Friday, 5 December 2008

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

After watching the recent BBC adaptation, I knew I just had to read the book! There is a strong thread of integrity in the book. Mr Hale must stand by his convictions and leave the church, Mr Thornton is his own kind of Master, self made, but not willing to comprimise family or the livelyhood of his workers, Mrs Thornton is the strong matriach who will stand by her son through good times and bad, and Margaret believes that her integrity is blemished by a misunderstanding with Mr Thornton. There is also a knock against unlearned assumptions. When first arriving in Milton, Margaret has certain views about the North, which are changed as she gets to know some of the people, but these assumptions remain concreted in her Aunt Shaw and cousin Edith who destain the place and the people. Mr Bell's humerous dialogue is a treat!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

The Other Hand by Chris Cleave.

This book is released in US/Canada under the title "Little Bee".

The blurb gives nothing away about this book.
"We don't want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn't. And it's what happens afterwards that is most important. Once you have read it, you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds."

Well, now that is intriguing! So what can I say about this book, without giving the game away?
Here is what I said in my librarything review:

"Imagine the culture shock of coming from a small village in Nigeria, swept up in conflict, to find yourself detained in a UK Immigration Detention centre. You desperately want to belong to this country, learning the culture and language, but its a struggle. "The System" and "The Conflict" as seen through the eyes of one girl, show the harsness of being just one Little Bee in a big big world. "

But it is a bit more than that. There are humerous moments (I wouldn't call it "extremely funny" at all!), and moments of terror, horror, and grief. Little Bee's story though fiction, could be all so terribly true.

Thanks to the people at Booktagger, and Hachette Livre for the opportunity to read and review such an eyeopening, soulful book.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Deception by Michael Meehan

Deception means a number of things in this book. It is a physical place in the Australian outback, and it also refers to the threads of deception, which are unwound in an endeavor to uncover the truth. These threads are tethered with events of violence and uprising in the city of Paris - The Paris of the Commune in 1871, and the present time student riots in 1968. Nick is fascinated with the little that he knows of his grandmother's childhood. A family home deserted, a split in the family, and a mysterious, eccentric French writer. It is a story that shines with outcasts from society - those that have been outcast, and those that have shut themselves away. Nick travels to Paris, with a stash of rambling writings left by the Frenchman, and kept by his grandmother, hoping to shed light on some of the gaps in his family's history.
It is a well structured book, which encourages you to look at things with a different light, and keep an open mind about things until the truth is told. If you approach things with preconceived ideas, you will only deceive yourself.

Thank you to Allen & Unwin, for the chance to review this book.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Ancient Egypt is calling me.....

The lovely ladies at Historical Tapestry are hosting a Michelle Moran Week!

Her second novel The Heretic Queen is due for release shortly, and her first work Nefertiti has come highly recommended from many people whose reviews I respect. As yet I have not read Nefertiti, but I am pretty keen to delve into Michelle's Ancient Egypt. The only other time I have read historical fiction about Ancient Egypt was reading the first of the Ramses novels by Christian Jacq. I found that a bit tedious, as it was translated from French and not very well either, some of the grammer was terrible! As Michelle's books have been read and reviewed by many of the people of excellent taste in books on the forum, I feel as though I should give Ancient Egypt another shot with this guaranteed good read!

Here is the link to the announcement of Michelle Moran Week and another book giveaway:

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

And another....this time it Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen

Books 'N Border Collies are having a book giveaway at the moment. The first prize is a signed copy of The Heretic Queen and Nefertiti (well Nefertiti is a signed bookplate but that is splitting hairs really). Here is the link:

Linking to another book giveaway!

Carp(e) libris ahave a book giveaway running at the moment that sounds really interesting:

Family history, strong women, Chinese culture: sounds like a great book!

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Book Giveaway

Annie at Reading, Writing and Ranting, is having a book giveaway, with the prize being a signed copy of Sweetsmoke, by David Fuller. It is the authors debut novel, and is set at the time of the American Civil War, with a slave named Cassius wishing to avenge the death of a women with the enchanting name of Emoline Justice.

Here is a link to the details of the competition:

And the author's website (which contains a teaser extract from the book):