Dshamilja by Tschingis Aitmatow: The book is also called the most beautiful love story in the world. I don’t think I can agree with this because the love story definitely comes in short here. Half the book describes life in Kyrgyzstan during WWII and the Russian occupation,. Think 5 year plan and so on. Only in the second half do we get to the love part and then the falling in love happens via surrogate. The story is told from the 15-year-old bystander who also approves of what is happening. While it is beautiful in a way, describing the landscape, the songs and the night sky, it left me wanting for more. Maybe because I can imagine the landscape, having been there last year, I needed more details and words from the lovers. It left me wanting.
Renegade: Insurrection Trilogy 2 by Robyn Young: The second part in the trilogy moves along nicely with the story of Robert the Bruce. How he joins up with Wallace and his troops, only to later declare his allegiance again with Edward II. Not an easy feat for him since he is still Scottish and never gives up on his dream of becoming king. But a man must do what he needs to and he is an Earl after all. The danger of John Balliol coming back and reclaiming his kingship was too great. I love how the narrator tells the story. It is easy to follow his voice even while preparing a meal or walking through the city. It’s most compelling and only on rare occasions do I switch it off (like when I browse new books).
The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin: Imagine you have a small child, sit with him at home and then he demands to be taken to his mommy. Sounds like a nightmare, no? This is exactly what happened to Janie and her son Noah. While reading the book the concept feels almost impossible until I came to the acknowledgements at the end and suddenly the story looks taken from real life. Once you google it, there are more reports about children telling stories of their previous lives. It’s all downright spooky. On the other hand why not, it is kind of beautiful to think that we have more than one life. So maybe there is something like reincarnation after all? I liked the book a lot, it was a really interesting topic and nicely written.
The Last Highlander: Scotland’s Most Notorious Clan-Chief, Rebel and Double-Agent by Sarah Fraser: This is really a book just for history buffs. It’s quite long-winded and detailed and I really had to concentrate to get all the names straight. Which didn’t always work because it took me a couple of weeks to finish it. Not something you want to take into bed with you for some light entertainment. In the end it was interesting to read about the last noble to be tried and executed for treason. The story of Culloden got another layer for me; the more I read about it the more fascinating the whole battle becomes especially after seeing the battlefield last year. What an absolute nightmare. Only commendable to history lovers!