"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Capital Crimes by Jonathan and Faye Kellermann

Jonathan and Faye Kellerman are novelists, and in Capital Crimes, they have teamed up to write together again. Their first team effort was Double Homicide.

Capital Crimes is really two suspense novellas set in two different cities and feature cameos of characters from their popular suspense novels.

My Sister's Keeper is set in Berkeley where Peter Decker makes an appearance. California state representative, Davida Grayson is a lesbian and activist. She has also been murdered. Grayson had been threatened for her support for stem-cell research. Was it her politics or her personal relationships that resulted in her death by a gunshot?

Music City Breakdown is set in Nashville and features Alex Delaware. Jack Jeffries is a rock legend who left retirement to perform for charity. His body was found in a ditch, his throat slashed. The detectives on the case have their own connection to the music industry and are determined to solve the murder.

This book is not up to the 'hype' the Kellermans normally receive when they have a novel published. It feels like they had an idea, 'slapped' it together and said, "It's a good little money maker." The stories don't have much of a plot, seem hurried and forced. Only true, die-hard fans will appreciate this book. Then again, maybe not.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Nature Girl by Carl Hiassen

Hiaasen's formula is simple: make three stories about people who could be Floridians, mellow it out a little bit, and then produce witty and ironic humor, and therefore Hiaasen's characters are not beyond imagination.

Honey Santana is the main looney toon of this script, whose relationship with her ex (a devoted drug runner from the keys) and almost-13-year old son (what 13-year old boy isn't automatically Hiaasen fodder?) crosses a half Seminole who accidentally kills white men, an FSU coed who is known as a Seminole fan (and boy is she ever), Boyd Shreave (any mother's nightmare whose ambition is telemarketing) and his girlfriend Eugenie Fonda. Amid the trip, we meet Boyd's wife, Lily, her private investigator, Dealey, and the requisite freak of nature (mentally and in this book physically as well), Louis Piejack.

Putting these people in purgatory was easy - he put them onto Dismal Key - a real Florida Key located off the west coast of Florida. This nightmare on the water was beholden to the Calusa Indians who took oyster shells by the boat load to make the Key remain above water, and more recently has been the love of the indigenous rednecks who have made the middle of the island a kingdom of Old Milwaukee bottles. This island is best described by Hiaasen as a recycler's heaven.

The dialogue in any of his books is the secret. The characters are weird, but their dialogue is what carries his books, and this is no exception. You get what would come from the mouths of a bipolar mother (Honey), a burdened half Indian (Sammy Tigertail), a sex kitten who writes best sellers about her trysts (Fonda) and a indefatigable liar (Boyd).

Whenever you need light reading and a good laugh, Hiaasen is a proper prescription.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

I wanted to like Little Bee. I did love it for the first 100 pages or so! It is the story of a 16 year old Nigerian refugee wise beyond her years and her interactions with a suburban middle class British couple. They meet first on a beach in Nigeria where a horrific event takes place and then again when Little Bee is released from a refugee detention center outside of London.

The story is told in the alternating narrative voices of Little Bee and Sarah. Little Bee's voice is very good - entertaining, often funny, strong with an amazing will to live in spite of appalling circumstances. It is amazing to me that a white Anglo Saxon male could have written this character so well. Sarah I liked a lot less. I found her to be annoying, self centered and beset with Yuppie problems but I was intrigued with her one act of courage in the story. I did have some trouble aligning this act with the rest of her character.

The descriptions of the beach scene in Nigeria are excellent and I think plausible. The choices made by Sarah and her husband are thought provoking and haunting - does a momentary failure of courage doom someone? How would you react if you had an extremely short period of time to make a life changing, life saving decision? Is it courageous to do what Sarah did; is it cowardice to do what Andrew did?

The parts of the story that involve Sarah's son are quite well done and again often funny; he seems a very true to life character. Once events leave the retrospective telling of the events I think the plot twists are not realistic. The chapter where Sarah reunites with Little Bee on the airplane going to Nigeria is ridiculous. The ending is very problematic for me; no mother who had had the experiences Sarah had would willingly take her child into a dangerous place like Nigeria.

