Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fiction reading

While recently on holidays I had a chance to catch up on some fiction reading that I had been looking forward to for some time. Gladly I was not disappointed.

A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini

What a great book. A very powerful and moving story of two women in Afghanistan, prior to and during the reign of the Taliban.

I reviewed Hosseini's other book, The Kite Runner, a few months ago, having really enjoyed it. However I think I preferred this one. I felt (without any way of knowing how to judge it!) that this one was written better. Perhaps one is more comfortable with writing the second rather than first novel? (any novelists out there want to weigh in on this one?!)

It is not a nice story, just as the story of women under abusive husbands and the Taliban is not a nice reality. However, there was something compelling about it. I enjoyed the whole book and highly recommend it.

World Without End, Ken Follett

A massive book, which makes me a very happy woman! Some may find books at 1200+ pages too long, but I love them. I think most books just aren't long enough. I had almost finished A Thousand Splendid Suns by the end of a day's travelling, so it was never going to be long enough to keep me going for a whole week of lazing by the pool. Thankfully World Without End was next on my list and it did the job admirably.

It is labelled and marketed as a sequel to Pillars of the Earth (reviewed briefly here), also a great read. While having read Pillars will help with a few references in this book, it is not necessary to have read it first. This book is dated 200 years after Pillars.

It charts the lives of 4 children in the 1300s in the cathedral city of Kingsbridge throughout war, plague and life in in medieval England. If you enjoy a glimpse into times gone by, how people really lived, what it was like for lords and peasants, what the plague did to society and how the church reacted to these events - this is a great read.

A quote on the front cover "You won't be able to put it down" - was entirely true for me, as G will testify!


Amy said...

Dear Wendy,

I knew of your blog from Chris’s 10am update. It is so wonderful that I logon it every day. I really enjoy it.

I read English slowly now so that I am afraid to start a whole English book. Your book reviews are very good for me. Could you please recommend some little books for me?

Thanks a lot.

Wendy said...

Dear Amy,

Thanks - what a lovely comment!

Why don't you come and chat to me on Sunday after church and we'll think about what you like to read and then see if we can come up with something?

See you then!

Amy said...

Hi Wendy,

Thank you very much.

I would love to chat with you this Sunday. You know my English is not good so that I couldn’t express myself clearly and then I choice to be silent sometimes. Any way I look forward to meeting with you.