Saturday 11 June 2016

The 20 Books of Summer Challenge...

Well, as promised, I am making a start with the first two books in my 20 Summer Reads Challenge.

The reviews won't be as detailed as some but I will link all of my twenty reads onto my blog via Goodreads.

Anyone who want to follow my reviews on Goodreads can find me as Jaffareadstoo...

Or follow the hashtag #20BooksofSummer on Twitter

Origins of LoveOrigins of Love by Kishwar Desai
#20 Books of Summer

Against her better judgement, Simran Singh is a social worker who is involved in a clinic in Delhi which specialises in surrogacy and the risky business of providing babies for those who have enough money to rent-a-womb. There is no doubt that for some unscrupulous providers this is a very lucrative trade,and for those who operate the clinic it would seem that money is the prime objective. However, for Simran, the very human cost of this enterprise is seen in the small baby who lies abandoned and alone after being born with IVF and in the pregnant women who are used, abused and used as commodities to be bought and sold.

This is an interesting story, the moral implications are there and are crafted very carefully and it’s good to see that Simran offers a still small voice of calm in an increasingly complicated situation. I enjoyed watching this story unfold, and thought that Ben and Kate, a young infertile couple from London, added an altogether different perspective to, what is a very complex and emotional subject.

Enjoyed it.

The Emperor of ParisThe Emperor of Paris by C.S. Richardson
#20 Books of Summer

It took me a while to get into this one, not because its poorly written, far from it, the prose is really well considered and beautifully expressed; it’s just that the quiet introspection of life in Paris during the early part of the twentieth century needed studied concentration.

It’s the story of Emile Notre-Dame, the thinnest baker in all of Paris, his wife Immacolata and their son Octavio; it’s also about Isabeau, a scarred beauty who works in the underground archives of the Louvre and who loves the escape that art and literature brings to her fractured world. And then there’s an artist with a fine eye for expressive detail and book seller called Henri who has a magical world stored away. All very different but whose lives are shaped and made more special because of their connection.

It’s a story about hopes and dreams, love and loss, and the tangible evidence that we all need something special in our lives. And it’s also about books and their ability to transform our world with written magic.

Henri said, “The old man claimed you could tell what a book looked like by closing your eyes and feeling it. I would run my fingers along the spines, as you are now, for hours on end guessing at the colours and leathers and lines and foils and embosses…”



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