Friday, 30 July 2010

Roopa Farooki: Bitter sweets

Shona Karim is in love. When she first sets eyes on Parvez at the age of ten, she knows he is the man of her dreams. Just like her father – tricked into marriage by her shamelessly deceitful mother – she is a hopeless romantic. Years later, lying to themselves and their families, the young lovers elope to start a new life above a sweet shop in south London. But Shona’s inheritance is one of double lives and complicit deception. As time passes, and her children are born, it appears that she too has dark secrets that are about to be exposed. Can a family built on lies ever shake off its legacy? And can love ever be strong enough to right the wrongs of the past?

This is an epic story about Asian people living between two cultures and trying to find their way in western civilisation. At the same time, it is about Shona learning to deal with truth and lies. A brilliant read...

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Paul Torday: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

This is the story of Dr Alfred Jones, a fisheries scientist - for whom diary - notable events include the acquisition of a new electric toothbrush and getting his article on caddis fly larvae published in 'Trout and Salmon' - who finds himself reluctantly involved in a project to bring salmon fishing to the Highlands of the Yemen - a project that will change his life, and the course of British political history forever.

This was a brilliant read with a great choice of texts presented to illustrate Fred's dryness, Peter Maxwell (the helmsman)'s self-confidence, the obscure workings of bureaucratic Britan and Mary's and Hillary's approach to their respective relationships. It's funny, wicked, brilliant, sarcastic, but in a way I get the feeling that - although there is so much in that novel - it will not be one that stays with you forever. A great, relaxing summer read!