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by Valerie Martin | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0349115834 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Koalabare of Fetcham, Surrey United Kingdom on 11/12/2004
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Koalabare from Fetcham, Surrey United Kingdom on Friday, November 12, 2004
Winner of the Orange Prize 2003

'Manon Gaudet is unhappily married to the owner of a Louisiana sugar plantation. She misses her family and longs for the vibrant lifestyle of her native New Orleans, but most of all she longs to be free of her suffocating domestic situation. The tension revolves around Sarah, a slave girl whose young son Walter is living proof of Manon's husbands inclinations. This private drama is played out agais a brooding atmosphere of slave unrest and bloody uprisings. And if the attacks reach Manon's house, no one can be sure which way Sarah will turn...'

Very good - captures the claustrophobia of the heat, the fear and the social restrictions perfectly. Also nicely ambivalent - all of the main characters are flawed - so that there was no one person I found myself rooting for.

Journal Entry 2 by Koalabare from Fetcham, Surrey United Kingdom on Saturday, February 05, 2005
This is off on a bookring...

Participants (more welcome - please PM me to join!):

KiwiWonder (New Zealand)
irishajo (US)
Lillyanna (Spain)
vcrain (US)

And back to me if no-one else wants to read it!

Journal Entry 3 by Koalabare at on Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Released 14 yrs ago (2/16/2005 UTC) at

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Posted this morning to KiwiWonder

Journal Entry 4 by KiwiWonder from Auckland, Auckland Province New Zealand on Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Arrived in the mail today.... first on the list after the one I'm currently reading!

Journal Entry 5 by KiwiWonder from Auckland, Auckland Province New Zealand on Friday, March 04, 2005
I absolutely devoured this book, and the short length made it a refreshing and quick read after the 700 page book I finished before it!

Although I've read a few books around this time period in the southern United States, this is one of the few (if only) books that doesn't automatically take the position that slavery is a bad thing, or make the focus on freeing either all or one slave. Although personally I do, of course, abhor the practice of slavery, I admit that at the same time I'm fascinated with how people thought about it then, and it's nice to read something that could just have well as been written "in those times". People are very much a product of their time and I think the characters in this book represent that well.

I also thought that the book was about perfectly edited -- I admit my recent reading may have biased me here, as I've now read two or three books on end that could have benefitted from having large portions cut out before publishing, but this one was nearly perfect. There was enough story there that it moved quickly and I never felt lost, but similarly it ended at just the right moment, leaving the reader to draw any and/or all conclusions without feeling the need to spell everything out. The characters were somewhat changed but not tackily or unrealistically so, and the story on the whole seemed very realistic.

This is already one of the better books I've read this year, and I'm grateful I had the chance to!

Off to irishajo in the morning.

Journal Entry 6 by irishajo from Indianapolis, Indiana USA on Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Received in the mail. Looking forward to it!

Journal Entry 7 by irishajo from Indianapolis, Indiana USA on Tuesday, April 19, 2005
This was a good book. The characters were quite complex, although I would have preferred less complexity to a little more illumination of their motivations. Why did Manon have such a fixation with getting Sarah back, for instance? Why did Sarah seem so complacent when she was brought back? It was a quick read (once I got into it) but maybe could have used more fleshing-out.

I'll send this on to Lillyanna this week.

Journal Entry 8 by rem_Lillyanna on Thursday, May 12, 2005
Arrived in the mail just right now! I will try to begin this novel this weekend!

Thanks very much irishajo !

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