Monday, October 06, 2008
Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris, Brick Lane by Monica Ali and Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
THEN WE CAME TO END - received a bunch of buzz when it was published. I happened to be at Feltrinelli and saw it in the English language section. The hype is dead on. This fictional account of a mid-size advertising going through downsizing is hilarious and sad. Ferris nails the work place dynamic. If you have ever had co-workers, this book’s for you.
BRICK LANE - is about an 18 year-old woman, Nazneen, from Bangladesh who is sent in an arraigned marriage to London. She struggles to make sense of her new world, where she doesn’t speak the language and has a very traditional husband who is 20 years older than her. The characters really come alive. I like how the husband is a well-rounded antagonist. You do feel for him, he is struggling as much as his wife. I zipped through this book. I had to know if Nazeen was going to be okay.
HALF A YELLOW MOON – I have been meaning to read this book after hearing my friends rave about it. It’s a fictional account of two sisters in Nigeria during Biafra’s fight for Independence. The POV is a young boy from a village who has been sent to be a houseboy for a University professor. The professor is love with one of the sisters. This might sound like it’s a very heavy or inaccessible novel. It’s not. It’s a beautifully written novel with moments of heartbreaking sorrow, yet at times it’s quite funny. Like Ferris and Ali, Adichie received much critical acclaim for her book. She’s a powerful writer entwining politics, love and family in a way few novelists can.