I enjoy a book that is so engaging that it “takes me” to another place and time period – the best way to travel while staying at home, right?
At first I thought both of these books were giving me that experience.
But I discovered that to be a mistaken assumption.
Only “Where the Crawdads Sing” kept me completely absorbed in the tale of the life of Kya, a girl who was abandoned as a child and grew up in the marshes of North Carolina. The descriptions are so vivid, that this totally unfamiliar (to me! ) landscape is brought to life. There are also some very interesting facts about nature, which are cleverly woven in to match the plot without slowing down its progress.
Perhaps not every turn of events is totally believable but that really didn’t bother me a single bit. I went with the currents and let the author lead the way.
Certainly, a great book to read when you aren’t supposed to leave the house!
I was pleased when I began “The House of Spirits”, I’ve enjoyed several books you could define as “magical realism” and was completely prepared to go wherever the author wanted to take me. Particularly as I don’t know much about Chile and it’s history and felt much more interested in that compared to what is going on in the world nowadays.
The book follows the life of the Trueba family, clearly a “larger than life” family, a rich family complete with daughters possessing unusual qualities, old women with unusual skills and unfamiliar superstitions, uncles with schemes for getting rich who manage to die twice and more.
Wikipedia says the book follows the lives of four generations of the Trueba family. I had to consult Wikipedia because I abandoned the book after generation three hit puberty.
I couldn’t take it anymore.
It became very repetitive.
There was way too much focus on the unsavory character of Esteban (who married into the family) and endless extremely detailed descriptions of his cycles of sexual desire and senseless violence.
So many disasters befell Esteban that I hoped the story would continue at some point without this character, (you know, move onto the next generation?) but he was invincible.
I read more than half the book and then quit.
**** I’ve almost finished another book – post coming soon!