Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Books from February

I have been playing catch-up lately. Trying to catch-up on sleep, cleaning the apartment and updating the blog.

Last month, I read two books that never made it to the blog. One was Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden for book club and Kate DiCamillo's The Magician’s Elephant.


Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden is by far one of the best books I have read in a while (except the Hunger Games Trilogy). The story centers around the mystery of one character's parents. In early 20th century England, a little girl is put on a boat bound for Australia by the "Authoress". Found months later on an Australian dock, a couple raises the girl (who they named Nell) as their own. It is not until her foster father dies does she begin to unravel the truth of her past. Mid-search, Nell becomes the guardian of her grand-daughter Cassandra. It is not until Nell's death that Cassandra (now an adult) discovers the truth of her grand-mother's past.

The book is very poignant and well written. The story intertwines several character's narrative as they slowly learn and tell the story of Nell, Cassandra and the Authoress (Eliza) and how Nell ended up alone on a ship to Australia.

I did feel like the author spoiled the ending half way through by giving the reader an obvious hint to who the mother is. The author also has some blatant cultural references like Frances Hodgson Burnett attends a garden party and is intrigued by the forgotten garden. In fact, Morton's story line mirrors that of The Secret Garden. Regardless, I hope to pick up more Morton's books soon!


The other book I finished in February was Kate DiCamillo's The Magician’s Elephant. This book was Amazon's Kindle Daily Deal a few month's ago. I saw it and thought, why not?!?! A children's book can be a great reprieve from the literature I normally enjoy. The Magician’s Elephant is similar to many children's stories we have all read. It is about a little orphan boy who lives in unusual circumstances all the while wondering if his sister is still alive. One day a fortune teller shows up at the market. The boy decides to ask her if his sister is still alive. The answer is that an elephant will lead him there, which seems quite strange for the city of Baltese. The novel intertwines several characters lives together in pursuit of the elephant and leaves readers trusting the unexpected.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a great reprieve between the harshness of Hunger Games Trilogy and the mystery of The Forgotten Garden. I found it extremely easy to read on the metro, pick up and put down as I started and finished other books. But then again, it is a little below my reading level ;)


Have you read any good books this year?

The DC Blogger Book Club is reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver this month. Want to get involved? Let me know!