The First Rule of Swimming
Courtney Angela Brkic
|Little,Brown and Company|
I thought that this was an uninspiring look at multi generational family difficulties told through the eyes of two very different sisters. When Jadranka disappears shortly after emigrating to America, her sister Magdalena must leave her home in Croatia and travel to New York, where her quest of answers throws up more questions than it does answers and uncovers long buried family secrets which once exposed can never be forgotten.
I found the story to be quite slow moving in places and felt like at times the narrative lacked impetus, so much so, I was quite bored by the whole concept of the story and found myself skipping chunks of the narrative to get to the more interesting parts.
In the land of the Living
|Little, Brown and Company|
In the land of the Living is the story of fathers, sons and brothers and of the family ties which bound them together. Mainly this is a story about divided loyalties and the anger and unease which can fester and accumulate until problems become insurmountable. Isidore Auberon has grown up with the need to protect his brothers from their abusive father and it is this drive and ambition to protect which will propel Isidore into accomplishing his medical training. When Isadore has his own family he tries to nurture and protect them in the same way until tragedy strikes.
This was a credible look at family dynamics and of the ties that bind us together.
Questions of Travel
Michelle de Kretser
|Little Brown and Company|
Laura is a traveller who wants to see as much of the world she can before returning to Sydney where she works for the publisher of travel guides. In Sri Lanka, Ravi dreams of becoming a tourist but when he is forced to leave his homeland after a devastating family tragedy, he must learn to readjust and develop as a person.
I found the book really difficult to read with any enthusiasm and am guilty of putting the book away to 'read later'. I didn't warm to any of the characters and couldn't gather enough enthusiasm to really work at the story. It's not that the book is badly written, in parts the prose is quite attractive, it's just that the premise of the story, remains, for me , unappealing.
My thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for my e-copies of these books.