Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Pure Gaiman.  This tale is reminiscent of Coraline, but with more description and less moral dilemma.  An unnamed seven year old comes face to face with ancient battles of good versus evil.  Led by the Hempstock women, a family at the end of his lane who appear to be have been around since the moon was made, the boy faces fears with the best of bravery and forthrightness.  I read this book in a few hours--beautifully written and a page turner!  I was sad when I came to the last page.

Adios Muchachos by Daniel Chevarria

I don't usually pick up a book without a recommendation from either NPR or a friend, but as I was browsing the NPL e-book options, I found the summary of this to be intriguing.  Set in Cuba, the story addresses the life of Alicia, an upscale prostitute who is also a con artist.  She gets involved with a man who, from a course of unintended events, has to cover up the death of his lover.  Part romance, part mystery, but mostly a great read on character and motivation.  Some scenes are explicit, so not for the timid.

In the Kingdom of Men by Kim Barnes

Idaho author Kim Barnes gives us the story of Ginny, an American who travels with her husband to the Arab oil fields.  Set in the late sixties, the book gives a very detailed and personal account of Ginny's struggles with loneliness, faith, sexism, and racial inequality.  Greed is also a huge theme in this book.  I really like Barnes' style and description of inner conflict that Ginny experiences.  Worth a look if you like stories about the inner life of a woman.