The back drop for this novel is how the Western countries treat immigrants, especially those needing political asylum. Additionally the dark politics of oil exploration in developing countries and globalization are also mixed in. I liked the way the author subtly integrated these issues into the story and I learned something in reading this book.

So in summary, while I did like and would recommend this book - there were some very compelling moments - I will remember the main character Little Bee and her story long after I've forgotten most.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil by John Berendt

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt made for a wonderful read. The interesting twists and turns embedded within almost every chapter made me want to keep turning the pages. Although Midnight reads like a novel, it is actually based on historically accurate details relating to Savannah, Georgia, and it's society. This creates for an interesting genre, probably falling into the realm of historical nonfiction.

The entire book is based primarily on the murder of a young man in Savannah, and his supposed killer, another gentleman prominent in Savannahian society. However, leading up to the actual murder, the author introduces a series of other Savannah natives, all of them quite interesting characters. From drag queens to lawyers, businessman to hustlers, I was able to meet individuals on both ends of the spectrum.

The setting centered the book in the heart of the South, Savannah, Georgia, during the 1980's. Being born and raised in the Midwest, I found the sharp contrast of lifestyles enthralling. The characters, well, WOW! As I said before, there was such a dynamic scale of personas that it created for a complete surprise every chapter when he would introduce somebody new.

My favorite by leaps and bounds, however, had to be Chablis. The initial description I received created a vivid picture in my mind: "She was wearing a loose white cotton blouse, jeans, and white tennis sneakers. Her hair was short, and her skin was a smooth mild chocolate. Her eyes were large and expressive..." Then, a few pages later, I got another entirely different scene from the author, putting almost a disturbing picture in my mind. "Chablis suddenly burst into view, looking like raging fire in a skimpy sequined dress with jagged red, yellow, and orange flamelike fringes hanging from it. She wore huge hoop earrings and a wig of long black curls. The audience cheered as she strutted down the runway, working every nuance of the rhythm, shaking her behind like a pom-pom, whipping it from side to side."

As you can see from looking at the characterization in the book, Berendt also uses great description. He uses the same intense description all throughout the book, describing everything from houses to parks to squares to people. The imagery was simply amazing.

I don't believe that there was any strong symbolism or theme within this piece. The author just stuck right to the main plot of describing typical Savannah life, taking me on a journey, letting me witness people and events.

By the end of the book I almost wanted to adopt a southern drawl and sip a mint julep!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs

I really had a hard time getting through to the end of the book, in fact, I kept asking myself when would I get to the end. The characters seemed one dimensional to me and there were so many characters that were running around in the book that it got on my nerves.

The story starts out with a food TV cook,Gus,turning 50 and she is told by her producer that her show may be canceled. The solution is to hire a younger Spanish cook to be on the food show with Gus. There are a lot of different stories going on in this book and it seemed to me that the author could not determine what the story was ultimately about.

Is it about the older TV cook and her new young rival? Is it about Gus' neighbor, Hannah, and Hannah's past problems? Is it about Sabrina, Gus' daughter and her problems with not being able to settle on one man?

I think there were too many characters, too many highlights about each character and no real storyline. I just found it difficult to get through because there was no purpose to much of the book. I give it two stars since the author wrapped it up fairly neatly at the end but I was glad when I got to the last page.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Echo Park by Michael Connelly

"Echo Park" is Michael Connelly's 10th or 11th police procedural featuring Harry Bosch, one of the most tenacious detectives in Los Angeles. Harry is working with his partner, Kiz Rider, in the Open-Unsolved Unit after returning from an unsatisfying retirement. One of the cases that he has never forgotten involved the disappearance of a young woman named Marie Gesto back in 1993. Although thirteen years have passed since Marie was abducted, her body was never found; Harry revisits the file whenever he can to search for new evidence. Although he believes that she is long dead, Harry would like to bring Marie's body home to her parents so that they can finally lay her to rest.

