Alan Wells's Reviews > Brazzaville Beach

Brazzaville Beach by William Boyd
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's review
Jul 18, 11

Read from June 27 to July 18, 2011, read count: 1

A touching and wrenching tale of a woman's experiences in her personal life and career, with a backstory set in Africa. Hope Clearwater faces many challenges with her work as a scientist - much of the time observing chimpanzees near a remote, academic camp in Africa, as well as the emotional upheavals in her marriage to an eccentric mathematician. With a wide variety of settings, quirkiness, and unsettling events, the reader is given a unique glimpse into Hope's unfailingly human reactions to the tumult, and her steadfastness in keeping true to herself and not what others' want her to be for their self interests.

The author has created such an honest and sympathetic character in Hope that it seemed as if each time I began reading it was like spending time with a friend; an honest friend who isn't afraid to share her feelings. I didn't want to rush through this book but it was unavoidable for me to put it down for long. I feel that I will be thinking about this story, and about Hope, for quite a while.
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