I loved this book. I'm a big fan of magical realism and this book was the best I've read in that genre in a while. I enjoyed the highly visual aspectI loved this book. I'm a big fan of magical realism and this book was the best I've read in that genre in a while. I enjoyed the highly visual aspect to the narrative. The characters and story were very enjoyable, even if they covered some typical tropes. What was more important was how engaging and fantastic the story was, wrapping the tropes in a very nice narrative that zipped along and captured an air of magic. I often felt very much transported to the world of Le Cirque and the world around it. ...more
The writing was stellar and very powerful. The characters were all very strong and well-rounded, displaying human compasFantastic! Brilliant! Amazing!
The writing was stellar and very powerful. The characters were all very strong and well-rounded, displaying human compassion and single-mindedness, conceit and virtue all in one go, encompassing pompous windbags and innocent children, with all flavors in between. It caught the emotional impact of unadulterated devastation of a survivor very well with Kivrin, and painted the futuristic world very well, without outright telling the reader everything about such things like 'The Pandemic'. It blended the past and future very well and drew good correlations between them, especially with regard to the impacts and inevitability of disease and how it impacts people.
Thoroughly enjoyable and a very easy read. Perfect to round out my summer reading. ...more
I think this is one of my favorite books of all time. While I read it, I was also dabbling in archeology. Conservation really appealed to me. There arI think this is one of my favorite books of all time. While I read it, I was also dabbling in archeology. Conservation really appealed to me. There are stories to the little marks that are left upon things that out last us; this has always fascinated me. I deeply enjoyed and loved People of the Book for this reason. With superb writing and a well-plotted story, I would recommend this to any fan of historical fiction and archeology....more
I enjoyed this book immensely. The third-person stream-of-consciousness style of narration was fascinating and made the story flow more dynamic. I thoI enjoyed this book immensely. The third-person stream-of-consciousness style of narration was fascinating and made the story flow more dynamic. I thought that putting the focus on this part of Thomas Cromwell's life was a good choice. I have rarely encountered a fictional account that explored how the marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine was annulled or how the Church of England came into being. It was fascinating seeing the whole annulment and the maneuvering that ensured the rise of Anne Boleyn and the Church of England from the legal end. I enjoyed how the characters were written as well. Other fictional accounts of the period interpret the major characters as either more sinister or saintly, particularly Cromwell, Henry VIII, and More. In 'Wolf Hall', I felt that the characters were very well-developed and had very real foibles and strengths. Overall, a very enjoyable read worthy of the acclaim it has received. ...more
I loved 'Finding Nouf' and eagerly awaited the release of 'City of Veils'; I was not disappointed. While the story in 'City of Veils' is captivating tI loved 'Finding Nouf' and eagerly awaited the release of 'City of Veils'; I was not disappointed. While the story in 'City of Veils' is captivating to the point of breezing through the pages, I truely enjoyed the character development of this novel. While protagonists Katya and Nayir were well-developed in the first novel, the trials and tribulations they endured over the course of this one drew me further in. I can commiserate with Katya's need for greater independence and her commitment to her career expansion, and I enjoyed Nayir's inner conflict between his love for Katya and his devotion to Islam, not realizing that there is no need for the conflict, only his fears holding him back. The viewpoints of Osama and Miriam were also very well done, giving different perspectives on Saudi culture and life. I particularly liked Osama as a mediating character, a man that has reconciled modernity with traditional aspects of Saudi culture, and I have to admit that I really enjoyed seeing scenes from his view point, as he fights to be a good, modern man and cop despite all that is thrown at him. Throughout the novel there is a great amount of compromise. From Miriam, we get the Western view of Muslim culture as foreign and restrictive, but Zoe Ferraris does not allow Western bias to completely consume the work. Katya and the peripheral experiences of women such as Leila, Nuha, and Farooha do point to a dynamic culture that is adapting modern practices, and, particularly where women are concerned, things could be far more free, but they are changing, if very slowly. It gives a fair voice to Saudi and Muslim culture and is a very worthwhile read that I can't recommend enough....more