Harry is shocked when he receives a call from Detective Freddy Olivas, in Northeast Division Homicide, requesting everything that Bosch has on Gesto. It seems that Rick O'Shea, who runs the Special Prosecutions Section of the District Attorney's Office, has struck a deal with a convict named Raynard Waits, known as the "Echo Park Bagman". Waits was stopped in his van with the body parts of two young women whom he had strangled and dismembered. O'Shea is willing to spare Waits from the death penalty if he leads the authorities to the grave of Marie Gesto, whom Waits claims was one of his victims, and provides information on other unsolved homicides. Harry reluctantly goes along with the plan, although his gut instinct tells him that it is a very bad idea.

This is an intricately plotted and carefully crafted novel that demonstrates once again why Connelly is one of the best in the business. Bosch is one of Connelly's indelible creations. He is a skeptical and cranky cynic who believes that the ends justify the means. Harry is known as a cowboy who bends the rules and flouts authority whenever it suits him. However, he has gotten away with his shenanigans because he is a sharp detective who is known for getting results when others have failed.

Before he questions Waits, Harry decides to call an old flame, FBI Agent Rachel Walling, to help him construct a psychological profile. After working together for a short while, Harry and Rachel discover that they still have feelings for one another. However, Bosch is a prototype of the lonely cop who has difficulty sustaining a long-term relationship. What woman would want to live with a man so driven that he never stops thinking about murder and so reckless that he repeatedly puts himself in the line of fire without backup?

This book has scenes of horrifying cruelty, quite a few surprises and red herrings, and a detailed and authentic account of how detectives meticulously work a case. The dialogue is sharp, clever, and peppered with colorful police jargon, the characters are vividly depicted, and the conclusion is both suspenseful and poignant. Connelly brings freshness to such well-worn themes as the ways in which politics and greed pervert the criminal justice system and the terrible emotional and physical toll paid by homicide detectives who take their cases home with them. Aside from its excellence as a great detective story, "Echo Park" is notable for its many poetically written passages that encapsulate important truths. For example, One of Bosch's mentors, Ray Vaughn "had a special sympathy for . . .'murder's nobodies,' the victims who didn't count. He taught Bosch early on that in society all victims are not created equal, but to the true detective they must be." Harry Bosch certainly lives by that credo. He is willing to do anything to insure that no murder victim is ever forgotten.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

If you ask me which words come into my mind first whenever I think of this book, my answer will be: nasty, dark, twisted, disturbing.

In this rather traumatizing psychological thriller Camille Preaker, a troubled newspaper reporter, is sent to her home town to get the inside scoop on the murders of two preteen girls - both were strangled and had their teeth removed. As I follow Camille on her quest to obtain as much information as possible about the crimes, I learn much more than I bargained for. The small town of Wind Gap, in the fashion of Twin Peaks, is filled to the brim with dark secrets, and not the least of them is the twisted dynamics in Camille's own family...

For me the most remarkable aspect of this book is that Gillian Flynn succeeds in creating a novel of main characters which are nasty women. I am so used to books where women are victims and all evil is committed by bad, bad men. Not so in Sharp Objects. Women of Wind Gap are both victims and perpetrators, they are promiscuous and abusive, self-destructive and violent. Men are only fixtures in their lives and pawns in their sick games. If anything, this is a refreshing twist on the old tired genre of murder mystery.

I liked the psychological aspect of this novel as well. Flynn skillfully portrays how differently people react to the abuse in their lives - some direct the pain onto themselves, some inflict it on others - and both are equally damaging to one's psyche.

I definitely wouldn't recommend Sharp Objects to squeamish. There is a lot of disturbing stuff in this book - promiscuous young girls, self-mutilation, sexual abuse, drugs. This is not a comfort read by any means. However I found it fascinating (in a I-can't-stop-watching-this-train-wreck way) and hard to put down. I will certainly read Flynn's other novel - Dark Places. Well, as soon as I psychologically recover from Sharp Objects.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Light of Evening by Edna O'Brien

This book held my interest initially when the mother, Dilly, is a young girl and travels against her parents' wishes to America. The descriptions of what life was like for a young domestic were illuminating and offered interesting food for thought on the class structure (Irish emigrees still subjugating their own countrymen). And the letters from Dilly to her daughter, Eleanora, were real and full of life.

