February 3, 2008
Welcome to another Sunday Salon at my house. The snow is four feet deep outside the windows, the fire is toasty, the coffee is brewed and filling the house with the comforting smell of roasted beans. Why not grab the rocking chair (if you can push the cats off it) and read with me?
I finished reading David Mitchell’s debut Ghostwritten (read my review) this week. What a ride. Here is an author that knows how to tell a story. He’s been criticized for telling “crowded” stories … too much going on, too many disparate characters. But although there is a lot going on and there are a lot of characters, Mitchell knows about pacing and symbolism and connection; he knows about humanity. Reading a Mitchell story is full immersion. I highly recommend it.
My current read is an early review from Harper Collins – another debut novel; this one by Sadie Jones, a Londoner. The Outcast is a deliberately written, slowly paced novel about a young boy growing up in a small English town after losing his mother in a tragic accident. It is written in an omniscient voice – a point of view which I typically don’t enjoy, but works here. The story is about family and identity and secrets and redemption…it is a bit depressing, but quite readable. I’m nearly finished with it – about 50 pages to go – and I’m eager to see how Jones will wrap things up.
I hope to finish The Outcast this morning and start my next book (Theft of the Master, by Edwin Alexander) this afternoon.
Earlier today I turned the last page of The Outcast and it left me feeling just a tad bit empty inside. This is not a feel good novel, but it is well written. To read more of my thoughts, check out my review.
I feel in the mood for something completely different now – and I think I’ve found it with my next book: Theft of the Master, by Edwin Alexander. This book was published in 2007 in the UK and first published in the US in 2008. Its opening prologue is set in the year 1493 and deals with the commission of a wooden carving of Christ, seated and preaching.
Alexander apparently based his thriller on the real life events surrounding Hitler’s orders to steal valuable German cultural artifacts…which is what first piqued my interest in reading the book. Visit Alexander’s official website related to the novel to read more about the author and his research in writing the book.
I’ll keep you updated on my progress and thoughts later…