Born Under a Million Shadows – Andrea Busfield

20 08 2010

First, this book is beautiful, funny, moving and insightful.  I can’t believe that this was written by a western woman writing in the voice of a young Afghani boy.  Born under a Million Shadows is one of the best books I have read in years and Andrea Busfield is a talented and empathic writer.  This book is up there with The Kite Runner for depicting a war torn country and the effects on its people.  I could not put this book down.  Every time I had to stop reading it to go do anything else I could feel it pulling me back.  I had to read it but I didn’t want it to end and I was sad to finish it and close the cover for the final time.  I loved the ending and it certainly came as a surprise.

I can’t recommend this book enough.  I will be searching out her other work.  I await Busfield’s next project and I can’t wait to read it.


Lost in the beauty of language

23 03 2010

A review of The Children’s Book by A. S. Byatt.

As a prolific reader I find that I forget how beautiful our language can be; how descriptive and colorful, how it can be used to create a scene, a mood or a world.  Most contemporary novels are written in a more modern version of english, an english simplified and filled with slang.

A. S. Byatt writes books that remind us what prose is.  This is a book whose language you will sink into and be engulfed by.  It possesses you and because of the pure use of the language you become transported to this place and this time. 

The way she develops her characters (or doesn’t develop some) is just right.  You care about the characters, are sympathetic to them and to their failings although you may find yourself exasperated with some of their human frailties.  Having grown with these characters when you reach the end you find yourself shocked and saddened by the finish, brought down to earth out of the fantasy life that had been constructed.

I can not believe that I have avoided reading A. S. Byatt’s work for so long.  I have to admit that I did this consciously, I have had Possession on my shelves for years without picking it up.  I guess I will have to read it now and soon.  I was drawn in to this work after the first chapter, I dare say even the first sentence.

This book is long, and because of the use of the language it will take some time to finish.  I have read longer books without such descriptive prose that took less time to read but it is totally worth it.

This book was borrowed from the library.