Sadly, all of the novel that centers on Eleanora and her sad life is just empty in feel--I couldn't wait to be finished reading those sections. If, metaphorically, O'Brien wishes for the reader to see Dilly as the one full of life despite her impending death, then she succeeded. Otherwise, this novel simply fails on almost all levels to be either an enjoyable read or a book with any true enlightenment about the mother/daughter relationship.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Have you ever wondered what life was like back in the 1800s? In Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, you can feel what life was like back then. The genre of this book is adventure. I gave this book a 5 star rating because of how descriptive the author is in the book and how much suspense and adventure there is. Also, the characters in the book are very interesting and always keep you wondering what they'll do next.

The main characters in this book are Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, two boys who always find a way to create trouble and make life interesting. In this book, Tom and Huck spy on two criminals who look suspicious. Tom and Huck eventually find out that the two criminals are hiding treasure in a cave so they go on an adventure in the middle of the night to try to find the buried treasure and become rich.

My book discussion group chose this book as our July selection. I really enjoyed reading this book and was surprised that I don't recall reading it before. I really like the way the author writes like the way they used to talk back then. It might be challenging at times to understand but it is very interesting to read. I also like the way that the author makes the characters so interesting and surprising. This book has a great plot because there is always an adventure in every part of the book, even in the beginning.

Fantastic, fun story. Everyone should read it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier

At the age of 12, Will Cooper is sent to run a remote mountain trading post, which sits near an Indian village in the Appalacian Mountains. Will soon learns the Indian's language, and is befriended by their leader, a man named Bear. Bear eventually adopts Will as his own. There is also a love interest named Claire. Will falls in love with Claire from the moment they first meet. But she is married to someone else, and that is, of course, a problem.

The rest of the book focuses on the Indians trying to salvage a way of life that is already gone, and trying to protect their land from the whites and stay where they are, even though the whites want to send all the Indians to the west. As a lawyer, Will does his best to help the Indians hang onto some land and keep them from being removed to some distant reservation.

The problem with the story is that it feels rather disjointed. The story is narrated by the main character, who sometimes goes into great detail about some events, and other times skips whole years. I guess the loose central theme of the book was how the native people were losing ground in their fight to stay where they were and not be run over by the white men. But this story, and the story threads branching off of it, weren't executed very well. Also, I won't give away the ending, except to say that it wasn't so much an ending, as a fizzling out of the story.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived by Ralph Helfer

This story starts with the birth of a boy and a girl. A human and an elphant. Born at the exact same time on the same farm, from the beginning their futures were together. Modoc tells of the amazing journey of this pair from life to death, beginning to end. Filled with heart-wrenching hi's and low's, before the end you'll have used a full box of Kleenex at least.

Bram (the boy) and Modoc (the elephant) travel all over the world. Their status changes from lowly son of a circus elephant trainer to stowaway, from fugitive to star. It even weaves the author's own part in this epic into the tale of life and death.

Modoc is a fantastic novel from start to finish and definitely worth the read.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

The Whitney women can all read lace, but Towner Whitney doesn't want any part of it, and has left Salem Massachusetts and Yellow Dog Island to get away from all the bad memories of her childhood home and the lace readings. Living in L.A. she has no intention of returning.

The book starts when she receives a call from her brother telling her that her 80-something-year-old Great Aunt Eva is missing and she must return home. Towner is recovering from a surgical procedure and had been thinking of the gift that her Great Aunt Eva had recently sent to her. It was a lace-making pillow, used for making Ipswich lace. The lace making and the reading of lace had been a tradition of the Whitney women, and Towner was no exception. Although she wants no part of it anymore, she loves her aunt and feels she has to face her bad memories and go home. Salem and Yellow Dog Island are places filled with fearful bad memories.

Towner returns after being away for over 15 years and is immediately entrenched in all the troubles of the past. It is interesting to follow the writing of author Barry as she writes through the eyes of Towner, who sometimes lives in her dreams of the past. The story is kept fresh with trying to determine if what Towner is thinking is real, or the memories from childhood twisted over time.

