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“This was an extremely interesting novel about 6 very diverse women, Heddi, a Jungian analyst, Betty a housewife, Ondine an artist (both Betty and Ondine are patients of Heddi's ) then there is, Sophia, a rugged and savvy mountain woman, Erika, a top-level executive, and Pearl an elderly bag...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Can't seem to get through this book. Might go back to it later. ”Amy W wrote this review Tuesday, January 17, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This was an extremely interesting novel about 6 very diverse women, Heddi, a Jungian analyst, Betty a housewife, Ondine an artist (both Betty and Ondine are patients of Heddi's ) then there is, Sophia, a rugged and savvy mountain woman, Erika, a top-level executive, and Pearl an elderly bag woman.
They are all trapped in the Los Angeles airport, in a small employee break room where they all managed to flee after a group of terrorist entered the airport and started shooting at people, barricading the door and hoping that they will not be discovered. To ease their immense fear, and to make the time pass, Heddi suggest that they all tell each other something about themselves. This begins with general stories and as the days go by the women all open up and let each other really see their vulnerabilities.
The 7th woman and the only female terrorist who is also alone in another nearby room monitoring what is going on through security cameras and a TV, gives us a look into this group of terrorist and her own reasons for participating.
This story kept you interested, through out as we got to know these complex characters. I was just a little let down by the ending. ”
“Commune of Women is a dramatic thriller.
Seven women have been drawn into a web of terrorism as each of them arrive at Los Angeles International Airport.
Heddie is a psycho-analyst who is traveling with one of her patients to pick up another from the airport. She is calm, cool, collected and has been raised with a silver spoon in her mouth or so she wants everyone to believe.
Sophia is a natural born leader. She is strong, caring, compassionate and knowledgeable. She carries with her demons from her past when she was a medic during the Vietnam war.
Erika is a high profile business women with a vulgar attitude and vocabulary. She believes everything and everyone should center around her and after she is shot, she is extremely irritated that her business world may come crashing down around her.
Pearl is a wizened bag lady who arrives at the airport because of friend of hers told her that the money was good. She is one person who is bound to have everything one might need in order to survive, she's been doing it for a long time and knows what is needed in times of duress. Her story is a sad one and yet she always seems to find something good in all that is around her.
Ondine is a neurotic free spirit whose has a terrible guilt over a past event she had no control over. She is currently under Heddie's care and working through her demons. She's coming out of a bad marriage and tends to run from the stresses in her life.
Betty is also one of Heddie's patients and she puts all her time and energy into plastic flowers arrangements that she is passionate about creating. Her passion has driven a wedge between her and her family. She doesn't see what she is doing wrong until her life is threatened and she realizes her values had been wrong all the time.
X is a militant who grew up in the Jafar camp in Palestine. She comes from an area of the world where walls surround her country, checkpoints are needed to go through to leave and people are systematically killed. To be a women in Palestine means you are bred of strength, determination and perseverance. She is proud of the women in her life and feels she is just in her reasons why she is attacking the airport. However, along the way she begins to see things in a new light and vows to correct all the wrongs that have ever happened to her.
Each of these women must survive four days while they are held in the airport, too afraid to leave their hiding place. The six women have no idea where the terrorists are, why the FBI hasn't come for them yet nor how they are going to survive when their only food is to be found in an employee vending machine and bullet ridden soda!
Each of them delves into their inner psyche to find the demons that have haunted them in order to find the strength to survive.
This wasn't a bad read! I truly enjoyed the women's characters, each one of them was written in a well-rounded manner and with believable back stories. My favourite of the women was Sophia, a woman who listens to the world's weave and reacts to it instinctively. She was very strong in character and belief.
I wasn't so fond of Ondine, I found her overly whiny and her maternal instincts were severely lacking. Not that she was a badly written character, just out of them all, I'd have disliked her the least if I met them as they were written.
Many of the back stories shard were wonderfully written. It was rather hard to read Pearl's for the first half of the book. She has a very bad grammar syntax and it's written that way, however, just after halfway through the book, the author uses less of this inflection and she flows better with the story. I just wished when she was telling her story the author had written with a little less syntax connotations.
The ending was a surprise and after you read it you will know that it truly peeved me, which is good but it wasn't what I had expected. The ending was good but there were several things that didn't wrap up for me. There are few minor characters who were introduced and added a huge part to the story and yet, we learn nothing about them. And truthfully, I have no idea why Erica was even in the story, it would've worked better had she interacted more or not to have her written in at all.
