My Small Kucing Blog

Friday, June 28, 2013

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Synopsis by

From the no. 1 bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, the book that readers everywhere have been waiting for: his first novel in six years.

Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and step-mother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Adbullah, Pari, as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named, is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their skulls touching, their limbs tangled.

One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand.

Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways that we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history, and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us

My Comments :

For me this book was certainly worth the wait. 

The story grabbed me from page one itself. Khaled Hosseini certainly a master in word play. It was like the words comes alive and shake you and demand that you pay 100% attention to them.

This is not only the story of Abdullah and Pari but also of people whom they came into contact with. Each person have their own story of loss and regret.

I think the main topic of this book is of loss and regret. Please don't get me wrong. This is not a depressing book. It's more of highlight the sense it.

I would say if I were to compare this book with The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid suns, I vote this book as his best work so far. Let's just hope that I don;t have to wait another 6 long years for his next master piece.

Am giving  this book full 5 stars.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Undone Years by Shamini Flint

Summary as per

On a rubber plantation in Malaya, on the eve of the Second World War, three teenagers enjoy their last summer of freedom and innocence. Matthew is the son of the English planter who runs the estate and his best friend, Rajan, is the son of his father's clerk - but despite their parents' disapproval of their friendship, they feel like equals. When beautiful, strong-willed Mei Ling arrives, both boys' heads are turned. But before any romance can blossom, the Japanese invade.

Against a backdrop of the fall of Singapore, the communist insurgency and the eventual Japanese surrender, The Undone Years is a very human story of love and betrayal in a time of war

My Comments : 

Have you ever read a book that is both complicated and yet simple? I think some of you would have encounter this feeling too if you are a passionate reader.

This is one of those complicated and yet simple.

I have read a few books that is based on the Japanese Occupation of Malaya. Hence for me the plot of this book is quite straight forward and simple. The story is pun in such a way that for first timer or those who doesn't know the Malaya history would find it easy to catch up with what's going on during that time.

The complicated part is the part where the author managed to highlight the emotion involved at that time . How each characters have been caught off guard when The Japanese invaded Malaya. Yup, many things that in normal days we swear we won't do but we might collapse and do it when desperate. Things that is done may have been meant to protect or an innocent act may in turn cause great harm to another.

The author really had a flare in manipulation the characters. And I salute her for having the stomach to put in words on how the tortures were meted out to the prisoners.Those with a weak stomach, would be advisable to skip page 313-316.

Overall I love the story very much. It would be nice if the chemistry between Matthew, Rajan and Mei Ling is more intense. As it is, I get the feeling is that they are just good friends. Only  at the ending did the feelings became apparent.

Am giving this book 4 stars out of 5 stars.