The blurb on the back of “The Mother-in-Law Cure” warns you that “happily ever after” is not for everyone. Described as a modern fairy tale, the bookThe blurb on the back of “The Mother-in-Law Cure” warns you that “happily ever after” is not for everyone. Described as a modern fairy tale, the book has all the mythic ingredients – poverty and wealth, rich girl and poor girl, a marriage and a prince charming, but not all of them fit the required formula. Instead, Farha Hasan has rearranged the ancient story within more familiar and worldly setting, challenged traditional notions of wealth and happiness, and presented us with two women whose lives are entangled in the effects of an enchantment that only one can escape. Humara and Miriam are two women from Lahore, Pakistan, and are now in-laws living in Chicago, Illinois. Both women lived in poverty and now live in wealth, but outside of these superficial similarities, it is their differences that propel the story forward, with a little help from magic! The book was a joy to read, and contained a wonderful blend of the east and west, where Lahore’s timeless cuisines are served in Chicago’s tiny restaurants, where ladies and gentlemen are resplendent in colorful shaalwar kameezes, dancing to the dholak late into the night, where the scent of jasmine has followed Humara across the ocean, and where the magical whispers of the distant past intrude into our heroines’ daily lives in modern-day Chicago. ...more
Brandon Sanderson is quickly becomming my favorite fantasy writer (I read Elantris last year & loved it). Mistborn is imaginative, funny and heroiBrandon Sanderson is quickly becomming my favorite fantasy writer (I read Elantris last year & loved it). Mistborn is imaginative, funny and heroic. It has an engaging story-line, personable characters and a unique manner of magical ability that uses metals and alloys. My favorite was the "hero who failed" slant to the book - it created an air of nostalgia for that unnamed man who set out to help the world.
In many ways this is a typical fantasy book (remember the age-oldslave/sewer-rat/poor-farm-boy who becomes a hero/heroine to save the day?), but what makes this different (besides the magical abilities) was
1- Sanderson's writing style is eloquent, humerous and very touching.
2- his main characters are well-formed and the relationships he creates are very real and heartwarming. Vin, for example, has a student-mentor relationship with both Sazed & Kelsier, but while Sazed is her collegue in the crew, Kelsier is her mentor, her equal in magical ability, and her father figure.
I will say though, that the there were some aspects that seemed forced, such as Eland's unsatisfied place in his family and the enmity between the Inquisitors & the Ministry. But these weren't jarring enough to overshadow the book, so I can only imagine it is due to a writer slowly and methodically perfecting his craft. I hope so, but there is a lot of promise in Sanderson. He may not be as intense as Martin or Hobb, but he is just as eloquent and effective a story-teller. I can't wait to read part 2!...more