Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon

“Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon” by Jorge Amado (Brazil) Favourite Quote Life was good, one had only to live it. To warm oneself in the sun, then take a cold bath; to eat guavas and mangoes, to chew peppercorn, to walk through the streets, to sing songs, to sleep with a young man. And to dream…

The Discreet Hero

“The Discreet Hero” by Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru) Review Once confusion with the alternating narratives in the novel had passed, readers became very involved with both stories. They found them compelling, and liked the combination of intrigue and entertainment that are played out by a rich cast of characters. They didn’t particularly warm to the…

In the Beginning Was the Sea

“In the Beginning Was the Sea” by Tomás González (Colombia) Review Despite the fact that some readers liked the book while others didn’t, everyone agreed that it was an easy read. With short chapters and at just over 150 pages long, readers zipped through what some described as a well-written, depressing modern-day fable. They liked the…

The Ventriloquist’s Tale

“The Ventriloquist’s Tale” by Pauline Melville (Guyana) Review Readers described the book as interesting, fascinating and beautifully written. They found it easy to get into and felt that it broached serious topics in a light manner. They liked the parallels between the past and the present, between the modern and primitive worlds, and liked the…

Ripper

“Ripper” by Isabel Allende (Chile)  Review From a first novel to a first attempt at a new genre by a well-known writer, this year’s Summer Reading selection of crime fiction covered a wide range of writing styles. “Ripper” is Allende’s first attempt at crime fiction and most readers agreed that she should stick with magic…

Hour of the Star

“Hour of the Star” by Clarice Lispector (Brazil) Review Challenging, frustrating, meditative and surrealistic were some of the adjectives that readers used to describe this modern classic. They found it difficult to get into and agreed that it needed more than one reading. They called it a thinking book and would not recommend it for…

The Sound of Things Falling

“The Sound of Things Falling” by Juan Gabriel Vasquez (Colombia) Review Members of our Summer Reading Group liked the differences in writing styles and themes of this year’s four shortlisted books finding most of the stories highly enjoyable. “The Sound of Things Falling” is set in present-day Bogota and tells the story of a university…

The Devil I Know

“The Devil I Know” by Claire Kilroy (Ireland) Synopsis A thrilling novel of greed and hubris, set against the backdrop of a brewing international debt crisis. Told by Tristram, in the form of a mysterious testimony, “The Devil I Know” recounts his return home after a self-imposed exile only to find himself trapped as a…