Great Grandmas Last Hurrah

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Later that same year India gained independence and just one year later the Afrikaner Nationalist victory in South Africa would lead inexorably to the Republic of South Africa in and its departure from the Commonwealth. The present Queen Elizabeth must have learned a great deal about statecraft from her father, and about duty, tact and hard work from both her parents in the course of this three-month tour, during which the then princess celebrated her twenty-first birthday.

It was also the family's first real experience of multiculturalism. Graham Viney's book gives us an intimate and revealing portrait of the royal family, while also superbly capturing a moment in the life of a fractious, recently formed 'nation', before its descent into over four decades of darkness. The royal family travelled ceaselessly, from February to April, on a specially commissioned, white-and-gold train, meeting thousands of people at every stop along the way. The tour was a show of imperial solidarity and a recognition of South Africa's contribution to the Allied cause during the Second World War, specifically that of South African prime minister Jan Smuts, who had served in both British war cabinets.

Young Elizabeth draws skilfully on many diverse sources, not least the Royal Archive at Windsor, and includes many photographs of the royal family not previously published, such as stills from film footage held by the South African National Film, Video and Sound Archives in Pretoria. A fascinating but too little noticed book which tells a great deal about [the Queen's] formation. It draws on a single royal trip [the royal tour of southern Africa]. The Last Hurrah , by Graham Viney, vividly tells the full tale.

Casting a discerning eye on his royal protagonists and the people they encountered, Viney penetrates beyond the frippery and froth to provide fascinating sidelights on the history of twentieth-century South Africa -- Lady Anne Somerset, author of Elizabeth I and Queen Anne For me, this was the literary surprise of the decade, to be so moved and enlightened by a book about British royals and their tour of South Africa.

In Viney's hands, this. Bathed in the fading glow of empire and buffeted by the coming storm of political struggle, Viney's South Africa is a country most of us will barely recognise, teetering on the brink of tumultuous change and yet almost united, at least for a moment, by love for a king and queen who weren't really ours. This is a very fine book. It deserves readers. Casting a discerning eye on his royal protagonists and the people they encountered, Viney penetrates beyond the frippery and froth to provide fascinating sidelights on the history of twentieth-century South Africa Graham Viney offers a dual feat: opening out from the popular spectacle of the Royal tour to a critical moment in English history.

David Levithan Goodreads Author. With Sam and Ilsa, the sibling revelry is always tempered with a large dose of sibling rivalry, and tonight is no exception.

One night. One apartment. Eight people. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, we all know the answer is plenty. But plenty also goes right, as well…in rather surprising ways.

Sam & Ilsa's Last Hurrah

Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Do you have an actual recipe for the cookies? Melissa Yes! If you google them, a few different version come up, but these are the one from People Magazine. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Apr 02, Beth added it Shelves: arcs , kindle , reads , mental-health , lgbtqa , i-literally-wanted-to-poke-my-eyes , let-down , dnf.

I'm not even going to give this a rating because I just couldn't get through it. I went in wiith completely different expectations of what I thought it would be. Sam and Ilsa came off as pretentious, and I couldn't figure out how their relationship worked. One moment Ilsa would be making comments about Sam being the favourite and to me she felt over shadowed and then the next moment she'd be praising him, it just didn't really make sense to me.

Not only this but it came off as quite pretentious to me, with comments of "good silver" and folding fancy napkins. Then we have the whole university thing with woe is me I didn't get into this top notch place, on and on. Then we have Sam who shows signs of anxiety, however I quote "My sister does not like to be depressed" I'm not quite sure what to even say in regards to this. Making it's way into the dinner party, they each get to invite three guests each, they both decide to invite someone the other doesn't like for whatever reason, Sam invites a random boy he fancies and then Ilsa Invites a boy she wants Sam to hook up with.

I shit you not, one of them turns up with a Sock Puppet on his hand, and the other two come as and I quote "slutty maids". I just wasn't a fan and had to give up, I don't really care enough about the characters to continue on and find out what happens, it just wasn't for me. View all 9 comments. If you look up pretentious in the dictionary, there's a handy little picture of this book next to it. Honestly when I read the description I got that it was a party and there was eight random guests with two twin protagonists and that sounded awesome, I generally love contemporary with a dash of romance so what could possibly go wrong?

Basically, everything went wrong. What this book actually is, is a story about a bunch of rich mostly white folk whining for literally the whole book and then for If you look up pretentious in the dictionary, there's a handy little picture of this book next to it. What this book actually is, is a story about a bunch of rich mostly white folk whining for literally the whole book and then for some reason we jump to Ten Years Later for the final chapter, as if I would actually care enough about these people to want to check up on them as adults.

Nobody cares about deck chairs. What I'm saying is - there comes a time, long before the accident, when you decide how many lifeboats the Titanic should have. Sam I like, he's quite similar to me in that he has severe anxiety but different too because he has actual friends that he has house parties with. I've literally never been to anything like this and nor would I want to. Ilsa is a brat. Literally just an annoying brat who's jealous that Sam is their Grandmother's favourite and really likes to stick her nose in everyone's business.

The whole concept of the story is the house party, because Sam and Ilsa's Grandmother Czarina is moving out of her posh flat and going to Paris. The plan was a last goodbye before all her stuff is packed and the neighbours extend their own apartment into hers. Sam invites three guests and Ilsa invites three too. However I forgot who invited who.

