Fascinating look at China's recent history as the protagonist, a translator, unravels love letters and diaries. It opens up China to the translator anFascinating look at China's recent history as the protagonist, a translator, unravels love letters and diaries. It opens up China to the translator and, through her, the reader. And piecing together the story of the lovers also forces the translator to look at love and open herself up to it. I Am China gives insight into the work of a translator and how they inhabit the stories they are entrusted to translate....more
I'd read and enjoyed When Rabbit was God, so I was looking forward to seeing what Sarah Winman would write next. And it was so worth the wait.
I absoluI'd read and enjoyed When Rabbit was God, so I was looking forward to seeing what Sarah Winman would write next. And it was so worth the wait.
I absolutely love this magical, marvellous book. I feel as if I've been searching for a book like this for some time. One that seeps right into your soul, like the water from Marvellous' creek running over your welly boots, and makes you feel as squelchy as the mud she sinks down into when collecting cockles.
Everyone needs to spend some time with Marvellous Ways and listen to her stories - the stories which make up the story of her long life. It's beautiful and sad and tragic and poignant. It'll make you wonder at the world around you, marvel at the world which Marvellous inhabits, and long to pare yours back to a simpler existence where you fill your days and nights surrounded by those you love, doing something you love. This is a touching, beautiful book that I know I'll treasure and re-read every time I'm in need of reminding of that....more
Losing It centres around Millie and because it is very much ALL about her – she can be pretty self-absorbed especially at the beginning of the novel –Losing It centres around Millie and because it is very much ALL about her – she can be pretty self-absorbed especially at the beginning of the novel – Millie dominates the book. She’s such a great character that some of the others have a hard time asserting themselves and were more of a chorus to Millie’s daily dramas. It would have been easy for Millie to become a comedic monster over the course of the novel but Helen avoids that by putting the joke as much, if not mostly, on Millie herself. Millie may sometimes be biting and very close to the mark in her observations of others but she is also highly critical of herself. Her own worst enemy, if you like. This leads to Millie getting herself embroiled in painfully humiliating situations. But each time she fails or suffers a setback, she never gives up on life or gives up trying, including at those things which she perhaps shouldn’t have been trying in the first place.
I hope I wouldn’t do half the things that Millie does but I couldn’t help rooting for her and hoping that she would come through everything with a modicum of dignity left intact. She is desperate, behaves desperately but she is also desperately funny. And oh, so very flawed and human. Her thoughts run in every direction and we’re happily privy to them, while her friends and family and business contacts thankfully only get the highlights. And it’s this that makes Losing It so funny and why it worked so well for me. I enjoyed hearing the unedited version of someone’s commentary on their life and everyone in it.
Losing It made me laugh. Big belly laughs. It made me laugh at Millie, at myself and at the crazy things we put ourselves through, and the stupid pressures to which we fall subject. But it also made me think about those very same things: what we sometimes do to get a job, a date, a drink, or simply some notice, or validation. Cloaked in humour and very visual jokes, Helen makes some acute observations about a woman of a certain age in today’s society. Learning to laugh about that might just be the best way of dealing with it all when it spirals out of control and it could help us become more accepting of ourselves and our lives, so we can concentrate on what’s actually important....more