Tuesday, January 04, 2011

December reading round up | December Book

I didn't read much in December.

The swan thieves / by Elizabeth Kostova.
Psychiatrist Andrew Marlowe, devoted to his profession and the painting hobby he loves, has a solitary but ordered life. Renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient. Desperate to understand the secret that torments the genius, he embarks on a journey.~ from the blurb
Some one recommended this one to me and I did enjoy it.  There are several stories woven into the book and much about the strengths, weaknesses and variety of the human condition.

Someone knows my name : a novel / Lawrence Hill.
Dreaming daily of escaping her life of slavery in South Carolina and returning to her African home, slave Aminata Diallo is torn from her family when she is sold and thrown into the chaos of the Revolutionary War, during which she helps create a list of black people who have been honoured for their service to the king. ~ from the blurb
Horrors of the slave experience aside, I liked this book for the historical fiction and for the character development of the protagonist.

Allons enfants: a New Zealand family in France / Linda Burgess.
A biographical account of this family and their experiences living in France during the eighties. I found a lot that resonated with my experience as a young teen living in a small town in Germany. 

March / Geraldine Brooks
New York : Viking, 2004.
ISBN: 9780143036661
Set on the front lines of the American Civil War. The main character, March, has been taken from Louisa May Alcott's " Little Women". He is the father who is away at war and who returns and needs to reassemble his shattered mind and reconnect with his family. ~ from the blurb

I think this book was probably my favourite of all the books we've read for the Book Circle this year.  It gives a gritty, realistic treatment of a reluctant soldier and his relationships with his men, wife and contemporaries.  I am fond of Little Women but it is a child's story and somewhat saccharine alongside this book about the Dad.  I definitely recommend it.

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