Of course there is the love interest in Rafferty, the detective who is assigned to the case, as well as all the other quirky characters. Salem women who are Witches and selling their wares in the small shops on the square, and the women of Yellow Dog Island and their lace, making kept this book moving along nicely.

The Lace Reader is quite an interesting book. Brunonia Barry pulled me in right away with her way of including an excerpt from The Lace Readers Guide, at the beginning of each chapter. The Salem history, entwined with the story of Towner and the strange group of characters kept me glued to this book to the end.

Women, lace, and a missing older lady makeup an interesting read.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

On Agate Hill by Lee Smith

This is what 13 year old Molly Petree is doing when we meet her in 1872...living in a house filled with the ghosts of her dead family. Having lost her father and brothers in the Civil War, and her mother a few years later, Molly is left to live with her aunt Fannie and Uncle Junius. Well, after her Aunt Fannie's death during childbirth, her Uncle Junius goes into a deep state of depression, and gets very ill. Not in his normal state of mind anymore, he marries the housekeeper, and drives away his sister who has come to help. Then, upon his death, Molly is left to live with her new step-aunt Sabrina and her children...that is until a mysterious man takes her from Agate Hill, and enrolls her in Gatewood Academy School for Girls.

From there we follow Molly's life... through her four years at Gatewood, teaching at a small mountain-top school, runnin off and gettin married, the heartache of not being able to have children, a horrible fire and mysterious death, learning who the stranger that took her away from Agate Hill all those years ago really is, and why he's never let Molly very far out of his sight, and finally, old age. Molly's story is told through diary entries, court documents, and letters to a dear friend, which I really liked. It gives the story a personal feel.

Overall, I just loved this book, and I absolutely recommend it. This is one of those books that you just hate to put down, and while only a couple parts here and there were slow-going, I looked forward to reading this every chance that I got. This was my first time reading Ms. Smith but it sure won't be my last. Molly's story was so vivid and real that I had to keep telling myself it was a fiction novel.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Stealing Buddha's Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen

Stealing Buddha’s Dinner is a memoir by Bich Minh Nguyen, teacher of Asian American literature, creative nonfiction, and fiction at Purdue University. Nguyen’s father, sister, grandmother, and uncles left Vietnam the night before the fall of Saigon. After spending some time in the Philippines, the received a sponsor in Grand Rapids, MI to come to the United States, where Bich’s father eventually met and married Rosa, a woman of Mexican heritage. Growing up in a bi-cultural family was difficult for Bich in white, middle-class (as it was at the time) Grand Rapids. Her family’s food, traditions, and ways of thinking were markedly different from those of her not-so-understanding classmates.

The book was definitely different than I expected. I committed the age-old sin of judging the book by its cover and believed that the book would focus predominantly Nguyen’s rejection of her family’s culture through a desire for American junk food and distaste for traditional food. This was both not quite accurate and not quite as predominant a theme as I had guessed. Nguyen’s desire for ‘American’ food seems to be more about understanding and wanting to fit in with her peers. She definitely does not reject the food her grandmother makes, she simply seems to wish that her family could also eat pork chops, roasts, and hamburger helper.

This book was organized differently from most of the memoirs I’ve been reading lately. There was only a very general narrative flow. Nguyen began at the ‘beginning’ and ended at the ‘end’, but the middle chapters jumped around a good bit, organized more by theme than by chronology. This could have easily gotten annoying and was, at some points, slightly confusing, but Bich generally did a good job at providing ages or other sign posts to indicate where you were in her story. The beginning of the book was definitely stronger than the end – there is a conclusion that you as a reader are not really prepared for in the book and isn’t fully explained. However, it is perhaps more authentic that way, it does not seem that Bich was prepared for this resolution either, although I’m not totally sure how it enriched her story of a child’s immigrant experience. Overall I enjoyed this book; it was a fast and engaging read.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Book Review: Paint It Black by Janet Fitch

Ok I get it, Josie. You're small, pretty, ...whorish. Yes and your little brat boyfriend killed himself...and his mother is moody...blah blah blah. Your car is a piece of crap, you go to punk clubs, you cry alot, every little thing reminds you of Michael and you spend 2 freaking pages describing it, just before devoting another 4 pages to more of the same.

