I actually listened to this book as an audio book. Niffenegger's prose is so concise and clear, delightful to immerse oneself into the setting she eleI actually listened to this book as an audio book. Niffenegger's prose is so concise and clear, delightful to immerse oneself into the setting she elegantly creates. Each character stood out boldly, with such diverse traits, odd perspectives and weird occupations that I cannot forget them. The plot and premise are imaginative and magical and I was taken away, fully engaged in this reality where ghosts write on dusty pianos and rob the souls from kittens. ...more
What a splendid departure from Hoffman's usual light, everyday tales of the ordinary, spiced with her special notes of magical realism. This novel is epic, historical and carries the reader into the ancient Middle East where you can smell the lilies, the myrrh, and the blood of men and women dying for their beliefs.
These richly portrayed characters, brought up in the confines of religion and culture, dare to reach farther into the realm of man's knowledge of God. They break rules, and love. They break rules and kill, they break rules and learn. This book really poked my complacency, made me curious and angry and deeply sad.
While weaving this dark tale, Hoffman brings the sound of bells jingling in a desert landscape, the wings of doves in a sun baked sky and the life-giving miracle of water.
I could not help but wonder if we misconstrue apathy as peace.
I don't know that I could have guessed this to be her work had I been blind to the author's name on the cover. I am glad. I would hate to sense formula and sameness in her words that would mar her reputation for me, on the list of my favorite authors. Bravo Ms. Hoffman, a generous read worthy of burning the midnight oil....more
I bought "Seaweed in the Soup" by Stanley Evans at Salamander Books in Ladysmith while on a search for Vancouver Island authors. The cover is evocativI bought "Seaweed in the Soup" by Stanley Evans at Salamander Books in Ladysmith while on a search for Vancouver Island authors. The cover is evocative and I would have gravitated towards it had I browsed rather than asking the shop-keep for help.
For those who like a good detective novel with lively characters, well individualized and moving through visceral settings, this book, the fifth of the series is well worth the time.
The protagonist, Silas Seaweed is a Coast Salish man, a neighborhood cop who works the tougher side of downtown Victoria. The contrast in Silas' make-up, the tough cop versus the tender bird rescuer, the rational crime solver and the respectful observer of ritual, gives Silas a down-to-earth character engaging the reader from page one. From seamy nightclubs to waterfront mansions, Evans creates settings that vibrate with a clear reality. His characters are skillfully created with just enough detail to bring them to life and Evans' consistent treatment of them keeps them firmly in the reader's mind. I never confused the members of this cast.
I'm sold on this series and will be looking for the other four. ...more
Excellent read. I thought often of "The Jade Peony" written by Wayson Choy. Both take place in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver, B.C. and have strong fExcellent read. I thought often of "The Jade Peony" written by Wayson Choy. Both take place in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver, B.C. and have strong female elders. The intersection of these immigrant women and their young families being raised in a Western Society and the choices the children make brings a bright light to their struggles.
Meninder, the protagonist of Basran's story, leads a double life. She wears the garb, speaks the polite phrase of ritual but is constantly biting her tongue, chafing at the restrictions of a Punjabi community. Her story is full of colour and vibrancy and fear of discovery while she weighs the consequences of rebellious decisions versus compliance.
Her characters are rich and full, no black and white here. The reader can engage in all perspectives from the bitter striving of the matriarch of the family to the cool, detached husband and the confused and hurt lover.
Basran's prose paints a lively picture of the family dynamics, her dialogue rings true and the pace moves quickly, keeping the reader wondering, riding the same scary wave as Meninder, through a maze of gossip, innuendo and outright oppression.
I highly recommend this novel as a must read for those who are curious about the Canadian 'Melthing Pot'....more