Monthly Archives: January 2008

Wicked, by Gregory Maguire

Wicked, by Gregory Maguire…I give it Five Stars!!

Have you ever wondered about Elphaba, The Wicked Witch of the West, and whether she really was as wicked as she has been portrayed, or, has she been stereo-typed and misunderstood, throughout the decades?

This fantasy-novel actually borders on reality, current events (both political and economical), and is a compilation of religious and cultural differences, religious and cultural prejudices, and how we stereotype individuals in society, in order fto feel superior to them, and in order for them to blend in within our own agendas, perspectives and organizational cultures.

We see Elphaba as a humane and caring individual, a person capable of empathy and love. But, through her own identifiying difference, within the cultural scheme, we also are given insight into how it feels (from her perspective), to be considered different than others, on the outside, but how alike she is to everyone in her heart, with the same needs, feelings and thoughts as most of us.

The book is more than timely, and leads one to ponder the current events in the world situation, today.

~~Book Diva

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A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini…I give it 5++ Stars!

Khaled Hosseini’s second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, is as intense as his first international bestseller, The Kite Runner, and lived up to my every expectations. Quite often a second novel does not compare in quality and content to the first one, especially if it was a bestseller. But, with A Thousand Splendid Suns, that does not hold true. It is as equally well written, with an excellent story line, characters, and with insight into Afghanistan’s cultural mores and expectations.

The women in his latest novel, Mariam and Laila, are brought together within two generations of family and friendships. Their lives are intertwined during thirty years of Afghanistan history. From love story to friendships, family connections and discord to struggles to survive, this is an intense novel, with characters that leave you shaking in anger one minute, and crying in sorrow the next minute. That Hosseini wrote this story from the perspective of women, is incredible, and he accomplished it so accuratley and precisely.

I don’t want to divulge too much story line, and this review might sound sparse and lacking substance, but it is the type of book that one must read for themselves in order to grasp the dark, and often heart-wrenching story.

Hosseini’s writing is done with sensitivity to the cultural expectations, and he writes with word paintings that continually flow throughout the book, both with beautiful images, and images that leave one horrified. To say that A Thousand Splendid Suns is a major accomplishment, would be undermining and underplaying the brilliance and beauty with which this novel is written. It is a story (like The Kite Runner) that will stay with me, one I will never forget.

~~Book Diva

© Copyright – All Rights Reserved – No permission is given or allowed to reuse my photography, book reviews, writings, or my poetry in any form/format without my expresss written consent/permission.

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