Alex’s Last Hurrah – Kathleen M. Basi

Because I'm so tired of worshipping breakable things. Because I wanted to see the impulse through. Because I wanted to see the look on their faces. Because I wanted to do something that I've kept inside of me so they could see what's been inside me all this time. I think a big problem with the book was that none of the characters were that interesting, as well as choosing a single environment and one night for pretty much the entire book with nothing major happening like an apocalypse or a flood, meant that the story never went anywhere.

One character KK was supposed to be really annoying but I just felt nothing towards her. She said what she thought and likes sushi. That's all I know. I think it's Caspian. I literally had to deal with a guy spending an entire night talking through a sock puppet and by the end I was ready to flush the thing down the toilet myself. It was just really weird and really creepy. Blog Facebook Twitter Jun 08, Sylvie rated it did not like it Shelves: lgbtq. Never in my entire life have I rated a young adult contemporary book this low. This was my most anticipated book for this year, because when those two authors collaborate they write great books together but this was just awful, none of the pages made sense.

I expected for this to be something glamorous because it takes place in New York where twins Ilsa and Sam decide to throw their last high school party in their rich grandmother's fancy apartement before everyone going to their seperate ways to figure life out, going to college, explore new places and etc. What I got from the book, weirdness, teen drama, super annoying characters who whine about everything.

And the last chapter which was 10 years later was neither interesting nor necessary. View all 4 comments. Aug 25, Alaina rated it did not like it Shelves: ng-group-challenge , fiction , romance , august , books-i-own , lgbtqa , young-adult , contemporary. I think this is my second book by this author?


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Not a fan so far. Thankfully, this book is super short - like about pages. So, I could easily fly through this.. In it, you will meet Sam and Ilsa. They are twin's and having one last party in their grandma's place before saying goodbye. No, they aren't dying even though that twist would've been a warm welcome but their grandma is moving to Paris I think this is my second book by this author?

No, they aren't dying even though that twist would've been a warm welcome but their grandma is moving to Paris. They are also saying goodbye because they are graduating high school.


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As to what they are doing after, going to college or whatever, has yet to be set in stone. These two are trying to figure out their lives and at least making a change in their current depressing ones. These two do nothing - heck nothing really happens in this book. It was beyond weird and confusing.

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I honestly didn't like any character in this thing. So, fortunately for me, I didn't care about what they were doing after this goodbye. Towards the end, I was excited - mostly because I was almost done with this tragic book. I was also happy because these two were finally going to do something exciting with their lives.

Leave this place behind and never look back Sad because they had to say goodbye again..

Becca Anderson

Overall, goodbye book. View 1 comment. Mar 23, Bookphenomena Micky rated it it was ok Shelves: read , arc-read , disappointed , quirky , ya , netgalley. The book plunges the reader into an entitled and rather odd situation of teens hosting a dinner party in Manhattan and this dinner party is pretty much the entirety of the book. What starts as enchantingly quirky in terms of the main characters, siblings Sam and Ilsa, ends up being rather too quirky and somewhat irritating.

I was not drawn into either the smaller stories or the larger overall narrative. I voluntarily read an early copy of this book. View all 3 comments. This was an okay read.

2010 Olympic hero Jon Montgomery aiming for one last hurrah in Sochi

Not an intense read, but sometimes that is good because you just want a quick read to pass the rainy afternoon. The characters are pretty different from each other so the dinner party banter is random and amusing. Also the final chapter was a great wrap up to the story. I'm usually a huge fan of anything David Levithan writes but this was a huge let down for me. Everything felt very underdeveloped and it was not well paced at all. Such a shame. View 2 comments. May 16, Lauren AKA randomreader rated it did not like it Shelves: 1-star-books-ew , contemporary.

Well, I don't hand out 1 star reviews often, but when I do I really have got to strongly dislike the book. This was one of those books. When we left for Minnesota, Grandma struggled from bed to say good-bye and to slip one of her history books into my hands. I smiled, wrapping an arm around her fragile shoulders. In the next year, we spent a lot of time with Grandma: Thanksgiving, Christmas, any time when we could make the short trip to Iowa. I even found a box of sermons written by a Scottish ancestor, sermons he gave as a minister in the Church of Scotland.

Staring at the meticulous writing, I felt threads of our common history weaving together. She seldom moved from her bed, and even with oxygen, each breath was a battle. Mother went to Iowa to be with her. When she returned home, she took Grandma with her. Pictures covered the walls, and in a cabinet stood knickknacks collected over the years.


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By her bed was a nightstand piled with books, letters, and the old school bell. Beneath her pillow, Grandma kept a Bible and a well-worn copy of the Book of Mormon. That summer, returning home for a visit, I brought a stack of magazines for Grandma to read. The house was full of my eight brothers and sisters, their spouses and children.

Grandma looked pale and her eyes were swollen, but she looked happier than I had seen her in months. Grandma shuffled through them, then smiled. I promised to read to her, then leaned forward to kiss a cheek that felt like parchment. We carried Grandma outside for the family picnics and barbecues.

Once, she even made her painful way out to the kitchen table to join in our nightly family chat. Twice, we almost lost her, but she clung to life, enjoying each day that the family spent together. On the day I left, I bought her a bouquet of flowers. Placing them on her bedside table, I somehow knew that this would be the last time I would see her in this life. Grandma died the day after the last of my sisters left for Michigan with her children.


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