Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The Island Beneath the Sea by Isabelle Allende


One of our book club members recommended this book for discussion in our April meeting. To be ready in time I started early just in case. No problem there, it was finished in now time at all. It is a wonderful, steamy, violent, horrifying and interesting book. Allende, an excellent storyteller, tells a family saga from colonial Saint-Domingue, present day Haiti, in the end of the 18th century.
We meet a gallery of different people; white colonialists, military people, slaves, mulattos, young and old. Slave trade is the backbone of the colonialism. Without it they would not survive and prosper. It is the time when the slaves started to fight for an independent state, the foreigners fight for their plantations and life style, the military is doing their job and

New Finnish Grammar by Diego Marani


This is quite a different book. I bought it because the title fascinated me, and the short summary of the story on the back cover. The story takes place during 1943-44. It starts in Trieste where a man is found beaten half to death in the street. He is taken to a German war ship where a doctor takes care of him. To everybody’s surprise the man survives. But he has no memory and he has no language. The doctor, who is Finnish, tries to find out who the man is. The only clue is the name ‘Sampo Karjalainen’ sown into the inside collar of his jacket and a handkerchief with the initials S.K.