Thursday, June 27, 2013

Two missing girls and myriad points of view

I recently finished two novels and once again found myself comparing and contrasting.  Although the settings, one in Afghanistan, France, Greece and the United States while the other the southwest tip of Australia, both have a little girl character who for a time loses her biological family.  The little girls also suffer greatly as their caretakers change unexpectedly and then as adult women trying to identify with their true selves and parents.

While the motives of those who claim a child as their own may seem to be altruistic and gallant, great heart ache occurs for many and both authors deftly weave together the points of view of a myriad of characters.

Khaled Hosseini has struck gold two times before with The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.  I enjoyed this book, but perhaps not as much as I enjoyed the others.  In And the Mountains Echoed, the author takes us by the end of the book to current day Afghanistan and the continuing troubles there.  This story plays out in the last 60 years of Afghanistan history.

M. L. Stedman graces us with her first novel in The Light Between Oceans and it is a beauty.  It drew me in on the first page with beautiful descriptions and well drawn characters.  Now I almost feel like I have been on an island where the Indian Ocean and the cold Southern Ocean meet and my heart continues to ache for the young couple who kept the lighthouse aglow and loved a baby girl washed ashore in a row boat.

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