As the day for the announcement of this year’s Orange Prize winner approaches, May 28, I find that I have only had a chance to read 5 out of the 6 titles that are shortlisted for the prize. Georgina Harding’s, Painter of Silence, is not yet available in the states, and because I haven’t been blown away by the majority of these books, I’ve decided to wait and check it out at my library when it becomes available, instead of purchasing it and paying the overseas shipping rates.
So, I still need to put my thoughts down on two of these books so I shall…
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett was a marvelously written book with strong descriptive passages, and a well fleshed out main character, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. The majority of the novel is set in the Brazilian jungle, where there is malaria, extreme heat, insects and snakes. Like Indiana Jones, I hate snakes, and novels and movies set in that environment. Well, except for The African Queen and the aforementioned Indiana Jones films. While the writing is superb, I just could never get beyond the setting and begin to enjoy the book for itself. And really isn’t that what reading is all about, enjoyment?
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller was such a unique piece of fiction and again another showing of incredible talent and writing ability. She has rewritten the story of Achilles and Patroclus and turned it into a beautiful love story. I loved this portion of the story, but when it came time to tell the tale of Achilles and his role of hero in the Trojan War I found myself bored and wanting to skim the rest. Again this is all to do with my tastes, for Miller well deserves to be on the shortlist for her ability to make this legendary story readable for someone like me!
I’m really hoping that Half Blood Blues, by Esi Edugyan, wins the prize because that was by far my favorite of the five that I’ve read. Fingers crossed!
- Shortlist ~~ Three down and three to go! (jottingswithjasmine.wordpress.com)