The Underground Railroad

“The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead (U.S.) Review “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead (U.S.) is set in the pre-Civil war era in the southern states of America and tells the story of a slave’s journey to freedom using the eponymous route. There were mixed reactions to this book with most readers liking it whereas some found the subject matter too hard to handle for … Continue reading The Underground Railroad

The Joy Luck Club

“The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan (United States) Review For a couple of readers it was the second time they had read this book and they remembered liking it more the first time around. Everyone agreed that it was an enjoyable read but they said that the alternating stories from the eight protagonists caused them confusion: they had difficulty remembering who was who as … Continue reading The Joy Luck Club

Unaccustomed Earth

“Unaccustomed Earth” by Jhumpa Lahiri (U.S.) Review Readers loved this collection of short stories, which they described as a gentle and easy read. One reader couldn’t put the book down, reading one short story after the other! They liked the fact that each story dealt with day-to-day issues of family life, work and relationships. They found it easy to transpose themselves into the different characters’ … Continue reading Unaccustomed Earth

Beloved

“Beloved” by Toni Morrison (U.S.) Review Filled with mixed emotions, readers described the book as outstanding, depressing, horrific, and surrealistic. Most got into the story quite quickly, whereas others struggled with making sense of the language or with believing in the supernatural element. When the initial hurdles had been overcome, all readers enjoyed the book immensely. They empathised with Sethe and felt her actions justified … Continue reading Beloved

The Fall of the House of Usher

“The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe (U.S.) Review Written in 1839, some readers grappled with the language of this classic Gothic tale and found themselves turning to a dictionary on numerous occasions. They didn’t mind that so much because, since the story is short, it prompted them to read it a few times. After that they started to really enjoy … Continue reading The Fall of the House of Usher

The Secret Life of Bees

“The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd (U.S.) Review Most readers liked the book describing it as an easy read. They got a good feel to both its location and historical setting (South Carolina at the time of signing of Civil Rights Act). They found most of the characters likeable warming to one or other of them depending on their own sensibilities and … Continue reading The Secret Life of Bees

Invisible Man

“Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison (U.S.) One of Nicola’s 100 best books for inspiration in the 21st century! Review This book left no reader indifferent, with some loving it and others not. Most readers found the first few chapters very powerful and vivid, such as the scenes of the terrifying battle royal and the chaotic Golden Day. They found the narrator’s journey at times confusing, … Continue reading Invisible Man

Tracks

“Tracks” by Louise Erdrich (U.S.) Review Most readers had mixed feelings about the book having found it a difficult read. They liked the historical setting, though they felt the story was very bleak. The winter scenes gave them a sense of the coldness and hopelessness of the situation the characters found themselves in. Some readers found that the split narrative between Nanapush and Pauline broke … Continue reading Tracks