March 2015

Read:

Academy Street by Mary Costello – 3 

A novel spanning a woman’s life, including all the seminal rites of passage which shape it – births, deaths, love, motherhood – yet somehow remaining utterly distant and characterless.  It all felt very pedestrian, very ordinary.  The writing is praised highly on the cover, but it did nothing to engage me.

The Last Illusion by Porochista Khakpour – 3.5

With its roots in Persian myth, this is the story of a boy who is rescued from a life being raised as a bird in a cage. He must then learn to live like a ‘normal’ human, fighting his habits and instincts, making friends, working a job, trying to please and defy the expectations of his guardian, trying to satisfy his own secret desires.

It’s an interesting idea, but it was hard to believe in the characters/caricatures, from the uber-supportive/understanding father figure, to the self-obsessed stage magician, to the cusp-of-crazy artist-girlfriend, predicting 9/11.  It’s actually very readable, but ultimately a little too obvious/over-simplified, and far more of a standard coming-of-age story than I anticipated.

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