Thursday, February 23, 2006

50BC06 #5: In the Company of Cheerful Ladies

50 Book Challenge #5
BOOK REVIEW: In the Company of Cheerful Ladies
Author: Alexander McCall Smith

In Book 6 of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the author allows his characters to really come into their own. The addition of a new member to the crew at Tlokweng Speedy Motors/No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is of great benefit to the narrative. The book starts off with a mystery and has a bit more of a “Murder She Wrote” type feel to it than the other books in the series. The return of a figure from Mma Ramotswe’s past brings about a deeper sense of introspection from her character. Fans of Mma Makutsi will be happy to know that her storyline finally develops.
This is definitely the best of the six novels and Smith seems to grow more and more as a writer with each novel in the series.

Posted here 9/8/08, originally posted 2/23/06.

Monday, February 6, 2006

50BC06 #4: Plainsong

50 Book Challenge #4
BOOK REVIEW: Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Mr. Haruf is an extraordinary storyteller as he interweaves the threads of the average into a plain, yet beautiful reality. Plainsong is quintessential Americana without the sense of false rhetoric that encumbers so many novels in this genre. The novel’s multiple protagonists are painfully honest characters who embody life truths and complexities without melodrama. The interaction of the novels characters testify to a greater sense of connectedness with those around us, no matter where we may live. Haruf lays bare many graphic details without sensationalism in order to produce one of modern fiction’s most sincere depictions of everyday life.

Readers who enjoyed Richard Russo’s Empire Falls will likely enjoy this novel about community and everyday heroism.

Posted here 9/8/08, originally posted 2/6/06.