I've been skipping pages 2 or 3 at a time, scanning for something lurking in a paragraph somewhere that may be in any way different from the 2 chapters before it. All I've found is bits and pieces of plot here and there, and more redundant blabbering about her poor poor dead boyfriend and her pathetic little life.

While I really tried to like this book, I only made it to page 176 and finally gave up. Maybe I'm too old for this type of story...but all the booze-swilling, drug activity and other drivel really got on my nerves.

Usually I hate putting down a book without at least finding out what happens in the end, but for this one I could honestly care less. I need likeable characters (I can only really get into a book if I can either identify with or find interest in at least ONE character), I need an actual plot!

This book has offered neither. I loved White Oleander...but I wonder what Fitch was thinking with this one.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Anna Quindlen - Rise and Shine

Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen opens with the sentence, "From time to time some stranger will ask me how I can bear to live in New York City." The rest of the novel is like an exposition answering this stranger's question. Sure, there is a plot. There is a story about two sisters and how one's fame and public mistake affects the other. There are romantic relationships. Things happen. But there is so much commentary on life in New York City between the action that I am not sure which fills more pages. If you live in New York, and especially if you are around people in Manahattan who are extremely preoccupied with professional success, you may love this book. I didn't.

The main character in Rise and Shine, Bridget, is interesting. I enjoyed the parts about her job in the Bronx a lot. I also liked her assistant, Tequila. The parts of the book when Bridget was dealing with work, her romantic relationship or her surrogate mother role to her nephew, Leo, were good reading.

The novel revolves, however, around Bridget's famous sister, Meghan. I was never convinced that Meghan's on-air mistake would be as huge a deal as it is written to be. Meghan also was underdeveloped, making her impact less than it needed to be in order to understand Bridget's transformation.

The passing of time in the book is also confusing. It sometimes read as if a day or two had passed and then suddenly someone would mention it was a month later. This made it hard to follow.

This is not Quindlen's best.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Book Review: Snow Falling on Cedars

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson is the story of a small community on an island off Washington state, about ten years after the end of WWII. Though the island is isolated, its population is ethnically diverse. The main action of the story, however, takes place between Caucasians and Japanese, as a Japanese man, Kabuo Miyamoto, is standing trial for the murder of a fellow fisherman. Adding to this conflict is the tension between the local newspaper owner, Ishmael Chambers, and his boyhood sweetheart, a Japanese girl named Hatsue, who is now the wife of the accused Kabuo. Snow Falling on Cedars has several themes and elements that readily commend it to be read.

First, the book is a story of how racism affects a small, isolated community. Both Ishmael and Kabuo fought for America during WWII, and both men are crippled by the war, but in different ways: Ishamel by the loss of an arm, Kabuo by the distrust immediately after WWII that whites held against anyone of Japanese descent. The story deals with the unfortunate internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII, portraying (evidently accurately) what internees (prisoners) experienced in the camps.

Second, Snow Falling on Cedars is an intense love story, as Ishmael has never resolved his lost romance with Hatsue. As the community's newspaper man, he is in the awkward position of having to deal fairly, as a news man, with the very man who denied him a life with the girl he loves.

Third, the story is well-crafted. The prose is such that the reader feels the cold from the ubiquitous snow that sets the mood for most of the story. One feels the stuffiness of small rooms heated by over-active steam radiators. The reader will feel the frustration of the courtroom drama, as the opposing attorneys seem unable to arrive at the truth. And one wonders if Ishmael will go forth with the evidence that will determine the fate of Kabuo and the possibility of his own relationship with Hatsue.

The main narrative technique of the story is the memory, as the narration alternates between past and present (seamlessly, most of the time), and the reader is shown how the horrors of WWII has affected the lives of the ordinary men who went to fight.

Snow Falling on Cedars is a very good read, but I recommend it for more mature readers, as some of the scenes, though tastfully done, are nonetheless unsuitable for young readers. Disturbing and bittersweet, Snow Falling on Cedars forces us to confront racism and to ask ourselves what we would do in the same situation.