Good Reading : May 2005
44 goodreading Here’s a selection of some of the reviews you sent in to us. Keep them coming to: email@example.com A Song Flung Up to Heaven North of Ithaka The Olive Farm Maya Angelou Virago $22.95 Reviewed by Moira Elliott Haunted by a family tragedy, American jour- nalist Eleni Gage travels to the mountainous village of Lia in Epirus, Greece. Gage commits one year of her life to restore her late grand- mother’s destroyed home, used during the Greek civil war as a prison for her grandmother and 30 other villagers before they were killed. Gage emerges from her experience deeply con- nected to her family, more knowledgeable of her heritage, and spiritually strengthened by a place she considers a part of herself. Readers will applaud Gage for her efforts, the house emerging as a monu- ment to the village’s past and a new beginning for the Gage family.You will delight in the warm hospitality Gage receives from the villagers, enjoy her travels across the region, and be intrigued by historical, mythological and religious anecdotes. In this sixth and final volume that completes her autobiography, Maya is returning home to the States from Ghana in 1964, leaving behind her son Guy to com- plete his university studies. She is retur ning to work with Malcolm X on building the Organisation of African- American Unity. Her dreams are cruelly destroyed by the news of Malcolm’s assassina- tion only a day or two later. In 1968 Maya meets Martin Luther King, who asks for her help with his ‘Poor People’s March’. Maya is once again thrown into deep shock after King’s assassina- tion before she can join him. Eventually, Maya receives a call from a publisher asking her to write an auto- biography. She sits down with her yellow pad and ballpoint pen and writes the first line of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the first volume of her autobiography. Maya’s work sings, it has rhythm and it has voice. An absolute must. Eleni Gage Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper Patricia Cornwell Carol Drinkwater As a lover of olives, I was immediately taken in by the title (doesn’t take much does it!). Carol Drinkwater, a British actor, and Michel, a TV producer, newly in love, scrape together enough money to buy a crumbling brick far mhouse in the beautiful French countryside with a very old and forlor n olive farm clinging to the terraces beyond the build- ing. Outside there is a pool, devoid of water but covered in clinging vines, and other wonderful features just waiting to be discovered. Carol writes about the quintessential French lifestyle, the importance of friends, of family bonds and of what it means to believe in yourself, put your hand up and ‘grab’ what you want.This book made me question our easy acceptance of life. Should we so readily accept what comes our way, or should we stand up and say: ‘No way, not for me … I have a dream!’ readers’ reviews Abacus $24.95 Reviewed by Alison Taylor Bantam $24.95 Reviewed by Fotini Dangiris Warner $19.95 Reviewed by Sue Brown Patricia Cor nwell is an inter nationally acclaimed writer of crime novels, with her famous forensic scientist character, Dr Kay Scarpetta, tracking down the culprits. Cornwell uses her knowledge of foren- sics and her investigative abilities to examine the ‘Jack the Ripper’ cases. She claims that the killer was Walter Sickert, a well known artist. Cornwell asserts that psychologically Sickert was a troubled man. He suffered from a genital abnormality which required surgery. His artwork depicted violence towards women and he was known to use prostitutes as models. Cornwell presents a chilling and thorough account of her research into these disturbing unsolved crimes.