Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Vacation Reading

I just returned from a week at Disney World and , believe it or not, got 2 books read.  Mostly on the airplanes or in bed at night!

I read South of Broad which is the latest of Pat Conroy's books. While I thought that it was good, after just finishing reading Beach Music by him, it didn't begin to compare.  So I was a little disappointed.  However, by the middle of the book, the story picked up and I enjoyed the book more.

It is a story of a family who suffered the tragic loss of a son to suicide.  Steve left behind his parents and his younger brother.  The book does a good job delving into the aftermath that occurs for the years following a loved ones suicide.  The story is told by the younger brother, Leopold Bloom King.  He finds a good group of friends in high school and the book is the story of the next twenty years of their lives and how the past affects the present.

As always, Pat Conroy leads the reader into the South, with this story based in Charleston, South Carolina.  The characters are well-developed in the story and I felt like I knew all of them well.  And I can't wait for his next book, although it will probably be quite a while, as I have read that he writes his books in longhand!

The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway was our book club pick for June.  It is the story of when Sarajevo was at war in 1992 and twenty-two people were killed while waiting in a line for bread.  A well-known cellist decided to play Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor on his cello for twenty-two days at the site where they were killed in honor of them.  Three characters are featured in the book.  Kenan is a young man with a family who goes out into the war-torn city every four days to get water for his family and an elderly neighbor.  Dragan is an older man who works at a bakery and tries to care for his wife.  Arrow is a young woman who has become a sniper trying to get those attacking the city.  Each chapter tells about one of the three characters and how they are surviving the war each day.

For me the book was basically a testimony to the human spirit.  Each of the characters seemed to struggle with thoughts of life and death, bravery and cowardice as they maneuvered through each day.

The book is a short read, but very moving.  I recommend it!

1 comment:

Bybee said...

I've only read 1 Pat Conroy novel, The Lords of Discipline. I remember reading it all in one day, staying up till early morning.