As you can see there are good points about the story and there aren't. I think with some tightening of some of the storylines, this would make for an excellent movie. The terrorists roles would have to be beefed up, after they attack the airport, we don't even know their thoughts, reasons nor actions. I think it would've been a plus if one of the women from the hostage situation could have been written in to give us that perspective.
All in all though, whence I started reading it, I wasn't able to put it down, so it will draw you in, even with these plot and character points.
“I enjoy books that not only tell a good story but take us deep into the minds, thoughts and lives of the characters in the story. A Commune of Women takes us on that journey. Seven women who could not be any different are tossed together under extremely dire circumstances and must find a way to endure by working together to survive. Can you imagine being locked in a fairly small room with six other strangers, sharing food, water, trying to help the woman who is injured and not think about the chaos and death that is going on outside that door? I sure can't.
I admired every one of these women for different reasons. I have to say my favorite was Sophia. I would love to be as able and calm as she was in such a high stress time. She never panicked and seem to be very confident as to how to go about things. I couldn't wait to find out more about her. I hung on her every word imagining myself in her shoes.
Pearl, the street lady was my least favorite. I very much wanted to like her but I had a very hard time reading her. The author wrote her using the back woods talk that is very real but was hard for me to understand. When her narratives came around the story stopped the smooth flow because I had to read very slowly and re-read a lot of her conversations. BUT, I think she had the most common sense and the brightest way of looking at things. Pearl's cup was always half full!
The plot is really right out of the news with a terrorist attack at an airport. It was scary in many places because it could happen, has happened. I don't know if I could be as brave as these women.
Get ready for be in for the long haul once you open the cover. The story takes off with a bang and never slows down until the end.
Come see what [a href="http://readingreadingandlife.blogspot.com"][/a]”
“One seemingly normal day at the airport turns into a not so normal event. Chaos and gunfire at the airport causes six women to run for cover to the breakroom of the LAX airport. Two of the women are wounded. The women all come together and end up telling stories of their lives in the midst of all of the things going on.
I liked that Suzan Still defined each character by putting their name as a header while they tell their story. You will go from one character to the next as you listen to their stories. The writing is very detailed. I loved the whole idea of the story. You just never know, one day you could be doing something ordinary like going to the airport and you could be put with a bunch of women that you don't even know and end up telling more to them about your life than you would even expect.
At first I had trouble getting into the book and trying to remember who was who. What have been really cool would be to have a picture of each woman maybe at the beginning of the book just so you could connected a face with the character. I know when you read you are supposed to form each character in your mind, but it just would have been helpful. I could really see this book being made into a movie!
“Erika is in a hurry. She is on her way to catch an airplane to Berlin. At first glance, you would never expect that Betty, a housewife is having a mental breakdown. That is why she is receiving professional help from a Jungian analyst named Heiddi. Pearl runs a cart. Recently, Pearl has lost her prime location spot and is looking for a new area. A friend tells Pearl that she should set up her cart at the LAX airport. Ondine’s plane makes a stop at the LAX airport. Sophia’s bus to Pasadena does not leave for about an hour, so Sophia decides to kill some time in the LAX airport.
All six of these women are about to find themselves in a dangerous situation that will test their strength, wits, faith and form a strong bond between friends. A group of terrorists take over the LAX airport. Erika and Heiddi are among the wounded. Can these ladies hold out longer than the terrorists?
I found Sophia to be a great leader. She stepped up to the task and kept the situation and ladies under control. She is the type of person you would want to have around in this situation if you found yourself in one but hopefully never. Some of the other women were a little harder for me to like right away. Like Erika. I know she was hurt but she just lay around and complained in the beginning. Another person that was a bit whiny a first was Betty. She just gave up and let everyone else handle the situation. Luckily, this book moved at a nice, steady pace. I also liked the fact that the parts were separated by the names of each character in the beginning, so I was able to follow along easier. Overall, I did think this was a good book.
“Who would have thought that an unplanned, unexpected event would unite six, very different women from all walks of life and bind them together forever?
When a group of extreme terrorists take over the international terminal at LAX, gunfire erupts, killing random people, from the oldest to the youngest without so much as a thought for their welfare. As bodies begin to pile up where they once stood and in some cases ran for cover, a group of women find themselves locked behind the shelter of an employee break room door. Now as the gun fire slows, they huddle in silence unsure of where their fate lies.
While one of them remains wounded with bullet hole in her shoulder, each of these women will play a part in helping them survive until help arrives.
