Good Reading : February 2008
FEBRUARY 2008 ı goodreading 43 Delinquent Angel The Witch of Portobello Black Diamonds Diana Georgeff Random House $34.95 Reviewed by Kay Hall Even readers untouched by the drama of adoption will be moved by Georgeff ’s sensitive and shocking biography of Shelton Lea, an unconventional poet. Shelton was adopted by the wealthy Lea family, of the Darryl Lea chocolate dynasty, at the age of 13 months, as a ‘playmate’ for their other children.They made it very clear that their three adopted children were not going to inherit, and as Shelton’s childhood history unfolds it is harrowing to read of his emotional and psychological abuse. By the age of three he had his first stay in an institution; he spent most of his for mative years in and out of borstals and prison. Shelton broke every social convention yet was able to touch others with his poetry, expressing his rage and pain at being rejected. A remarkable story of a man who in spite of his flaws and damage was able to love people the way he wished to be loved. Paulo Coelho Restless William Boyd Kim Kelly HarperCollins $29.99 Reviewed by Edith May HarperCollins $29.99 Reviewed by Fotini Dangiris Bloomsbury $22.95 Reviewed by Clive Hodges It is 1976 and Ruth Gilmartin is surprised to learn that her very English mother, living quietly in an Oxfordshire village, claims to be Eva Delectorskaya and a former spy. Ruth’s immediate reaction is to disbelieve this declaration. She challenges her mother to explain why, if this is true, she has blown her cover after nearly forty years. We are swept along, often with a sense of foreboding, into the world of intrigue, duplicity, propaganda and betrayal.This exciting and compelling portrait of a female agent, full of suspense, emotion and history, unfolds in parallel with Ruth’s more prosaic life.William Boyd uses this juxtaposition very effectively. Eva’s clandestine escapades are imaginative and fascinating.The author is a master of narrative pacing. His writing style encourages us to become involved and to care that Eva survives the extra- ordinary developments. Lovers of spy novels should not miss this super read. Paulo Coelho’s newest release confronts readers with themes of magic, divinity, courage, and the ultimate journey into one’s soul. An investigation is taking place to find out who a young woman by the name of Athena is. First-hand accounts from her adopted parents, mentors, acquaintances and friends contribute to the pieces forming Athena’s complex life.Adopted as a baby, the young woman seeks her purpose in life, beginning with her search for her birth mother. Coelho’s story reveals a woman who, despite her vulnerability, connected with a deeper part of her soul. Bringing forth her life mission, she touched others on a spiritual level, resulting in life-changing personal transformations. Coelho zooms in and out of his depiction of an intriguing character. His bold offering fuels personal opinion and debate as we decipher this intimate portrait of a modern-day truth-seeker. Here’s a selection of the reviews you’ve sent in to us recently. Keep them coming to: email@example.com readers’ reviews Kim Kelly’s debut novel is a cracker. Set in the era around World War I, it touches on many of the contemporary political and economic issues and exudes historical veracity within its domestic and international framework. I really enjoyed how Ms Kelly securely related the characters to the politics, both government and work- place, while anchoring their lives in the minutiae of daily life. It has an undeniable ring of truth.The unusual device of two first person narrators, Francine and Daniel, allows us the delicious voyeuristic experience of knowing both of their thoughts and feelings and why they act or react the way they do. Black Diamonds is a love story, redolent with char m.While it encompasses many of the dilemmas of the early 1900s, it has the inherent truthfulness of humanity that makes it a novel for any age, and about any age. It’s thought provoking as well as entertaining.
December January 2008