See a Problem?
Preview — A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson
A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar
It is 1923. Evangeline (Eva) English and her sister Lizzie are missionaries heading for the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar. Though Lizzie is on fire with her religious calling, Eva’s motives are not quite as noble, but with her green bicycle and a commission from a publisher to write A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar, she is ready for adventure.
In present day London,
A little more than halfway into this, I realized that I wasn't enjoying it, I didn't care about any of the characters, and I was much better off completely forgetting about this book. So I took the bookmark out and dropped the book off for collection and delivery to the nearest secondhand bookstore and went to read something infinitely more interesting, more well-written, and better.
The book starts out with a gory, disturbing scene of an eleven-year-old girl giving birth. There's a ...more
This is another in the growing trend of novels that blend a modern and historical storyline. It can be an interesting concept, contrasting and comparing our times and issues with those past. In this case, I spent the whole novel questioning what the link actually was. Having finished it, I don't see how either Frieda's story in modern London or Eva's in 1920s Kashgar actually complemented or added any weight to each other. Yes, they are both ...more
The prose is beautifully written and this was a delight to read. The description were sumptuous, beautiful, lavish and luxurious and I found myself instantly transported to Kashgar.
This book switched between two time periods and various characters, but for once I actually enjoyed the changes of perspective. It really really worked and despite it usually being something that puts me off reading a book instead it drew me in further.
The pace is subtle and I did ...more
This dual storyline was very well done. My preference would have been for the entire book to be about Eva, but the author did a very good job of keeping present day Frieda in contention with Eva.
I did a comprehensive review of the map at the front o ...more
Title: A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar
Description: Eva and her sister are new missionaries to Kashgar, supervised by the nearly fanatical Millicent. Their very first act gets them put under house arrest and awaiting trial on murder charges. Meanwhile, Millicent’s not-so-subtle methods seem to be stirring up animosity among the natives. Running parallel to this story is the modern-day story of Frieda and her new friend Tayeb, an illegal immigrant. Fr ...more
However, Suzanne Joinson’s novel turns out to be quite different from these expectations. Most of the historical action takes place while the narrator, her sister and their friend Millicent are under house arrest because ...more
The action in A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar is set in 1923 and involves sisters Eva and Lizzie. They are on their way to do mission work in the Chinese governed, Muslim city of Kashgar. Lizzie despite her frailness is the zealot on this trip although she does have other passion ...more
I was not required to post a review.
The story-lines move alternately from 1923 with three main female characters who have traveled to the ancient Chinese Silk Road city of Kashgar to serve as missionaries, to modern-day London where we meet a young woman named Frieda who provides the second-story line . The blurb on the back of the advance copy states that A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar "is a major literary ...more
A very intriguing story that kept me hooked from start to finish. Told in two points of view. One the first hand account of the diary of Eva as she travels through 1920s China as a Christian missionary at a time when it is under major Muslim upheaval. Second, the third person narrative of a modern day English woman and Arab immigrant man ...more
It is also present day London, and Frieda is a modern-world professional stuck ...more
A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar is a gem of a read! What a surprisingly absorbing story that lured me in from the very first chapter when an eleven year old girl is giving birth on the side of the road on the route to Kashgar in 1923. Lizzie and Eva are sisters, travelling as missionaries with their leader, Millicent. Eva takes the opportunity to cycle as they travel with the hope of writing a guide to cycling in the Middle East, she loves to cycle.
The story also switches to modern da ...more
Through a surprise inheritance two different stories converge together with common themes of religious zeal, motherhood and infidelity.
Often told with wit; aided by a rich texture of research Suzanne Joinson demonstrates the art of story telling without trying to moralise or use too many words.
There is the sense of danger as we travel with Eva and by contr ...more
Suzanne Joinson’s split narrative novel is the kind of book you will indeed finish even though you will be constantly aware of the pitfalls of this narrative style with every chapter. My, that sounded pretentious, but how hard must it be to keep two narratives going and have them both be equally interesting? How hard can it be to find a modern story to compete with a 1920’s Englishwoman writing a guide for ladies who want to go bicycling for heaven’s sake through a remote Muslim area of western ...more
There were a lot of things that I liked about the book. First, I really liked the setting, especially in the historical story. Kashgar is a very old city on the Silk Road. You get a great pic ...more
This is indeed the beauty of this book.
The two stories, one set in the 1920's in Kashgar and the other in England currently, intertwine in some obvious ways, others not so much. What on the surface are several storylines of a journ ...more
I was initially intrigued by the subject matter of A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar, a lovely debut novel written by Suzanne Joinson.* The story alternates between two times and places - 1923 Kashgar and present day London - and follows two young women whose lives are vaguely connected, though you don't find out how until maybe a quarter of the way through the novel.
Eva, from whose perspective the 1923 portion of the story is ...more
My imagination had been captured, and I was quite ready for the story to take hold of me. It did.
I found myself in Kashgar, in East Turkestan, in 1923. I was in the company of three lady. Christian missionaries. Millicent was their leader, a very capable woman, who was quite sure of the rightness of her mission but was maybe unable to understand that others might see the world rather differently. Lizzie ...more
Naturally, being the curious reader I am, I immediately looked up Kashgar on the internet after reading the first chapter. Kashgar (accoeding to the almighty Wikipedia), is a cit ...more
The book does not disappoint. In fact it was even more than I had thought when I read her description in the essay "Chasing Missionaries."
My m ...more
The first tale is of Evangeline English, cycling trip across East Turkestan in 1923. Evangeline (Eva) and her sister Lizzie embark on a missionary trip to the middle east under the authority of an idealistic Millicent (leader of their missionary group). Millicent and Eva come across a young girl giving birth on the side of the road. They find themselves in a precarious situation when the girl dies after th ...more
Suzanne Joinson works in the literature department of the British Council, and regularly travels widely across the Middle East, North Africa, China and Europe. In 2007 she won the New Writing Ventures award for Creative Non-Fiction for ‘Laila Ahmed’. She is studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London and lives by the sea on the South Coast of Englan ...more