A Reader's Diary

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Currently reading, new acquire, review of Anil's Ghost

I'm still reading The Penelopiad, which is at #3 this week on Maclean's Bestseller Fiction list. It's not very long, and it reads fast, so I might finish it tonight and have a review up sometime tomorrow.

I received Falcondance by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes in the mail today (I won it in a contest a while ago... boy it took a long time to get here). It is Volume 3 in the Kiesha'ra series. I talked to the author when she visited Book Divas a couple months ago; I haven't yet read the books. I don't think I'll read this one until I've read the first two (I remember winning the trilogy on Book Divas, but I haven't received it yet... don't know how long that will take to get here). Amelia Atwater-Rhodes published her first novel at age thirteen!

Today's review:
Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje (adult; literary; contemporary)

Anil, a forensic anthropologist, returns to her native Sri Lanka to do human rights work in the midst of a war. She teams up with an archaeologist and when they uncover a recent victim amongst ancient skeletons in a government-protected site, they work together to identify him and to build a report despite the danger.

It is a good story, especially interesting in terms of the anthropological content. The literary style could make the plot drag a bit, but then this is a book to read and enjoy slowly. The various characters were original and interesting, and I liked how the author showed glimpses of their life stories. The quote from Clyde Snow shows the importance of human rights work: "One victim can speak for many victims." I would have liked a more complete ending, more from Anil's perspective. But overall it was a good read, though a horrifying look into Sri Lanka's civil war.


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