Not so many books in the last while as I was reading a couple of books at the same time.
The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff was a book of some 514 pages so it took me a while. It is a fiction but incorporates many historical facts re the Church of the Latter Day Saints. The novel is based on the life of Anne Eliza Young, the 19th wife of Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. A challenging read.
Meantime I would swap to Extinctions by Josephine WIlson which was the Miles Franklin winner in 2017.Extinctions has the themes of ageing, adoption, aboriginality and extinct species. I enjoyed this book although some aspects of the story were rather difficult to believe.
“Breathtaking . . . . a daring story of adventure, friendship and love in the shadow of WW11.”
“Connie Carter has lost everyone and everything dear to her. Leaving her home in New York, she moves to a run-down Irish mansion, hoping to heal her shattered heart and in search of answers: how could her husband do the terrible things he did? And why did he plough all their money into the dilapidated Ludlow Hall before he died, without ever telling her?
At first Connie tries to avoid the villagers, until she meets local women Eve and Hetty who introduce her to the Ludlow Ladies’ Society, a crafts group in need of a permanent home. Connie soon discovers Eve is also struggling with pain and the loss of having her beloved Ludlow Hall repossessed by the bank and sold off. Now, seeing the American Connie living there, the hurt of losing everything is renewed. Can these women ever be friends? Can they ever understand or forgive?
As the Ludlow Ladies create memory quilts to remember those they have loved and lost, the secrets of the past finally begin to surface. But can Connie, Eve and Hetty stitch their lives back together?”
This novel was so unlike any other novel I have read.
“The lone rider on his journey to self-realisation, the plot of many westerns, is perfectly suited to the Australian outback, and it gives Patrick White’s monumental novel an archetypal power that still dominates the Australian literary landscape.
Voss is based on the story of Ludwig Leichhardt, the Prussian naturalist who made several explorations of the Australian interior in the mid-1840s. Leichhardt aimed to pioneer an overland route from Brisbane to Perth but he vanished without trace in the infinite vastness of the interior.
White focuses on two characters: Voss, the German explorer, and Laura, a naive and lovely orphan recently arrived in New South Wales, who meet for the first time in the house of Laura’s uncle, the patron of Voss’s expedition. Their complex and passionate relationship, a mutual obsession based on separation, is set against the merciless landscape of Voss’s trek towards oblivion.” (The Guardian, 100 best novels)