homes? Its political correctness gone mad, that’s what it is.”
Everyone acts like she is crazy and shouldn’t be talking. Like that’s not right. I know this takes place in England and maybe people feel different there, but I’m an American and I believe that people should have the right to whatever their opinion or view is. I may not agree with it, I may not like it, I may think it rude, crude, stupid, etc-but I still think you have the right to express yourself-especially in your own home. I mean I think this book is pretty stupid, boring, and a waste of time-but Carroll had a right to write it, just as I have a right to review and share what I think.
Later Mr. Bennet Mr. Higginbottom says this, which makes no sense:
“My dear,’ cut in Mr Higginbottom, ‘If you read anything besides gossip magazines, you might realize that the history of the human race is the history of immigration. People have always moved around the globe extensively and the kind of national pride you express is a very recent thing, which in my opinion is exploited by politician’s and shock jocks for their own nefarious ends.”
Ugh, haven’t you ever heard of WWI or WWII, both of which involved a lot of national pride. I mean I know England was involved with both of them.
So then Prue gets drunk one night at the bar and gets super angry at William Darling, yelling and screaming at him. Cate has to take her home, and then after realizing that she messed up a great contract, Prue has to swallow her pride and go apologize to Darling.
Now one of the big reasons why I love Jane Austen is the complexity of the characters, the amazing wit, and the way she can tell an interesting story without having to resort to silly ploys. This book was nothing like that as it was boring and the language dull. No wit, Prue was annoying, and Darling was a shadow of a character.
Anyways they have a party-Mrs. Higginbottom makes a fool of herself, Cate is embarrassed, Prue and Darling talk everything out, Darling was talking about farming not immigration and he aplogizes for his earlier comments,they are married, blah, blah blah.
Yes, I found this book to be incredibly boring, too easily “sewn” up at the end, and more as a vehicle to discuss Carroll’s views rather than remaking Pride and Prejudice.
While in BTTF II future, we actually control the weather, which of course is not happening now, there are two things that BTTD II was spot on about. First, that we would be able to get weather information instantaneous (which we do on the internet/phones) and that we could actually get that information from our watches.
Record not a laserdisc, I know.
When Marty and Doc first settle down the alley in the future you can see a bunch of laserdiscs wrapped up and ready to picked up by the trash men. Back in the ’80s, laserdisc weren’t super popular, but still seen as the way of the future. However, BTTF II knew they wouldn’t go far and now most of the people alive today have no clue what they are.
Self-Lacing Nike Shoes
One of those self-fulling prophecy’s. Nike saw it and decided to make it.
I was going to make these all separate, but decided it would be easier to put them all together.
*One Size Fits All*
While we don’t have the awesomeness of buying clothes and pulling just one tab to make it fit us perfecctly, BTTF II did get one thing right; the one-size-fits all craze. Now I don’t know how popular this was in the ’80s, but in today’s world it has become a thing.
Now what is it called when you do something before it was cool, in a future before it happened? I don’t know, but that rainbow dipped cap Marty wears in 2015, it is something you see in stores today, that the hipsters would be wearing all over. If you took that and added a triangle or a quote, someone would even use it as their phone’s wallpaper
*Workout Wear as Regular Clothes*
Everywhere you look in this film people are wearing workout wear as they do their regular thing. This was happening in the ’80s, but not by people of all ages like today. Yep, from older men and women; to middle aged mothers, teens, preteens, and kids; wearing workout wear when you have intention of actually working out has become a thing. It is acceptable and BTTF II caught onto it way before we thought it was okay.
BTTF II really tried to go spacey on their mkeup, but they actually hit the nail on the head. For some reason I am signed up for Teen Vogue, and what they keep perpetuating is crazy makeup.
*Two Tone **
One of Griff’s gang sports a highlighted pompadour, something all the guys are doing these days.
While remakes and sequels were happening in the ’80s it was nothing like it is today. I mean look at the Spider-man series; made in the 2000s, remade in 2010s, going to be remade again?