Sophia, who is the largest woman, most have ever seen becomes the official leader of the group. She maintains control over the security of the room, moving a vending machine in front of the door to prevent anyone from gaining entry into their hideaway. She tends to Erica, a young, black woman who is shot and needs to control the bleeding before she sleeps any further into shock. She utilizes needle and thread she obtains from Pearl, a homeless woman who was sleeping in the room before the chaos broke out in the terminal. Pearl seems to be their saving grace with all kinds of things she has kept with her along her travels on the street. She has been named the official person you'd want to have with you if you found yourself stranded on a desert island.
While Sophia tends to Erica, who remains in and out of consciousness, Pearl begins to round up the food supplies from the vending machines, and helps Betty, an overweight, woman deal with the affects of the situation by vomiting in the bathroom, and then cleaning it up to maintain a sense of normalcy.
Heddi, is the psychiatrist who has been treating Betty in her practice while coming to LAX to retrieve another patient, Ondine, who was arriving from France when the shooting began. Heddi feels she needs to be the one to take a leadership role since she is the one with a college degree in psychiatry and needs to do whatever it takes to help these women keep calm until help arrives. She insists that they tell stories about their lives to help them get to know one another, and a way to pass the time until they can be rescued.
In the novel, Commune of Women by Suzan Still, the stories that the women share during their time locked in a room awaiting rescue, will help the women unite in more ways than one, through the telling of some graphic stories of how each has arrived at where they are at today not just in being at the airport but who they are in spite of their circumstances. Some of the stories are horrifying and filled with graphic images of just what some of these women have endured in their life, but in the end, it will unite them and bring about some positive changes in each of them.
I received this book compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours and Suzan Still's for my honest review. The story is well written and the situation one that could happen to any of us. There are some strong uses of profanity and graphic sexual images that come across in some of the stories that are told that may offend some readers. However, these stories allow the reader to understand the people that are present in the room today and how these life events changed them. I would rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars based on my rating criteria. I LOVED the book and how these women managed to use their strengths to help them weather this traumatic situation together. ”
On an ordinary Los Angeles morning, six unrelated women converge on Los Angeles International Airport. A hornet’s nest of chaos ensues, and the women find their survival depends on their ability to navigate a web of interpersonal and cultural conflict.
Sophia, adept at the arts of survival, who takes the lead;
Pearl, an ancient bag lady whose wisdom becomes guidance;
Erika, a top executive whose business trip is cut short by a bullet wound;
Heddi, a Jungian analyst who must use her skills to help the others;
Betty, an overweight, histrionic housewife who endangers everything;
Ondine, a wealthy and neurotic artist whose self-absorption turns to action:
Each must use her slender resources and innate abilities to survive.
For four days, the women sustain themselves by telling their life stories, which grow darker and more intimate as the days pass. Meanwhile, Najat, abandoned by her male companions in a control room with a view of the entire terminal and of televised rescue efforts, struggles between her own conscience and the dictates of her group, the Brothers.
Commune of Women explores what happens when ordinary citizens meet their worst nightmare. It is a novel of travail, gritty determination, compassion and the will to prevail.
A most amazing book! The descriptive recollections told by each individual character allowed me to escape into her psyche and almost become that person for a few minutes. When a group of women gather, it is rare that they cannot find something to talk about and this group of women was no different. Each of these women reached deep inside themselves to share the most self-evaluating moments of their lives. Reading along I felt almost embarrassed for some of the women yet joyful and hopeful for others.
My favourite character was Pearl Johns. Although a bag lady, she was amazingly calm and joyful for their circumstance but very wise and intelligent. Pearl was to be more pitied than laughed at. Here she is a bag lady without any of the riches of the other women in the room, yet she was the richest of them all. She is simply thankful for living, for having a place to lay her head at night and felt lucky that God had finally smiled on her by providing a good place to sleep and a plateful of food…vending machine junk! How many of us would be truly thankful for the same things in the same circumstance?
The character that annoyed me the most was Dr. Heddi Merriweather. I felt she was a self-righteous, pompous woman who deep down thought she was better than everyone.
Each of these women came from such diverse backgrounds yet came together under the direst of circumstances and revealed wisdom, integrity and compassion. These six women will remain a part of me for a long time to come.
Ms. Still’s writing is precise and allows each woman to come to the realization that the one person they’ve hurt the most in their life is themselves. Reading the book you can almost absorb the energy of each woman’s telling. I would highly recommend this book to everyone!
PREVIEW COPY COURTESY OF SUZAN STILL, WITH MANY THANKS!”