Currently reading

Paul Hanley
A Month in the Country
Michael Holroyd, J.L. Carr
A Tale of the Dispossessed: A Novel
Laura Restrepo, Dolores M. Koch
Mesabi Pioneers
Jeffrey Smith, Russell Hill
The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
Jon Rothschild, Amin Maalouf
Island of a Thousand Mirrors
Nayomi Munaweera

The Star Side of Bird Hill: A Novel

The Star Side of Bird Hill: A Novel - Naomi Jackson Groves The plot of this novel centers on the two sisters, Dionne and Phaedra, but in many ways, it was their grandmother Hyacinth's tale. I found her the most compelling character in the book. I was also somewhat drawn to Phaedra, but I just couldn't believe Dionne. And when she finally grows up, in a strike that seems both accidental and magical, I wasn't with her at all.

So there are some lovely points in this book. Barbados as a character comes off very well. And Hyacinth and Phaedra pretty well, even though there's a bit of stereotype haunting Hyacinth. But the other people seemed veiled from me in an important way, and, well, when the girls' father shows up, ridiculousness ensues. I'm not sure what the author was thinking there -- she made some odd choices.

I gotta say that the writing was really lovely and lyrical in many places, and I did enjoy reading it. It dragged in places and characters aren't fully formed, I think, but I'm still glad I read it. I learned something of Bajan culture and life. And the author is promising, and I'll look forward to her next effort.

I got a free copy of this from First to Read.