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Books Causing My To-Be-Read Stack to Teeter
I know we can’t read them all, but we can surely try!
The following Long Ago & Far Away novels are either on my radar or already sitting in the physical or digital To Be Read stacks of my life.
The House of Doors by Tan Twan Eng – the highly anticipated latest work by the writer of The Garden of Evening Mists and The Gift of Rain was published last week in the US. (It had an earlier release in the UK). As with the other two, The House of Doors is set in Penang, Malaysia. It is Eng’s third novel to make the Booker Longlist.
Lady Tan's Circle of Women by Lisa Lee – This novel by the writer of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane was inspired by a true story of a woman physician in 15th-century China.
River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer – Set in 1834 Barbados, the Emancipation Act has freed Rachel but she remains essentially enslaved as an unwilling apprentice. Rather than serve another six years, she sets out to find her five surviving children who were sold during her life as a slave. The journey takes her through the rivers and forests of British Guiana and as far as Trinidad in search of her family.
Wilbur Smith’s posthumous publication released by his estate, Nemesis: A Novel of the French Revolution, begins in Paris but like most of Smith’s epic adventures, this novel of revenge spans from Cape Town to Calcutta.
Elizabeth Chadwick’s The King’s Jewel is burning up my Kindle demanding attention. Set in 12th-century Wales it traces a young woman’s transition from a hostage concubine, to a forced marriage and political intrigue.
And, of course, The Armor of Light, #5 in Ken Follett’s Kingsbridge Series. #4, A Column of Fire, is on my pile of hardbacks waiting to be read.
Must. Catch. Up!
All these calling me, but I am only halfway through The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese. Set in early 20th-century India, this sweeping story immerses you in the land through the lives of many disparate point-of-view characters as Verghese orchestrates the unlikely convergences of their stories. I don’t yet know where it will end, but I can tell you, Verghese knows how to throw his characters into the deep end. His medical background is on full display and I’m glad I’ve spent the last 25 years married into a medical family. It has prepared me, somewhat, for the detail and specificity of conditions and procedures his doctor characters encounter or perform on a regular basis. This is not for the squeamish but it certainly transports you to another time and place.
As for my Work in Progress: I have set a publishing goal but I’m not going to tell you the date — it’s still so far off that you might give up on me if you know it. And yet, it will take an aggressive commitment to get ‘er done by then. But I am at the point where finishing is within the realm of the possible so, I’ve set a date and marked out the interim goals. Now to be sure to take my days off from the Day Job and put them to good use.
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