Saturday, April 26, 2014

Another Made-For-TV Book

Remember the movie Time to Kill based off John Grisham's book and starring Matthew McConaughey  as Jake Brigance, a small town lawyer? Well I am now reading Sycamore Row, the follow up book to Time to Kill. I am on page 352 and I am loving all the drama in Sycamore Row.

I stayed up until late reading and trying to figure out why wealthy southern businessman Seth Hubbard left 90% of his estate to his African American caretaker/homekeeper, Lettie? His reason for doing so seems to have some connection to some property owned by Lettie's ancestor, Solomon Rinds, and sold to Seth's Dad, Cleon Hubbard? Whatever happened between them and why did the entire Rinds family move out of the area?

Seth was a horrible father and he created horrible adult children who are suing to get a hold of the estate but Seth was clear in his written instructions to Jake Brigance that he did not want his children or grandchildren to inherit anything. Not one cent. The children believe that Lettie used undue influence on Seth who was dying of lung cancer and ended up committing suicide.

There is a hint from early in the story that Seth and his brother, Ancil, witnessed something traumatic as children. What was it? I am anxious to find out. Did this "thing" that they witnessed affect their personality? Seth and his brother are portrayed as dysfunctional adults.

Race continues to be an issue in this small town and selecting people from the community for jury duty is a very delicate matter.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Book Club Selection: Last Message.

I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning reading Half of a Yellow Sun. It made me laugh, cry and feel disgust. The storyline in this book reminded me of Left to Tell, a past book club selection, about the genocide in Rwanda.  Here is a memorial that took place recently in Rwanda. War is a horrible beast. 

It was well worth staying up most of the night to complete the reading of Half of a Yellow Sun. When I thought the main characters were all safe, something else happened to shatter that view. It was a roller coaster ride with these characters.  I loved the messages about love, war, and family. Now on to the next book.

I am now reading Last Message, in my lunch break, by Shane Peacock. It is a Young Adult fiction and it is our book club selection for this month.  There are seven books in the series and each book is written by a different author.  Peacock's book is number 6. This is unusual for me. Adam is the narrator and he is being sent on an adventure in France by his deceased grandfather,  David McLean.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Book to Movie:Half of a Yellow Sun

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Orange Prize-winning novel, Half of a Yellow Sun. has been made into a movie already with some top notch actors: Thandie Newton, Anika Noni Rose and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Watch the trailer here.

Since my last blog, I have discovered the reason for the major conflict between  Richard and Odenigbo.  I should have guessed that Olanna, Odenigbo's girlfriend, was at the heart of the conflict.  

I am on page 357, the war is raging, the people have divided themselves into Nigerians/vandals and Biafrans/refugees, and the Biafrans, including the main characters, are living in unsanitary conditions.

Friday, April 04, 2014

I remember Biafra

I remember as a child, watching news-clips about the civil war in Nigeria and seeing starving children from the secessionist state, Biafra. Chimamanda in Half of a Yellow Sun is educating me on this aspect of Nigeria's history in the sixties. The horrors of the war is graphic.  The book is very well written.  I am totally absorbed in this historical fiction that is wrapped up in a love story and a story about social life and family life in Nigeria.  Something has happened to the main characters. I don't know what it is at this point and I am eager to find out.  Richard, a socially inept British expatriate, and Kainene are lovers and he has fallen out with a revolutionary professor who happens to be the lover of Olanna, Kainene's twin. Whatever the quarrel was about, Richard no longer visits the professor's home and when he sees Olanna, he tries to avoid contact. I am invested in these characters. Loving it.