Read Me! THE CAT’S TABLE & THE DOVEKEEPERS – Recommended Reading

Fall is always a busy time for publishing, it seems.  Best-selling authors oftentimes release their latest and greatest in the fall. I mean, when was the last time Stephen King didn’t release a novel in October or November? (And yes, he has a new novel coming out this fall. More on that later.)  This week two favorites of mine are back and I hope you’ll check them out as well.  The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje follows an eleven-year-old boy in the 1950’s who takes a sea voyage to England. Here’s what some reviewers are saying:

The Cat’s Table is an exquisite example of the richness that can   flourish in the gaps between fact and fiction…. It is an adventure story, it is a meditation on power, memory, art, childhood, love and loss. It displays a technique so formidable as to seem almost playful. It is one of those rare books that one could reread an infinite number of times, and always find something new within its pages.”
London Evening Standard

 
“[Ondaatje] is justly recognised as a master of literary craft….As we read into The Cat’s Table the story becomes more complex, more deadly, with an increasing sense of lives twisted awry, of misplaced devotion….The novel tells of a journey from childhood to the adult world, as well as a passage from the homeland to another country…. All that was seen and experienced, is carried ashore by the passengers in memories, damaged psyches, degrees of loss, evanescent joy and reordered lives.”
—Annie Proulx, The Guardian

I have been reading Alice Hoffman since a friend gave me a paperback copy of Turtle Moon many years ago.  I love her lyricism and the dreamlike quality she brings to her writing.  I don’t think I have ever been disappointed in an Alice Hoffman book, and I doubt I ever will be.  Her latest, The Dovekeepers, is out today. Goodreads can describe it better than I can: “In 70 CE, nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on a mountain in the Judean desert, Masada. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic historical event, Hoffman weaves a spellbinding tale of four extraordinary, bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker’s wife, watched the horrifically brutal murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her twin grandsons, rendered mute by their own witness. Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and expert marksman, who finds passion with another soldier. Shirah is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power. The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in the desperate days of the siege, as the Romans draw near. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets—about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love.”

And a few glowing reviews:

“Beautiful, harrowing, a major contribution to twentyfirst century literature.”—Toni Morrison, Nobel Laureate in Literature

“In her remarkable new novel, Alice Hoffman holds a mirror to our ancient past as she explores the contemporary themes of sexual desire, women’s solidarity in the face of strife, and the magic that’s quietly present in our day-to-day living. Put The Dovekeepers at the pinnacle of Hoffman’s extraordinary body of work. I was blown away.” —Wally Lamb, author of The Hour I First Believed

Better start reading! There are a lot more recommendations coming this fall…

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Posted October 4, 2011 by Tammy in Just Released / 3 Comments

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3 responses to “Read Me! THE CAT’S TABLE & THE DOVEKEEPERS – Recommended Reading

  1. Tammy

    Amy, please do! Dont worry, I have not read these yet. They are in the “to read” pile, that ever-growing monster that I can’t control.

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