Or what about the Halloween series? There is like 9 already! Or Friday the 13th
Annoying Ads & Persevering Pop Ups
So as Marty is walking along, everywhere he goes ads appear; Jaws 19, Vote For Mayor, etc. Sound familiar? It seems like today we are being constantly hit by them; going beyond TV and radio, to the internet, youtube, and even Amazon.
I Love the ’80s
When Marty steps into the Cafe ’80s he sees a palozza of ’80s love, which has defintely been going on today. Part of it has to do with the fact that 1985 turned 30 this year, but the 2015 has had some serious ’80s love in film; fashion, & more; it is clear we are just as gaga as they thought we would be. Although no Cafe ’80s yet, sadly.
“You Have To Use Your Hands”
BTTF II called it when they said 2015 would be world in which you didn’t have to use your hands to play video games. While some still require it, BTTF II dreamed up the Wii and Kinect long before those companies did.
While they aren’t really like the ones in the film, more along the lines of a skateboard, we still technically have them. For me, https://www.youtube.com/embed/vbOWr7y0cT4” target=”_blank”>I’m waiting until we actually levitate.
News in a Nanosecond
When Griff & Gang crash into the clock tower, you see a flying computer with the words USA Today on the side that captures the event. Boy was that prophetic! First today most newspapers aren’t run as they used to. They don’t have as many reporters, choosing to pay for the associated press and get their stories that way, outmoding people. Also news is now instantaneous. Things happen, and they are posted on the web, pics and videos. Also computers are the way most get their news, a lot of papers don’t hand out physical copies as much as they used to.
Not to mention that with vlogging and blogging, the news is taking a very different form.
Books No Longer Paper
So when Marty purchases the almanac in order to place all those bets, the saeslady mentions “back when books were printed on paper.” Now it is true that in almost every science fiction book or film you read/see, they get rid of paper books, it still is eerily to see them talk about it, knowing that in 2015 books will be available in another format.
A Delorean? Haven’t Seen One of Those In…
Sadly the Delorean went out of business in the early ’80s, before this film was made. And because of that, you didn’t see them anywhere. However, in the ’90s the DeLorean company was made to bring it back, but it still is a rare sight.
Check Out the Telly
Let’s talk about the TV they show in BTTF II. First did you notice they have large flat screen TVs that you in today’s stores? Yep, back in the day of the bulky square TVs, BTTF II saw a thiner, wider, version coming along the horizon.
They have the ability to watch relaxing scenes of scenery, just like you can today. Think of Netflix’s Christmas log/fireplace.
They also have the ability to watch six different channels/screen at once. Just like Direct TV is always showing in their ads.
At the table eating, you’ll see that both Marty Jr. and Marlene both have glasses that give them the ability to search the web, receive phone calls, and they have to do voice commands. Sound like anything you’ve heard of? Like Google Glasses.
Phone More Interesting Than People
When you watch the film you’ll see that as the McFly clan gathers around to eat their rehydrated pizza, the kids are all focused on their google glasses not caring about actually conversing with anyone. The only ones who are talking, are those that were young in the ’50s and ’80s, the older generation. Sound familiar? I see that everyday.
Skype You Later
While it is true that most future films, books, and TV shows tend to have these kind of communication; BTTF II was spot on when it said we would have the technology to communicate with people face to face when we call. Whether you use Skype, Facetime, Snapchat, etc.; BTTF II knew what was what.
For me 2015 was a great year as I was finally able to live one of my dreams, see all three Back to the Futures on the big screen. But whether it was all that you wished or not exactly a dream year, I wish you all a happy new year, and may this one be a great new start!
What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What have we done to each other? What will we do?
So I am just stating here and now that I will not reveal the end of this movie. It is a great piece of work, with an amazing twist that you must see or read (the book) for yourself. Since it is still out in theaters I do not want to ruin anything for the potential viewer. That being said:
So the book this film is based on came out in 2012 and I was really intrigued by it. I added it to my to-read list and planned on getting around to it. But you readers know how that is.
