I need not tell the story as so many reviewers have done so already. Abdullah and Pari and their Uncle and Father made for wonderful characters right...moreI need not tell the story as so many reviewers have done so already. Abdullah and Pari and their Uncle and Father made for wonderful characters right from the start of the book and so as I turned each page I found myself attaching to them. (I was a bit disappointed early on that Hosseini resorted to a letter being written from the Uncle rather than finding another way to tell the story the Uncle told.) Then, the attachment faded as quickly as they all disappeared from the story. It was all downhill from there. I kept reading in order to find them again but didn't manage to do that until it was too late.
Perhaps I am an unsophisticated reader but I didn't appreciate having to read half a chapter before grasping as to who was narrating (this time)What may have been a sweeping saga turned to be a series of separate stories barely joined together. The running theme of the book seemed to be the absence of mothers in their children's lives. I wondered whether the author had personally experienced an absent (or dead) mother or a disabled one or an abusive, detached one from a young age because all of these characters appeared. There was not even one 'good' mother or 'good' woman for that matter in the whole story. Now I know that each person is not perfect and that perfect characters are not interesting but in this case the one-sided imperfect characters were equally not interesting.
I read both of Khaled Hosseini's previous books and loved them but this one just didn't make the cut. The first two were so well edited and spun such beauty even within dire circumstance but this one did not. I had offered it to a friend who eagerly wanted to borrow it the moment I was finished but by the time I completed the book she had read her own copy and concurred with my assessment. She left the last 40 pages unread. I now own the hard cover and can't in good conciousness recommend it or offer to loan it to my friends.
Better writing ahead for Mr. Hosseini, I hope.(less)
I completely enjoyed this book from beginning to end and can easily recommend it to any reader who enjoys action, adventure, intrigue, history and tra...moreI completely enjoyed this book from beginning to end and can easily recommend it to any reader who enjoys action, adventure, intrigue, history and travel. O'Bryan has demonstrated his knowledge of Istanbul and then has taken it a step further in speculation.
Part of what I enjoyed about the book, aside from the characters, setting and premise was the fact that the author showed a great deal of respect for the country (Turkey), its people and customs. I personally appreciate that as I am a firm believer that while some people in some cultures are truly 'bad' the whole country and its people shouldn't be damned for it.
I am now a very big fan of Laurence O'Bryan and look forward to his series of Puzzles. (less)
I received a copy of Vivian Kirkfield's book via a give-away promotion with the idea in mind that I would donate it to a Mental Health organisation I...moreI received a copy of Vivian Kirkfield's book via a give-away promotion with the idea in mind that I would donate it to a Mental Health organisation I am associated with to use in conjunction with children's support groups. The children of parents who suffer with mental illness are often at odds with their self-esteem given home situations. This will be a very welcome inclusion to their library.
When I got the book I was totally unprepared for the sheer size of it along with valuable content. There is not one page of 'fluff'. It is well indexed and referenced which is a great plus.
Teachers, parents and care givers would be wise to buy just this one book and put the rest of the clutter away!
For the purpose of this review, as I did not read the whole book, I opened it to a random page (84-85). There is a suggestion for reading (The Ugly Duckling) with author, illustrator, translator and publisher listed along with a detailed synopsis of the book. There is a 'Positive Parental Participation Note' which explains the impact of celebrating a child's special-ness. On the following page is a suggested craft for an Origami Bird which needs only paper, scissors and a marker. And finally a Child Friendly English Muffin Bread recipe.
The above describes the format of the rest of the book. Flipping open the book will provide give a days worth of fine gems to share with and interact and enjoy with young children.
I remain amazed at the value of the content of this book and can whole heartedly recommend it!
I was expecting a much drier read following reading other reviews here and on Amazon. I think it would make a big difference if I had not seen Petra,...moreI was expecting a much drier read following reading other reviews here and on Amazon. I think it would make a big difference if I had not seen Petra, as the author goes into details that may be unimaginable to me if I hadn't realized the enormity and extreme beauty of the setting. ___________________________________________
Having finally completed the book I would like to finish up this review. It took a while to complete because I was not engrossed in it at any time. There became a point when it seemed the author just threw in tidbits for good measure as though someone was asking the question - what else can you talk about? and as a result I skimmed a few chapters. It was as though the book needed more of 'what else took place' and then squeezed in few chapters to cover the points. I am not sure who edited it or if Ms. Van Geldermalsen had someone else finish writing it from a few notes containing ancedotes but someone dropped the ball.
While I really wanted to like the book, I didn't. The emotion that should have come with such a compelling story was completely missing. Reading between the lines was not enough to fill the romance of the story and the setting. I dare say, in the right hands it will make a fantastic movie. At one point early in the book Van Geldermalsen mentions a tea business or something similar (I forget) and then says but that comes much later on. The subject however wasn't re-visited. There were huge gaps all over the story similar to this one mentioned.
Education wise, I do have a much better understanding of the Bedouin people, their circumstances, history and plight, making the book a worthwhile read in that respect.
"Married to a Bedouin" is aptly titled, giving the reader exactly what it promises; a story of what it was like being married to a Bedouin. I would have liked the title to be "I Fell in Love with a Bedouin of Petra" - perhaps it would then have given the passion the author surly felt but was reluctant to share.
I hope the movie is better, prompting people to visit the extraordinary Petra and the country of Jordan.
Very light read. Good for the beach and that is about all. It was more of a romance than a gritty who done it. I was disappointed because the cover an...moreVery light read. Good for the beach and that is about all. It was more of a romance than a gritty who done it. I was disappointed because the cover and story-line set me up for something that I could get my teeth into. (less)
I finally finished this book, thinking on the way that I did not like the main character! Which really bugged me. It is written in two separate times...moreI finally finished this book, thinking on the way that I did not like the main character! Which really bugged me. It is written in two separate times so I managed to get through the present and absorb myself in the past, in history and in characters.
I continued to love the detailed landscapes and ambiance created as well as the insight into the culture and its people.
Overall, I can recommend the book because I know that I will read the previous book that Jane Johnson wrote, which seems to have had better reviews. (less)
Deidre Ann Banville, with her honesty has taken some of the fright out of the veil (caul) and at the same time added to the mystery. The book covers se...moreDeidre Ann Banville, with her honesty has taken some of the fright out of the veil (caul) and at the same time added to the mystery. The book covers several incidents that Ms. Banville experienced and tells in a very informal way. It reads likes a warm conversation with a good friend. She has a gift which she feels compelled to use and share with whomever it may help. Although she divulges some of what the what the messages say that are being sent to her for the recipient, I find she is also very respectful of the privacy of the people she writes about. Some incidents are detailed and some are left to the actual recipient to figure out. There is no set method that Ms. Banville relies on - she simply takes what she receives and does her best to convey it - pass it on. I enjoyed the stories, very much. Many people who read it will find themselves checking if they too have this precious gift and will also find ways to use it wisely. I can easily recommend this book to both believers and non-believers as a point of discovery. (less)