I hope you have enjoyed this month's selection, The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye. For me this was a very engaging read. It is historical fiction set in India starting in the mid 1800's. Being a fan of The Jewel in the Crown series on PBS, it was interesting to look at the time before when the East India Company was ruling the country and subsequently, when the British "Raj" took over.
What an enigmatic character Ms. Kaye created in Ashton. Because so much was required of him as a young boy, I felt that he almost grew up backwards. His heartfelt attempts at making the life around him "fair" gave us a glimpse that despite that he was experienced in many things, he had a naïve expectation for the world he lived in. He is a worthy hero who straddles two cultures and more as the book progresses. Stamina is a word that comes to mind. Both for the characters in the book and for the reader. This nearly 1,000 page saga has engagingly occupied many of my hours. Learning about some of the cultural traditions was at times very shocking. But I am glad for the experience and even more glad that we live in America in the 21st century!
I was also impressed by Ms. Kaye's breadth of research for this book. She showed an understanding of the history and culture, but also she created battle scenes and political intrigue that added dimension to our experience.
Lana will be leading the group for this discussion. It should be another great meeting.
May 28th - Open and Shut by David Rosenfelt at Barbecue Barn at Noon
This is a fast read with a likeable hero, Andy Carpenter. Like Andy, I also enjoyed the company of a wonderful golden retriever, So immediately, I was drawn into the book. After reading The Far Pavilions, this selection gives us a 21st century American tale of courtroom antics and mysteries to solve. It is a fun book for Spring.
June 25th - Maloka'i by Alan Brennert at Bugsy's at Noon
This book came highly recommended to me and is my selection this year. It is set in Hawaii beginning in the late 1800's and follows the story of Hawaians who contracted leprosy from contact with the outside world. The book earned 4.5 stars out of 5 from the Amazon.com web site on nearly 500 reviews, and a 4.11 rating on Good Reads on over 4,500 reviews. Words I read about this book included poignant, richly imagined and a wonderful, powerful read. As a fan of Mitchner's Hawaii, I look forward to revisiting the islands.