So yeah, I hadn’t gotten around to it. However, that all changed this summer. I told you in a previous post that I journeyed out to Wyoming for an internship. There wasn’t a lot to do in the town, and the other interns and I mostly hung out on the weekends. We talked about what there was to do, which was mostly reading or netflixing. (I don’t have netflix so I Amazon Instant Watch or putlocker things). Anyways, one of the interns, Gwen, hadn’t brought anything with her and was asking about where to purchase books. I had brought my kindle and was fine (until it broke). I told her the library was out as I had found out to get a card I would have to pay $20.
Then I remembered! There was a bookstore in town called “The Newstand“. But shortly after we arrived it went out of business.
Yep. I think the only place left in town you could to get books were the Walgreens or the Walmart. They had two thrift stores in town, one was only clothes, the other furniture. It was very different from anyplace I’d lived before.
Anyways, so one week Gwen starts talking about this book she just bought (I don’t know where. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure I ever asked her.) She told us it was Gone Girl. Immediately I was intrigued as I had really wanted to borrow it. I asked for the book and finished it in one day. It was that good.
The book is a mystery/suspense/horror. The way it is told is really interesting as it goes back and forth between the present and the past. In the present Nick Dunne’s is trying to figure out and cope with his wife Amy’s disappearance. The past is revealed to us through Amy’s journal, as she details the everything prior to her disappearance. It was an interesting book as it has the same unsettling qualities as Catcher in the Rye or Alias Grace. In Catcher in the Rye, the main character, Holden Caulfield, admits to the reader that he is a liar, leaving one unsure of what in the book is real, and what is a child’s fantasy. Margaret Atwood, author of Alias Grace, does a similar thing in her novel. There are no quotations marks put around the dialogue, leaving the reader very uncertain as to what was said and what was only in the character’s minds. Just like Holden, Grace Marks leaves us wondering if she is really telling the truth?
Gone Girl isn’t exactly written that way, but it does have some similarities. With Nick, he is described as being somewhat of an a***hole (his word not mine) and having a face that makes himself always look as if he is lying. He is too good looking and charming that you don’t want to trust him (the characters joke that his chin causes you to not trust him.) As you read his accounts you start wondering if there is more than he is telling the reader. You feel as if he is hiding something from you, even though it is told in first person. It makes you wonder what is he hiding? What are his secrets?
And then you have Amy. Everything we hear is from what she wrote in a journal. But is it the truth? After all a journal is where you release your emotions. Sometimes you exaggerate or write things down that you would never do, just because it helps destress you. As I mentioned before it is a release. Besides that you don’t write everything down in a journal. After all, that is a lot of work. Most of the time you write down the things that made you upset or happy; never giving the whole picture but a moment. Just a moment. It’s selective in memory. So that begs the question: how much of it can we take as fact? How much is fiction?
So one day I was at the movie theater watching Expendables III. The film finished and I contemplated sneaking in to see another film, but unfortunately the theater I was at was very small (four screens) and the ticket seller and I had had an actual conversation, so he would remember me. Along with that, my “California-ness” showed very strongly as everyone told that I looked very “different” from Wyoming girls.
Yeah I don’t understand it either
So instead I called a cab for a ride home and waited around until it came. As I was waiting, I started watching the screen that showed trailers for upcoming films. I saw one for The Equalizer, but it didn’t really strike me as a “must-see”. After that the trailer for Gone Girl came up.
I didn’t even know that they were turning the book into a film!!! Fantastic!!! Then I saw the cast list. As you know from an earlier post, I love Ben Affleck. I knew he would be a perfect Nick. Rosamund Pike was great as Jane in Pride and Prejudice (2005) and I was interested to see how she would do this role. I thought Neil Patrick Harris was a great choice as Amy’s ex, as everything I have ever seen him in he has conquered. The only thing I was unsure about was Tyler Perry. But to be honest, any time I see him not playing Madea, it’s a little strange. Anyways, I became excited for the film and couldn’t wait to see it.
And as I mentioned before it was pretty incredible.
