When the Orange Prize Shortlist was announced a few weeks ago, I really didn’t think I would get many of the books read before the winner is announced on May 30th. I’m a big user of the library and I planned on putting them on hold at my library in Illinois figuring they would be there when I returned this week. But just for kicks I decided to check the shelves of the Anchorage Library last week and see if they might have any of the 6 titles available. Low and behold I found half of them just sitting on the shelves waiting for me! Don’t you just LOVE libraries!!
It turns out that I had already read The Forgotten Waltz and just forgotten (how apropos!) but Foreign Bodies and Half Blood Blues were new to me
When I read The Forgotten Waltz back in October I only gave it an average rating on Goodreads. As soon as I read the first page I remembered the reason I didn’t love it…the main character Gina. She is just not very likable and the story just seems unsatisfying because of that. I felt the prose itself was beautiful but the plot just seemed ho hum. I sat down and reread the ending again and felt exactly the same way.
Foreign Bodies also didn’t wow me I’m afraid. It also seemed just average and nothing extraordinary, so when I finished it I was feeling pretty disillusioned with the selections the judges were making for this prize. I noticed the Goodreads average rating for this book is only 3.13 so I guess I’m not the only one you didn’t love it.
So thank goodness for Half Blood Blues a book I can actually rally behind for the win! I loved this book from start to finish and I can understand why it has been up for so many awards. It is well written, has a terrific story and a main character whom I really liked.
I decided not to give a synopses of these books since that is easily found on the Orange Prize website, but instead I just wanted to put a few thoughts down on virtual paper.
It’s pretty disconcerting though that I only liked 1 out of 3 of these books since one of my favorite books, Gillespie and I ,was left off of the shortlist. Oh well, here’s hoping the last 3 books are a bit better!