Tag Archives: international bestseller

Book Review: Mother Earth Father Sky – by Sue Harrison

This is a slightly edited repeat, first posted June 24, 2011. I am re-posting because I have had the pleasure of an interview with the author, Sue Harrison. After the interview (coming January 17) she will be giving away one of her books to one of you – winner’s choice which title!  🙂

imagesBook: Mother Earth Father Sky
Author: Sue Harrison
Publisher: Doubleday
Date: June 1990
Genre: Prehistoric fiction
Pages: 313, hardcover
Price: US $19.95; CDN $24.95
My rating: Amazing, startling, satisfying read
 

Mother Earth Father Sky is the first book in a trilogy that takes us into the lives of an ancient North American people in Alaska. If that sounds boring, don’t be fooled.

To be honest, I hardly know what to say about this book.  At the writing of this review, having just finished reading it I’m barely back to the here-and-now, and the story of Chagak is still fresh in my mind. To say that Sue Harrison wrote an amazing prehistoric fiction novel scarcely describes what she masterfully accomplished. Over the course of nine years she studied, researched and lived in her creative mind the tale of a long ago culture in Alaska, focusing on one Aleut woman’s struggle to survive and overcome a very harsh reality. That woman, Chagak, lived in a primitive time consisting of warrior tribes, legends, crude customs, myths, and magic, but also love, family ties, and community. The author made it all come alive through the power of the written word in a very easy-to-read style. I was held from the beginning of this book to its last page – left wanting to read more about the people I had come to know.

This bestselling novel is not newly released but was published in 1990. I was fortunate to be gifted a copy and I’m so glad to have received it. If you come across Mother Earth Father Sky and you are not offended by the cruel reality and graphic descriptions of the belief system of prehistoric man, then do grab the opportunity to read this book.

You can find Mother Earth Father Sky listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

Book Review: Secret Daughter – by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Book: Secret Daughter  (A Novel)
Author: Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Publisher: William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers
Date: March 9, 2011; paperback April 5, 2012
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Pages: 356, paperback
Price: $13.99; less on Kindle
My rating: An extraordinary read, very convincing, with an ending that is both satisfying and disturbing.
 
 

I won this book, probably on Twitter, and promptly added it to my huge TBR (to be read) pile.  Had I known what I was in for I would not have waited so long to read Secret Daughter. Oh my!

Canadian first-time author Shilpi Somaya Gowda has written a compelling story that had me from the beginning. Born in Toronto, Canada, to parents from Bombay, India, she had insight and good understanding of both cultures. She mostly told the story from the perspective of three women – the adopted daughter, the adoptive mother and the birth mother. It was involved and interesting and hard to put down once I started reading.

I don’t want to give away too much and spoil it for you, but for anyone who has adopted from another country, or is thinking about it, this book gives a different view of some of the things to take into consideration.

The characters are well-developed, their life situations are convincing and detailed, and the reader gets to share in the story of their lives over a span of twenty-five years. It was easy to care about them. In fact, I experienced a range of emotions as I read this international bestseller.

I liked how the author headed her chapters with not only the title, but also the location, date, and name of the person the reader was visiting in that chapter. Each chapter is only a few pages long which made it easy to read when having only a few minutes. It also helped the reader get oriented right from the start and occasionally helped the author step over a span of several years to move along in the story. It was well done.

The only thing I did not like is the way the author chose to end this novel, although it is quite believable the way it happened. Obviously the ending did not interfere with the book’s success. Even so, if you are one who likes to read the end of a book first … in this case DON’T!  Please, do yourself the favour of not peeking. It is well worth the wait.

There has been criticism that the author ignored or changed some things about the culture of India to fit her story, but I don’t agree. In a couple of places I had questions, too, but since I have never studied their culture nor have I visited that country, I accepted that perhaps it was something that is changing there with the times. I believed the author would know that, so I didn’t let my lack of information get in the way of a great read.

Originally, this is not a book I planned to review, but having experienced it I wanted to introduce it to you to add to your TBR list. You won’t be disappointed.

You can find Secret Daughter listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