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Marjorie-Florida has commented on (3) products.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Marjorie-Florida, December 10, 2012

A Pilgrimage to Discover Harold

If anyone were to pitch the idea, that by walking in excess of 600 miles would give the hope to an ailing friend in Hospice, how many of us would have the raw courage to follow through on our initial plan? This is the pivotal question that plagues Harold as he embarks on a journey that takes him not only to his destination but into the realms of memory that have isolated himself from the outside world. Whilst he walks, he consoles his emotions and re-evaluates his position in life, and the choices he's made along the way. He's on a quest not only in an attempt to make a difference to someone he cares about but in many ways, he's taking a larger step towards self acceptance. With each step he takes, he's discovering Harold. And, I think that's the greater truth hidden inside this novel, that at some point in each of our lives, we have to flip the mirror back onto ourselves and see the 'true image' that reflects back.

I was overcome by emotion within the ending four chapters, as I was blindsided by certain key revelations that come to the reader in the closing of the novel. I recommend any reader to prepare for the unknown as this novel pacts quite the punch across emotional lines. I enjoyed watching Harold's wife Maureen take her own journey as he took his on the road. Its their shared journey through time that will resonate with you long after you put the book down.

I received a review copy of this novel through Book Browse's First Impressions program in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinion or views therein.
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A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson
A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar

Marjorie-Florida, December 10, 2012

Intimately real and hauntingly shocking.

Vulgar and blunt, yet achingly rhymatic in a harmonious prose that seeps into your conscienceness. The text challenges your preconceptions of the literary world but dares you to connect to the stark harshness of the locale. A foreign world that blinks through your mind, flirting with your imagination, such as a film reel spun out of control. The brutal observations are written in such a lush descriptive narrative that words congeal together nearly at too fast of a pace. There is a disconnection in dichotomy between the lives of the protagonists and the interplay of the native land.

Five women, four of the past, one of the present, set off on a journey that none of them signed up to partake in. They are cast into an impossible sequence of circumstances that lead three of them to a journey towards personal enlightenment. It is these women who stand out to the unsuspecting reader as the main voices of the evolving story: Evangeline, Ai-Lien, and Frieda. You become a purveyor of their thoughts and emotions as one might discover whilst digging through a personal diary. Intimately real and hauntingly shocking. Their fragility and frailties split open and raw on the printed page.

I received a review copy of this novel through Book Browse's First Impressions program in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinion or views therein.
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The House Girl by Tara Conklin
The House Girl

Marjorie-Florida, December 5, 2012

Josephine Bell is the catalyst that launches an inquiry into the historical past, to unearth the mystery of what happened to the artist who fashioned the artwork that survived time. Her story is not unlike others in her class and station, in the late 1800’s. A slave bound to her Master’s wife, as a house girl confined to their land and their rules. A life that would have gone unnoticed until an unsuspecting lawyer (Lina) in the 21st century (early 2000’s) is giving the task to unearth data on a case that would give back redemption to those who have all but been erased by modern history. This isn’t just a story that evokes the tragedy of those enslaved in the South, but rather a silver lining of Hope… that their lives took on greater meaning and purpose when their lives started to intersect with others. It’s through this intersection where the ripples of small kindnesses and hours of bravery, began to change the lives of others. I found that inside the secondary characters held within the House Girl, the simplest of truths to step forward. Peace with Self. Strength in Resolve. Determined Self Reliance. And the hope of freedom. Oppression comes in different forms, as even those who live free are not always free to do what their hearts desire.

I believe this would make an excellent addition to an Art History class or a Civil Rights class which focuses on slavery in the South. The tone of the book is uplifting, shattering past the blights of misery to yield a lens into how strong women can be in the moments that count the most.

I received a review copy of this novel through Book Browse's First Impressions program in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinion or views therein.
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