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.

13 comments:

joanne at frutto della passione said...

Now I know what to order from Amazon!

glamah16 said...

Great recommendations! I have heard of Brick Lane, the novel. and I have head of the Nigerian writer. And the forst book is fascnating because its whats going on right now!

Seville said...

"Half of a Yellow Sun" - loved it, loved it, loved it!

You MUST read "Purple Hibiscus" by Adichie, as well.

Thanks for the other suggestions, nyc/cr.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

These all sound wonderful. It sounds like Ferris's book has a lot in common with A Year in the Merde, which I found awfully funny and dead on.

Los Angelista said...

More stuff to add to my "To Read" list. Love it!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

joanne - my shopping cart on Amazon is quite full. There are so many books I want to read.

glamah16 - Yes it is.

seville - You're welcome and "Purple Hibiscus" on my list.

jen - Just a little warning, Ferris's book is more literary and bittersweet. Very well written.

los angelista - see my comment to Joanne. ha

Faith said...

I hope the movie version of Brick Lane is as good as the book. The initial reason why I read it was because I recognized the street name when I got back to the US and was curious. I'm glad I stumbled on it.

Cherrye at My Bella Vita said...

Thanks for the recommendations. I usually have to wait much too long to read the books on my "list."

These look great.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

faith - unfortunately the movie rec'd very mixed reviews. I still want to see it.

cherrye - you are welcome.

dalia said...

i still have yet to get thru ferris' book. it was soooo.... um, yeah. i found it hard to read--the writing was a bit frenetic. jumpy. like someone on too much starbucks. i wanted to like it, i really, really did, particularly because i was working for a firm that mirrored the one he was talking about. but, alas... it's unfinished, and i doubt i have the "oomph" to get thru. :(

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

dalia - I get it. It also might be too close to home. Unfortunately a lot of people in the States are going through downsizing. sad.

wordtryst said...

Recently heard of Yellow and plan to read it. Read Brick Lane a few years ago and could not put it down. Did you know it caused a furor in the UK? Apparently some did not approve of the way their people were portrayed.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

wordtryst - yes I did hear about the backlash. The filmmaker had to deal with the same issues when they went to adapt the book for the screen.