Blog Posts by Kelley M
If you’re looking for a twist of genre, this is the right book for you. It gets its style from the self-help books which are popular among youths around “rising Asia”. What is fascinating about this book is you will not learn the character’s names. You will never know the main character’s profession - how exactly he gets rich in “rising Asia”. You will not even become aware of what Asian country the book is set in. However, Mohsin Hamid's style keeps you reading. The entire book is written in second person, so it takes you aback since it seems to be talking about you. Without knowing specifics, the author takes you through 8 decades of the main character’s life in 228 pages. The book seems to be both specific & broad at the same time (if that even seems possible).
The author, Sue Monk Kidd, adds fictional dimensions to the history of the Grimkes. Through these fictional accounts, we learn a lot about actual history. We become acquainted with the relationships between children slaves & plantation owners’ children, religious dynamics of the era, family relationships, the lives of slaves and the abolitionist movement as the story progresses. The plot, while slow to start, really picks up momentum about halfway through.
We learn that Elspeth has a daughter & through her daughter’s letters, we learn more about Elspeth’s life. We find out that there is one lost letter that remains to help Margaret, Elspeth’s daughter, find out the truth about what happened to her family & her mother.
David goes off to France to drive ambulances during the war, to avoid the career his father demands. David’s storyline in France helps give a good framework for the letters & also helps us see what an impact war had on every day individuals like this. By telling the story through letters, you feel like you’re peeking into real peoples’ lives. The audio book version is delightful. It gives you a real feel for the characters. The author, Jessica Brockmole, describes historical aspects in delicious detail, helping transport the reader to that time.
If you liked The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society, you might want to give this read a try.