I loved the novels of Maeve Binchy. In such a gentle way she invited us into the lives of her interesting characters and after finishing one of her books you felt you could walk into the Irish village or town where it was set, and feel completely at home with your surroundings. You would be able to recognize and know the people you met. My favorite novel of hers was The Glass Lake but I read them all and enjoyed them.
I’ve just read two books by Colm Tóibín and I feel like I’ve found another Maeve Binchy. Maeve died in 2012 so she won’t be writing anymore books. Tóibín is the author of the very successful book Brooklyn which has been turned into an equally successful movie. The second book of Tóibín’s I read is Nora Webster. Both novels have woman at their centre who live in small Irish towns and whose lives undergo a major change. Like Binchy Tóibín draws us into the Irish communities he writes about making us interested members of them.
Other books I’ve read so far during our time in Costa Rica are …………
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent- My friend Meena recommended this and I liked it immensely. It is story of a woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829 and is based partially on a true story. It is dark and stark much like the Icelandic landscape must be and transports you back in time. It draws you closer than you intially thought you might get to a troubled woman and her sad story.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah- This is on the best seller list and was an okay read, but is a bit of a formulaic Holocaust story. I liked the way the female characters developed strength and independence working for the French resistance.
I Am Malala– by Malala Yousafzai- I have been meaning to read this for a long time and was inspired to finally get to this book when I saw Malala’s interview with Stephen Colbert. The two of them did card tricks together. She was such a down to earth, fun kid during that interview. It was refreshing to see her simple delight and wholesome attitude given her world wide recognition. I wondered if North American society could produce a young woman so dedicated, innocent and true to her values. The book perhaps spends a little too much time on the history of the Swat Valley where Malala lives and the rise of the Taliban rather than on Malala’s story itself. But the two are intertwined and I learned many things I didn’t know about the history of Pakistan and the way it has changed.
One thing I love about being on vacation is I have so much time for reading. I wonder how many more books I’ll read before we leave Costa Rica?