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BOOK REVIEWS for Booklovers from The Booklover

Book Reviews for Booklovers from The Booklover this JUNE

This Months Must Read!

And The
Mountains Echoed
- Khaled Hosseini $40

From the international bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, an unforgettable story about finding a lost piece of yourself in someone else.

Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and stepmother 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 Abdullah, 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, their heads 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 in which 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. Powerful and emotionally complex, And The Mountains Echoed is an uplifting and rewarding read, displaying a welcome optimism not so obvious in the author’s two previous acclaimed novels.


SELL! Tall Tales from the Legends of New Zealand Advertising
- Hazel Phillips $45

"Oh what fun we had… Back in the days before 'market research'. We just made it all up. I can't believe people trusted us with their money. But then everyone started second-guessing themselves and arse-covering became a science." – Dick Frizzell.

Back in the 1890s, being an ad man in New Zealand was a simple case of placing an ad in the paper on behalf of a client. By the 1980s, it was a golden ticket to an exclusive club of fast cars, big bucks and bad behaviour. A tale of creativity and ingenuity as much as it is of indulgence, Sell! takes you on a wild ride through the history of New Zealand advertising and its larger-than-life personalities – from selling the suburban fantasy to power games, overnight acquisitions, lunatic capers and the iconic Kiwi ads that reached giddy heights on the world stage. Legends of the local ad scene recall the glory days of big budgets and bigger egos, and tell the stories behind New Zealand’s best-loved campaigns, including the Fernleaf family, Spot the dog and the infamous Bugger ad.


TransAtlantic
- Colum McCann $35

From the award-winning author of Let the World Spin, an intricately crafted novel that spans continents, leaps centuries, and unites a cast of deftly rendered characters, both real and imagined.

Newfoundland, 1919: Two young aviators, Jack Alcock and Arthur Brown, set course for Ireland as they attempt the first nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, placing their trust in a modified bomber to heal the wounds of the Great War.
Dublin, 1845-46: On tour in support of his subversive autobiography, Frederick Douglass finds the Irish people sympathetic to the abolitionist cause – despite the fact that, as famine ravages the countryside, the poor suffer from hardships that are astonishing even to a black American slave.
New York, 1998: Senator George Mitchell criss-crosses the ocean to Belfast, where he attempts to shepherd Northern Ireland’s notoriously bitter and volatile peace talks to an uncertain conclusion.
These three iconic crossings are connected by a series of remarkable women
whose personal stories are caught up in the swells of history. Beginning with Irish housemaid Lily Duggan, who crosses paths with Frederick Douglass, the novel follows her daughter and granddaughter, Emily and Lottie, and culminates in the present-day story of Hannah Carson, in whom all the hopes and failures of previous generations live on. From the loughs of Ireland to the flatlands of Missouri and the windswept coast of Newfoundland, their journeys mirror the progress and shape of history. They each learn that even the most unassuming moments of grace have a way of rippling through time, space and memory. Deeply affecting, TransAtlantic is a profound meditation on identity and history in a wide world that grows somehow smaller and more wondrous with each passing year.


White Lies
- Witi Ihimaera $37

From the well-loved author of The Whale Rider, a moving, powerful novella about the nature of identity, presented together with its screenplay, images from the film, and a commentary on writing and movie making.
A medicine woman – a giver of life – is asked to hide a secret that may protect a position in society, but could have fatal consequences. She is the healer and midwife of her rural tribe, but new laws are in force prohibiting unlicensed healers. When she is approached by the servant of a wealthy woman, who seeks her assistance, three very different women become players in a head-on clash of beliefs, deception and ultimate salvation. This compelling story tackles strong moral dilemmas, exploring the tension between Western and traditional Maori medicine, and the pressures of societal expectations on unwanted pregnancies.
This book is also about the richness of creativity, illustrating the way a single story can take on different lives. The original work, ‘Medicine Woman’, included in these pages, has been rewritten and expanded by Witi Ihimaera to become White Lies. The original story was also developed in a different direction in the hands of internationally acclaimed director and screenwriter Dana Rotberg. Her screenplay of the film, made by South Pacific Pictures, brings an intriguing insight into the process of adapting work for the screen, as well as offering a fresh take on this potent story.

by The Booklover

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