Good but not great. I enjoyed The Night Circus a lot but didn't fall madly in love with it as I expected to, and as many others have.
The Night CircusGood but not great. I enjoyed The Night Circus a lot but didn't fall madly in love with it as I expected to, and as many others have.
The Night Circus is one of the most imaginative books I have read. I loved the author's descriptions of the circus. The lush imagery she creates is beautiful; I felt myself transported into the enchanting world of the circus.
On the other hand, I feel a little disappointed that I didn't love the book as much as others have. The problem was I couldn't feel a lot for the characters. I didn't care about any of them, because I felt I hardly knew them. As for the romance, I just didn't feel anything about it either.
The four star rating is because of the author's incredible writing skills. I will be looking forward to more from her....more
Firstly, a huge congrats to the author, Joanna Kavenna. The Birth of Love is on the 2011 Orange Prize Longlist. You can view the entire list HERE
TheFirstly, a huge congrats to the author, Joanna Kavenna. The Birth of Love is on the 2011 Orange Prize Longlist. You can view the entire list HERE
The Birth of Love involves four stories entwined into one stunner of a novel. One of the most original novels I have read recently, it's scary, thought-provoking and powerful. Part dystopia, part historical fiction and overall, a celebration of motherhood through the centuries. Despite some flaws, it's a very memorable book.
In 1865 Vienna, Professor Semmelweis is forced into a lunatic asylum for suggesting that lack of hygiene among doctors is the cause of women's deaths during childbirth . He is tortured by guilt of having been responsible for "killing" so many mothers.
In 2153, the author creates a terrifying scenario. Humans can no longer give birth. Instead, babies are "grown" in special centers. A woman miraculously conceives and the people who are trying to protect her are arrested by the "authorities".
In 2009, a social recluse and an author, Michael Stone releases his new book on Professor Semmelweis. In the midst of unexpected and unwanted success, he comes to know that his estranged mother is dying. Should he go and meet her for one last time?
In the same year, Brigid Hayes is about to give birth to her second child. She's tired and completely drained out; she doesn't think she can take another childbirth.
The Birth of Love beautifully captures the various emotions of motherhood. It's awe-inspiring on one hand , hard hitting on the other. The book explores some relevant themes and provokes many questions. Despite the four storylines, it's not hard to keep track. Each character's voice is distinct and unique. The descriptions, narratives and imagery used by the author is powerful and disturbing.
Out of the four storylines, I think the one set in 2153 is my favorite. It presents a scary depiction of what might lie in the future. Most of all, it compels you to think of what is coming ahead. Can you imagine a future where women can't give birth and childbirth is controlled by some kind of "authorities"?
The only problem I had with the book was that I couldn't form a very deep attachment to the characters. I sympathized with them but they weren't memorable. None of the characters stood out for me.
The Birth of Love is strangely captivating. When I first started the book, I thought it was a bit weird, but it soon drew me in. Joanna Kavenna successfully mixes genres. The only other author who is able to do that perfectly, I believe, is Margaret Atwood.
The Birth of Love is a compelling depiction of child birth in the past, present and future. This power-packed novel is worthy of the Orange Prize!
Quotes: At that his eyes fixed on me. I must confess that I was briefly unnerved by his gaze. It expressed such hopelessness, such a terrible absence of joy. It was horribly eloquent, though all it invoked was macabre and evil. There was a chaos to his limbs which dismayed me too. It was as if his bones had been broken and had mended strangely. Everything about his posture was ugly and awkward; everything about his gaze was desperate and beseeching.
"You have no power to upset me at all. Your voice is very faint, very distant. There is a roaring in my head, I can barely hear you beneath the roaring. I am adrift on a....poisonous....boiling ocean. I cannot see the shore. I have been cast off, sent to drift until I drown...."
Though she felt spiky and savage within, she never doubted that she loved her son. Her love was infinite; she sensed there was a deep infinite core of love, and then a lesser love, her surface emotion, where everything got sullied by quotidian demands, and mingled with guilt.
Overall: Gripping, imaginative and powerful!
Recommended? Yes, for people who enjoy books that take a step away from the ordinary. ...more