Pre-1800s are terrible, basically, if you're a woman. Outspoken or healer and female seems to equal witch in historical fiction which means tortured cPre-1800s are terrible, basically, if you're a woman. Outspoken or healer and female seems to equal witch in historical fiction which means tortured confessions and death. Not my cup of tea.
This novel wasn't terrible in and of itself, just not my thing. And the title makes little sense (the Hangmans daughter not playing a particularly large nor essential role compared to other characters).
Some parts brilliant, some failed to draw me in or convince me, but I suspect that has more to do with me than with the quality of the novel. PerhapsSome parts brilliant, some failed to draw me in or convince me, but I suspect that has more to do with me than with the quality of the novel. Perhaps this is odd, but I'm tempted to consider this less novel and more a poem---that's a category in which I would have ranked it higher. As a novel I found myself wishing for differences in the storytelling. And maybe that's what a point of the story was, now that I think about it... Recommended: perhaps others will be able to connect with what I couldn't.
EDITED to add this passage. Because it's awesome and I don't want to forget it:
"Just about everyone belongs to one of two groups. There's a large group of people who can't think while they eat. As long as they're eating, they will not be thinking. Well there's also a very, very small group of people that can think while they eat, and that group is divided into two subgroups. One is after power and money, and while they're eating they're thinking about how they can get more power and money. The other subgroup are what I call the Do-gooders, and while they're eating they're thinking about how there are people in the world who are not eating.
So the way it breaks down is this. The ones who are after power and money, it takes just a few of them, perhaps hard work, and definitely luck, and they can achieve power and money. But the Do-gooders, they wan to start a movement. They want to go down amoung those people who cannot think while they eat, and find a group of people there who are not eating. And of course, when you're not eating, ou're thinking, if about no more than 'Why am I not eating?'
So the Do-gooders say, 'Come along with us and we'll make things better for you and everyone.' And things start getting a little bit better and a little bit better, and pretty soon, those people begin eating, and you know what happens?
They stop thinking! And the movement is over, to begin another time and another place. And that's the history of the world."
For a free ebook, I am pleased. This is what I would consider a "chick-lit" read, and I typically avoid those, but the author adds enough small busineFor a free ebook, I am pleased. This is what I would consider a "chick-lit" read, and I typically avoid those, but the author adds enough small business/soy sauce information to help me feel I was learning a bit in between the love angsty parts, and the view into a privileged (and troubled) family in Singapore (with San Fran branch) was interesting. All in all, not bad for a summertime read!...more
Amazing. AMAZING!! I've heard of this book all my life, of course, but its premise never caught my interest. Oh, how glad I am to have run across a coAmazing. AMAZING!! I've heard of this book all my life, of course, but its premise never caught my interest. Oh, how glad I am to have run across a copy at a garage sale this summer. It's amazing. Baroness Blixen (aka Isak Dinesen) has the most lovely narrative voice. She can tell a tale, set a scene, make you part of the story. It's truly amazing. I've started telling myself I'm not allowed to mark-up my books anylonger, but I found myself turning down numerous pages of this book so I could return and savour again my favorite passages.
Not to say the story setting is itself perfect in the modern sense. The early 1900s in Kenya on a colonial coffee plantation is a less than ideal time/situation to me. The Baroness shoots a lot of lions and is dismissive or overlooks the nasty business of colonialism. But taking into consideration when it was written and acknowledging the priviledge which Blixen enjoyed, it's still an amazing story which shares a beautiful description of a woman's love for a land and her desire to understand those who lived there with her (the other European farmers/colonists and the African native people under colonial rule).
"How beautiful were the evenings of the Masai Reserve when after sunset we arrived at the river or the water-hole wehre we were to outspan, travelling in a long file. The plains with the thorntrees on them were already quite dark, but the air was filled with a clarity,--and over our heads, to the West, a single star which was to grow big and radiant in the course of the night was now just visable, like a silver point in the sky of citrine topaz. The air was cold to the lungs, the long grass dripping wet, and the herbs on it gave out their spiced astringent scent. In a little while on all sides the Cicada would begin to sing. The grass was me, and the air, the distant invisible mountains wer me, the tired oxen were me. I breathed with the slight night-wind in the thorntrees."
"Here he was now flung on to the farm by his own burning mind, like a stone out of a volcano. He was going mad, he said, in a country which expected a man to keep alive on talk of oxen and sisal, his soul was starving and he could stand it no longer. He began the moment he came into the room and went on till after midnight, holding forth on love, communism, prostitution, Hamsun, the Bible, and poisoning himself in very bad tobacco all the time..."
"All my life I have held that you can calss people according to how they may be imagine behaving to King Lear."
"The true aristocracy and the true proletariat of hte world are both in understanding with tragedy. To them it is the fundamental principle of God, and the key--the minor key,--to extistence. They differ in this way from the bourgeoisie of all classes, who deny tragedy, who will not tolerate it, and to whom the word of tragedy means in itself unpleasantness."
There are just so many lovely passages, amazing images. READ THIS BOOK. I'll be heading over to read other works by the Baroness very soon!...more
Beautiful. I'm mot certain of what I'd been expecting, a love story perhaps, but this delivered something more, and in a deceptively simple seeming waBeautiful. I'm mot certain of what I'd been expecting, a love story perhaps, but this delivered something more, and in a deceptively simple seeming way. Recommended!...more
While not all that I'd hoped for, at least I hadn't had to wait years for it's publication to then be let down; one good thing about being late to theWhile not all that I'd hoped for, at least I hadn't had to wait years for it's publication to then be let down; one good thing about being late to the party. And it's not a bad book, it's just that we fans want MORE already! Tell us how it all turns out! ...more
Three stars is a good book, I swear! And in this instance, I gave it largely because I started the novel halfway in, attempting to pick up around wherThree stars is a good book, I swear! And in this instance, I gave it largely because I started the novel halfway in, attempting to pick up around where season three of the television series left off. Very much looking forward to the next book(s) and the next DVD release (though season four is so far off...)....more