Thursday, 26 April 2012

Current Reads

Despite being in quarantine and stuck in bed a couple of weeks ago, being sick did give me the chance to read my holiday book. ‘Caleb’s Crossing’, by Geraldine Brooks, has been languishing on my bedside table since I bought it on my birthday in February. But not anymore!

The story is a fictional historical drama based on the factual details surrounding the circumstances of the first Native American to graduate from Harvard University in the 1600’s. It is told through the eyes of the main character, Bethia, an ‘English’ girl, daughter of a Martha’s Vineyard minister whose main aim was to convert the Indians to Christianity.

Bethia is strong, intelligent and resourceful girl in a God fearing, strictly religious colonial community. She struggles to fit the accepted role deemed to be appropriate for women of the day and is conflicted with the contradictions she sees in her society.

It does seem that I have a penchant for historical drama at the moment because another recent read of mine, another birthday buy, was ‘Sarah Thornhill’, a sequel novel by Australian author Kate Grenville. I love Grenville’s writing; she uses language in a beautiful way and has a talent for evoking the Australian landscape. Her character, Sarah, is like Bethia, struggling with her allotted role in life on the edge of wilderness. Sarah, too, has encounters with the indigenous people of the area in which she lives, although her story is influenced by the underlying tragedy of the first book, ‘The Secret River’.

Both these books are brilliant reads and I recommend them wholeheartedly. Both have themes which ask some questions that most readers would find uncomfortable, and not just those in Australia. And both are written by Australians. Brooks is a now a resident of Martha’s Vineyard.

So, now what am I going to read?

Post holiday Edit: Lack of choice at our holiday destination led me to buy “The Slap” by another Australian, Christos Tsiolkas, and I have just finished the first ‘section’. I normally don’t like to buy the book after I have watched the movie/series, but in this case I was interested to see how the author initially developed the very unsettling themes. And it is good!


  1. I read with interest your addition of 'The Slap' after watching the TV series.
    My partner Captain V did the same and said that it was much easier to 'get' the characters but I'm still pleased that I did it the other way about.

    If ever you're looking for a good book suggestion, pop over to my place on the first Tuesday of the month for 'Vive le Livre' where a bunch of us get together to share the pages that we've turned in the previous month.

    Happy day!

  2. PS: I'd like to receive your blog posts or follow you, but can't see how to....?

    1. Hi Felicity. Thanks so much for your comments and I’m sorry about the following thing. I’m still very new to the whole blogging game but I will endeavour to work out how to attach the follower gadget today! I really appreciate your thoughts and I am delighted you have taken the time to respond to mine.

      I’ll email you when I have worked everything out. And I'll also check out your 'Vive le Livre'.

      Thanks again!

      Samantha xx

    2. Hooray! I'm so pleased that I'm going to be receiving regular gifts to read from you.

      Happy day!

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