The story of Noah’s Ark is an important fixture in Old Testament scripture from the Christian Bible, but previous to reading this account (which sparkThe story of Noah’s Ark is an important fixture in Old Testament scripture from the Christian Bible, but previous to reading this account (which sparked some interest in further research), I was not aware that it also has ancient origins in religions such as Judaism, Islam and Bahá'í, as well as the earliest surviving work of literature, The Epic of Gilgamesh.
Kilgore’s account follows the Bible’s characters, though is infused with personalities, actions, and motives beyond the original narrative. It follows the story of Noah’s son, Ham, and his family from the years before the flood, through their perilous ordeal and the aftermath.
Ham is Noah’s third and least favored son. Though he is skilled and hard-working, he was obstinate about selecting his own wife—of course his choice being a woman beneath the family in Noah’s eyes. Lita will come to prove her worthiness, but the patriarch nonetheless shows prejudice toward Ham’s progeny, which plays out in the Bible with the curse of Canaan. In this story, Ham’s young son Canaan is yet a child, but the events which would prove to shape his life unfold, giving a detailed account of why that particular branch of Noah’s family falls from grace.
This is a love story several times over, and can be a little silly with it. The characters are full of faults, nature logistics is off (indeed, how else to explain the supernatural events?), and reasoning seems to be heavily influenced by El, the mysterious deity whom only speaks to Noah directly. This cannot be categorized simply as religious fiction, as it uses a rather historically balanced approach, and I believe this is the author’s aim. As stated in her guest post a few weeks ago, “It’s important to consider these ancient stories with a more enlightened perspective.” Overall, I would label it a historical novel with Biblical undertones, but I do not think overly religious readers will feel it adds substance to their belief system. Luckily, I am not one of those and enjoyed the story. Any novel that prompts readers to dig further into a subject is worth a read, and this one raises questions that go beyond the Bible’s interpretation.
What if Bonnie and Clyde didn’t meet their end in 1934 as the newspapers reported? This imaginative alternate account of the story extends their taleWhat if Bonnie and Clyde didn’t meet their end in 1934 as the newspapers reported? This imaginative alternate account of the story extends their tale to a round of further adventures in which the notorious lovers receive a sort of redemption of their past deeds. They’ve been forcefully recruited by a mysterious government official of dubious credentials, and have been entrusted with a dangerous and seemingly impossible task–tracking down and eliminating an assassin aimed at the White House. From the dusty roads of small-town USA to glittery New York City, Bonnie and Clyde take on various personas, blustering their way through schemes conjured up in a pinch. Their own fate, that of their family, and even the entire nation lies in their hands as they tackle this harrowing assignment with street-smart precision and sometimes bungled good luck.
This story is told by an elderly Bonnie who has just laid Clyde to rest under the name Clarence Prentiss. She has summoned Royce, a local newspaper writer looking for a breaking story, and is ready for the world to know the truth–well, almost ready. First there is some unfinished business to attend to, and meanwhile Royce must do some clue-hunting and fact-checking. How will the world react when it’s revealed that part of the famous duo yet lives–someone who has a cult following, but is still perceived a thief and murderess?
The state of the nation during the Great Depression is one of the central themes of the story. It lends reasoning to Bonnie and Clyde’s crime spree, although through their multi-state journey they meet people of many walks of life, which offers a different perspective of the bigger picture. Reluctantly, the infamous couple prove to be witty and almost admirable protagonists, most notably as they attempt to reconcile with their past. Though there is ample closure, the ending is left open, which hints that this absorbing tale will likely have an eagerly anticipated sequel.
**spoiler alert** This is an imaginative P&P "what-if", but did have at least one loophole--why did Mr. Darcy think Elizabeth had married into the**spoiler alert** This is an imaginative P&P "what-if", but did have at least one loophole--why did Mr. Darcy think Elizabeth had married into the Lucas family? It was never touched on whether or not that was a false rumor, or if the engagement was broken off after Lydia's fall and their father's death. It was also impossible to imagine such a quick, tidy ending. However, should this scenario be given more pages for the story to unfold, I think it would make a pleasing Austen variation. It has endearing new characters and a believable plot. All in all, worth an hour's read for pleasure and contemplation....more
This should be on every thinking American's reading list. Powerful, accurate and timely, it is also deeply concerning. There is much history and wisdoThis should be on every thinking American's reading list. Powerful, accurate and timely, it is also deeply concerning. There is much history and wisdom within these pages....more
Chronicling the years 1894 to 1939, this story covers the Russian Revolution, WWI and the years leading up to WWII through the eyes of Bronislava NijiChronicling the years 1894 to 1939, this story covers the Russian Revolution, WWI and the years leading up to WWII through the eyes of Bronislava Nijinska, a Polish-born Russian ballet dancer who worked her way up to teaching and choreographing across Europe. Always in the shadow of her dancing prodigy brother, Vaslav, Bronia works hard for her place in Russia’s Imperial Ballet School. But, it seems, no matter how much she longs for fame and the freedom to create her own unique style, Vaslav is there challenging her every move. Though he is the one who makes the name of Nijinska famous, it is Bronia whose longevity, strength and steadfastness give this story its charm and appeal. Other than Bronia’s troubled relationship with her brother, there is also friction with other men in her life–her father, her husband, and her mentor/colleague, Sergei Diaghilev. The details of the Russian Revolution are painfully poignant. This book is full of stray pieces of wisdom and brilliant turns of phrase. Descriptions of the art of the dance are plenty, but are weaved in seamlessly and do not overtake the narrative. Though lengthy, it is a pleasure to read, with an intriguing and factual account of a fascinating woman who lived through a violent time in Russia’s history.
“Talent breeds resentment; brilliance attracts envy. Lesser souls seek comfort in bringing down those who are admitted into the company of gods.”
“They are persistent, our ghosts. Huddling behind us, dark and sticky, ravenous for any scraps of life we can still feed them.”
“If I were to dance these words, I would dance the drops of rain falling on parched earth. Soaking in, moisturizing the dormant seeds.”
“Dreams, even the impossible ones, do not die but find their own surprising paths. Become a canvas into which I still keep weaving new, colorful threads.”
“If we could see, in fast motion, a film of the people we descended from, what odd dance would we see?”...more