souloftherose's 2013 Orange reading
Melde dich bei LibraryThing an, um Nachrichten zu schreiben.
Dieses Thema ruht momentan. Die letzte Nachricht liegt mehr als 90 Tage zurück. Du kannst es wieder aufgreifen, indem du eine neue Antwort schreibst.
Last year I read 12 Orange books. This year I have 15 in my TBR pile and I expect I'll want to try and read a lot from this year's nominees.
Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels (winner 1997)
Black Water Rising by Attica Locke (shortlist 2010)
Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan (shortlist 2012)
The White Family by Maggie Gee (shortlist 2002)
The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith (shortlist 2003)
The Road Home by Rose Tremain (winner 2008)
That reminds that I have Half Blood Blues in my TBR shelf!
Two oranges read so far:
The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue - 3.9 stars
Based on a real life divorce case from the 1860s, we follow the narratives of husband and wife, Henry and Helen Codrington, and Helen's friend and former companion, Emily Faithfull, known as Fido. Fido is a well-meaning young lady, heavily involved in women's rights and the proprietress of a printing establishment, The Victoria Press, which provides women with an opportunity to undertake paid employment. She hasn't heard from Helen Codrington for years as Helen's husband had been posted overseas, but after a chance meeting between the two women near Fido's place of work their friendship is rekindled and when Helen confides to Fido that she has been tempted to be unfaithful to her husband, Fido resolves to do everything in her power to help her friend's marriage. The best of intentions can go awry however and Fido soon finds that she has been drawn into a scandalous and messy divorce case which threatens the reputation of the work she has been doing for women as well as her own piece of mind.
The three main characters are not exactly likeable (I'm happy not to include any of them amongst my friends) but as in Room, Donoghue excels at giving her characters a unique and very believable 'voice' in each of their narratives. The narrative is split between the three main characters and Donoghue does a skilful job of presenting each character's point of view whilst leaving enough doubt in the reader's mind as to the extent to which the reader can really be sure of the truth of what happened.
If you want more background on the changes to the divorce laws at the end of the 1850s then Mrs Robinson's Disgrace by Kate Summerscale does a good job of covering this period and focuses on another contemporary divorce case (The Sealed Letter also mentions the Robinson case in passing).
Island of Wings by Karin Altenberg - 3.4 stars
Karin Altenberg's debut is an historical novel set on the archipelago of St Kilda in the 1830s. The young Reverend Neil Mackensie and his wife Lizzie have come on a mission from the Scottish kirk to start a life on the islands and to convert and educate its native inhabitants. Life on the island at that time was harsh and the people of the island live in exactly the way their ancestors used to - in small dwellings where human and animal effluence falls on the floor and corpses of the native birds (which are the islanders' main source of nutrition), are allowed to rot in the doorways.
I found that I was curiously unaffected by the characters of Neil and Lizzie and never really felt for them deeply, but what I will remember this book for is the wonderfully evocative descriptions of life on those isolated islands at that time.
I have Island of Wings waiting in the wings for me after I finish Some Tame Gazelle unless I happen to pick up Sorry first and then I will have a decision to make. Not a lot of time left this month and I have yet the Pym to finish, The Bell for the Murdoch group, and I definitely want to get a couple more Oranges in. I am hoping to like 'Wings' as it has received a rather mixed bag of ratings.
Oh and I loved, loved, loved Half Blood Blues. I thought it extremely well written, I engaged with all of the characters and thought that quite unusual for me and I really liked the storyline and the era in which it took place made it feel so real to me.
I am going to be sorry to see this month come to an end soul.