Friday, August 21, 2009

Lavinia by Ursula Le Guin

Lavinia, a nobody character in the Aeneid takes centre stage as the heroine. A love story. A story of passion and death. This is a poetic romance with the format of a novel, a serenade of the poet Vigil and a celebration of the strength of the female spirit.

Never mind that I found my usual easy-going suspension of disbelief to be impossible; it is hard to keep up such fakeries when the truth is woven into the story itself, as implacable and inescapable as the prophecies of the poet himself. For Livinia knows -- as do her readers -- that the man she is waiting for will die, that she will spark a bitter war, and that if she does not follow this destiny then her life, and the life of her people will be for nothing.

An intriguingly subtle interweaving of Ursula Le Guin's skill both as a fantasist and as a literary writer.

Review by Alicia Ponder

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Hollow Tree by Jacob G. Rosenberg

Set in Nazi Germany, a scholar and his family refuse to see that their life is about to be torn apart...

A heartbreaking story of intolerance and love, of bravery and brutality. The simple prose and clean writing are almost as heartbreaking as the story of lovers parted.

A pleasure to read.

Review by Alicia Ponder

The Dragons of Ordinary Farm by Deborah Beale and Tad Williams

Ordinary farm is about as far away from ordinary as you can get. There are no hay rides, no fluffy lambs, no signs of farming at all - even the people are strange. It's much more fun than the Tyler and his sister ever expected when their mother insisted they go - and far more dangerous. Will they get out of it alive? And if they do - will their uncle ever allow them to come back again?

The biggest fault with "The Dragons of Ordinary Farm" is that it seemed to try too hard. There's so much crazy packed into the pages so that I found myself being sidetracked. Still it's written with such a good understanding of mothers, children, and modern life - and of course, adventure - that it's easy to recommend this book as a great read and fully deserving of its current five star Amazon rating

Review by Alicia Ponder


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