“What am I living for and
what am I dying for
are the same question.”
― Margaret Atwood, The Year of the Flood
I came across this book and will fully admit I bought it soley because of who it was written by. I did not know at the time that this was part of a series written by Atwood, and started it without having read the book before it.
I can’t tell you much about the plot of this book. The plot barely moves, and the little movement it does have is more sideways than forward. That is not what makes this such a good read. Atwood is able to isolate the reader in a world where multiple time frames, multiple narrators, multiple points of view were all seamlessly pulled together. Atwood is clear in her writing style and does not pander to the potential readers questions by adding in more details than are needed. She allows the story to unfold before the reader, without diluting it with extra information. The intentions and motivations of the characters are not spelled out in detail, but instead left to the reader to sort out for themselves. This is an excellent example of what good writing looks like.
Despite the Falling Snow
Written by Shamim Sarif
Alexander first appears in a courtyard, in his sixties. He is polite, and witty, bold and a holds a preciseness that speaks of confidence and assuredness. As his story unfolds, life during the Soviet Union shows how deep secrets can penetrate a life, beyond Russia, and alter even the most well laid out plans. We learn of a love that overcame betrayal, friendship that ended in betrayal and most importantly of starting over at any age.
There is a precision and delicateness to the narrative voice of this book. The plot is set out with long yards of threads to weave and slowly they are weaved together for a wonderful and fitting ending. The time line switchs between 1960’s and 2000 seamlessly, the clean voice keeping things straight on point.
And being out of the loop on what is current in the media, I’ve just learned they’ve made this into a movie as well.
“We crawled through time like roaches through the linings of walls, the neglected spaces and hours, foolishly happy that we were still alive even as we did everything to die.”
I really enjoyed reading this book, and learning about what life is like in Mississippi. I didn’t realize that they things were so tough there still.
Throughout the book, stats are given, comparing Mississippi to the rest of the country, which are staggering. And the death with no repercussions is unjust.
Jesmyn’s narrative voice is raw and honest, evoking emotion without begging for it.
You can follow her personal blog here.