Sunday, 10 December 2017

Books to Read December ǀ 2017



Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult 

When I read this it reflected so many of the issues of today's society; the research and thought Picoult has exerted into this book is clearly evident when reading. Essentially it is a story about Racism. Exploring not just the obvious, swastika-waving racism, but also the less identifiable everyday things that contribute to an imbalance in society. It includes the names of real victims within the book which consolidates its relevance and shows just how real the issue she writes about is. I think it is extremely ambitious for a white person to write about themes like this (how could we ever understand it on the same level and produce anywhere near authentic literature on it?) however I believe it to have been executed fairly effectively and definitely with good intent. Some of the perspectives written from are a black nurse, a white lawyer defending a black woman, and a white supremacist. It is meant to be disturbing and that is what makes it effective. As a reader you shouldn't read about racism and be comfortable. This is my personal opinion on 'Small Great Things'. A lot of people probably read it and rolled their eyes at the slightly unrealistic storyline and at the inaccuracies that are inevitable when trying to write from another races' perspective. I'd be interested to know what other people think of it. 




My Name Is... by Alastair Campbell

I have read this at least three times and still love it the way I did when I read it the first time. On a basic level it is about a girl named Hannah who becomes an alcoholic. Through the voices of twenty five people we gain knowledge of he life and how it rapidly spiralled out of control. We learn about her parents, her boyfriends, her friends, her sister and all of the terribly shocking things Hannah has done. Providing such background allows us to see motive and understand the psychological problems Hannah faces; we do not become judgemental of her and can sympathise in a way in which we would not be able to, had there been just one continuous narrative. Alistair Campbell is a former alcoholic and it is clear his mission is to really drill in the dangers of alcohol. I admire Campbell's ability to create that lack of judgement and level of understanding, it teaches not to be dismissing of those who struggle with their drink. It is never just that simple. It is a talent to create so many different, yet believable characters who you actually care to learn more about. 'My Name Is...' is an interesting, meaningful, yet fairly easy read which I would recommend this holiday.



This Must Be The Place by Maggie O'Farrell

Again this is a book with multiple narrators and again they each become people with their own problems you wish to learn more about. The writing is good from beginning to end and you become close to the main characters despite it's narrative style. It is a story of love and of pain, evoking emotions in a reader as they are felt by the characters. One thing emphasised is the intricacy and complicated nature of relationships and decisions. They are never presented as simple, rather as tangled and complex, as they are in reality. It is a book filled to the brim with love but also with the difficult accompanying emotions. You become to love the flawed and complex characters as your understanding of them is heightened with each chapter. O'Farrell creates a thought-provoking and page turning story.




No comments:

Post a Comment