Monday, January 26, 2009

Probably the Best Book I Have Read

With great sadness I had to read that last page of The Book of Negros (my 11th read for the Challenge and my third Canada Reads 2009 selection) which meant the end of what must be one of my favourite reads. While I have loved many of the other books I have read, the last book that left me feeling this way was 2007 CBC Canada Reads winner Lullabies for Little Criminals. Perhaps this is my own premonition for this year's winner??? I am not sure what else I could add for my official final entry and review for this book that I haven't mentioned below. The depth of character was spectacular. The narration was such that I felt that I was right there inside the story, a witness to the many hardships felt by our heroine as her life abruptly changes from a free Muslim to a slave facing conditions that most could not (and did not) survive. The book ended much quicker than I expected and I in fact finished the same night as I wrote my previous entry. There was a great number of pages where the author indicated how he researched this book and the reference materials he drew from. Interestingly he noted areas where characters in the novel actually existed and where he diverted from history to make the story more interesting. This addendum also included information on his family and why he wrote this book and many acknowledgements for the people who helped him in putting this spectacular historical fiction together. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this addition to the book as it helped fill in some of the blanks and answer some questions I had about this time in history that I was not familiar with. Wow. I loved this book.
And now I have moved onto my 4th read - The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant. So far I am disappointed with this read. Perhaps there is something that has been lost in the translation from French to English. In reading the back of the book which describes the story, it seems that there is supposed to be some subtext that I seem to be missing. Perhaps it will come together soon.

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