Take note Hollywood
What was great about the film was that they followed the book pretty consistently. There are a few changes, but not enough to make you want to string up the director by his thumbs. On a whole the changes didn’t really hurt the film at all. I thought it was amazing how they handled the flashbacks, narrations, and journal entries. I would definitely read the book along with the movie as it has more detail and little things that can’t transfer over to film. I do give one warning though. If you want to be surprised DO NOT READ THE BOOK. The book has this amazing twist, about halfway through, and a killer end. It was a great shock when you read it, but not so much the second time encountering it on the screen. I mean you already know it, so while the rest of the audience is oohing and ahhing over it, you’re just chilling there thinking, knew it.
So if you truly, truly want to be surprised. I would wait to read the book until after seeing the film.
So I’m just going to do a partial review, as I really, really don’t want to spoil too much for anybody.
It is the day of the Dunne’s five-year anniversary. And Nick is not very happy.
You see life hasn’t been a bed of roses for the Dunnes. Nick is from a little town; North Carthage, Missouri. He went to college and moved to New York, and began writing for a magazine. He met Amy at a party and the two later married…but bliss did not last long. He lost his job due to downsizing as the economy tanked. His father is crazy and in a home where he constantly escapes from. And his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Immediately, hearing the news of his mother, he and Amy move back to his hometown much to her displeasure.
Now the relationship was already strained, but after moving to Missouri it becomes much worse. Amy is a New Yorker born and bred and doesn’t do well with places that are not New York.
That particular morning, Nick heads over to the bar that he bought with his twin sister Margot, and the two contemplate what would be a good anniversary present. 5 years is wood, “and there’s nothing good from that.” When Nick heads home, he receives the biggest shock of his life.
His house is a mess and his wife is missing.
He can’t find her and doesn’t know where she might be. He calls the police and later, her parents. They team up and begin commercials, signs, news reports, trying to find Amy. Ben Affleck did an amazing job at this role.
But some people don’t think that he’s quite so innocent. Some suspect he might have killed her. Things become espechially sticky when they discover the broken in area was staged, and a lot of blood was spilled and then cleaned up afterwards. Did he have something to do with his wife’s disappearance? Did he kill her? Is he innocent? If he is innocent, than what happened to her? Where can she be?
We are first introduced to Amy through her journal. Amy is the daughter of authors. Her parents wrote the best-selling series called Amazing Amy. Their main character is perfect and excels at every hobby. Especially things that Amy has failed at. Amy resents the books, but they have made her famous and a major spot in the limelight.
Amy is beautiful, charming, witty, etc. The “perfect” woman.
She writes personality quizzes for magazines for a living. I know some of you out there might think that’s a bit strange, but let’s face it…she has a major trust fund. She meets Nick at a “writer” party one night, and after that the two are hooked. They get married and have a few great years, but things start going downhill once Nick loses his job. He becomes someone that she doesn’t know.
She hates Missouri. Nick thrives, but it makes her feel like she is choking. Then things in the marriage start to get even worse…Or does it? Is Nick really as cruel as Amy paints him? Or are the writings in the journal just the exaggerations of an unhappy, displaced person?
Did Amy leave by her own choice? Or was she taken by force? But most importantly, where is Amy?
The supporting characters are just as great as Affleck and Pike. Carrie Coon is perfect as Margot as she is really able to capture twin sister needling brother, and being supremely protective of him. Kim Dickens is an amazing Detective Rhonda Boney, the homicide officer assigned to the case. She seems all midwestern, laid-back, easygoing, charm; but she has a real brain in her head and is highly observant. Neil Patrick Harris steals scenes, as he plays Desi Collings, Amy’s ex and possible kidnapper. And then we have Tyler Perry, rounding out the cast as Tanner Bolt. I never would have picked him for the part as he is radically different, but he does a great job as being one of those shark lawyers after the big-name cases.
And is has an awesome twist that I will not reveal as you all should definitely watch/read for yourself.
Where is Amy? What Happened to Her? Visit Your Local Theater to Find Out.