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Official Review: Woman in Blue and White by Janet Doolaege

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Official Review: Woman in Blue and White by Janet Doolaege

Post Number:#1 by Elaine5
» 10 Jan 2017, 17:16

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Woman in Blue and White" by Janet Doolaege.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by Elaine5
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Woman in Blue and White is an adventurous novel about Zoe, a teacher's assistant living in Paris. Early in the book, Zoe survives a traumatic event and her coworker convinces her that a vacation in Greece would help her move past the trauma. She has a falling out with her travel partner and finishes the trip on her own. She meets, or rather encounters, a most interesting character whom she is compelled to find after he departs their resort. Her pursuit of this man called Ivar, leads her to beautiful locations and wonderful people before she returns home to Paris and life as usual, or so she thinks.

Even if it were not considered a spoiler, I would not attempt to describe the motivation behind Zoe's attempt to find Ivar. If you were to read about it here it would seem silly or trivial, but the author so perfectly takes you inside Zoe's head that you will feel desperate to find Ivar right along with her. While Zoe searches, we learn through her thoughts and memories about the less than perfect boyfriend she has left behind and we also learn about her tendency toward visions or hallucinations. These visions have caused her much anxiety and even guilt. She struggles to understand what they mean, if anything. It's a marvelous journey geographically and emotionally.

I was swept away by this story. Zoe is splendid in all of her true to life confusion, worry and self consciousness. Her boyfriend Marc is entirely frustrating and impossible. Her friend Sylvie is steadfast and loyal, but can't quite understand Zoe the way you will. Her parents try to be supportive but are distant both physically and emotionally, living in England and dealing with Zoe's father's illness. These richly developed characters interact to form a fascinating plot that is full of unexpected twists, yet remains easy to follow and completely believable.

Many relevant subjects are intelligently incorporated into the story. Same sex marriage and the controversy that surrounded its becoming legal in France is one prominent issue. Domestic violence, gambling addiction and terrorism are all artfully addressed to varying degrees. Add to that, themes such as the generosity of strangers, the importance of questioning your assumptions and taking risks in order to find fulfillment, and you've got plenty of food for thought while you ride Zoe's roller coaster.

This book would appeal to a very wide audience. I expect it would be enjoyed by anyone who likes to read fiction and particularly by those who enjoy travel. It's one to get lost in. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.

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Woman in Blue and White
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Re: Official Review: Woman in Blue and White by Janet Doolae

Post Number:#2 by greenstripedgiraffe
» 11 Jan 2017, 13:32

Wow! Sounds like a well-written novel. Many of the great classics were social commentaries in the time in which they were written. Your review makes it sound as though this book would fit into that category. Good review!
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Re: Official Review: Woman in Blue and White by Janet Doolae

Post Number:#3 by Elaine5
» 11 Jan 2017, 20:22

Most definitely a well written novel and social commentary... as for a classic ...I would not presume to predict :wink2: . Thanks for your comments.
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Re: Official Review: Woman in Blue and White by Janet Doolae

Post Number:#4 by bookowlie
» 12 Jan 2017, 10:03

Great review! I like books where there is a strong setting. This one seems to have that extra oomph where the country's social issues are woven through the story.
As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction. - Irish blessing
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Re: Official Review: Woman in Blue and White by Janet Doolae

Post Number:#5 by klbradley
» 12 Jan 2017, 10:16

Thanks for sharing your review!
I love when you can feel like you're in a character's head while reading their story.
Well done.
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Re: Official Review: Woman in Blue and White by Janet Doolae

Post Number:#6 by Elaine5
» 12 Jan 2017, 12:55

@bookowlie The setting(s) in this book really did stand out. The only problem with that is I now want to vacation in Greece! And Paris!
@klbradley Zoe is one of those characters who feels like a friend. One of my favorite things!

Thank you both for your comments.
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Re: Official Review: Woman in Blue and White by Janet Doolae

Post Number:#7 by bookowlie
» 13 Jan 2017, 09:01

Elaine5 wrote:@bookowlie The setting(s) in this book really did stand out. The only problem with that is I now want to vacation in Greece! And Paris!
@klbradley Zoe is one of those characters who feels like a friend. One of my favorite things!

Thank you both for your comments.


I feel the same way when I read a book with a strong setting, even if it's set within a small town in the US. :)
As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction. - Irish blessing
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Re: Official Review: Woman in Blue and White by Janet Doolae

Post Number:#8 by mratdegraff91
» 15 Jan 2017, 20:22

Great review! I enjoy books where you can get into the main character's head and see it all from their perspective. It sounds like a great adventure with romance as well. I will definitely be adding this to my to-read shelf. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Official Review: Woman in Blue and White by Janet Doolae

Post Number:#9 by Elaine5
» 16 Jan 2017, 08:28

a great adventure with romance as well.
That's a great way to describe it. If you do read the book I would love to hear your thoughts on it. Thanks for your comments.
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Re: Official Review: Woman in Blue and White by Janet Doolae

Post Number:#10 by kimmyschemy06
» 22 Jan 2017, 05:44

Sounds like a very interesting book with delightful character. I am so intrigued about her 'visions' and hallucinations. Good job on the review. Congratulations to Janet Doolaege on such a glowing review.
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Re: Official Review: Woman in Blue and White by Janet Doolae

Post Number:#11 by Elaine5
» 22 Jan 2017, 14:45

Thanks for your comments ... nice to hear that you're intrigued! I would love to hear from you if you decide to read the book.
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