Tuesday, September 25
Book Review: The Long Song
Author: Andrea Levy
Summary: You do not know me yet, but I am the narrator of this work. My son Thomas, who is printing this book, tells me its customary at this place in a novel to give the reader a little taste of the story that is held within these pages. As your storyteller, I am to convey that this tale is set in Jamaica during the last turbulent years of slavery and the early years of freedom that followed.
Perhaps, my son suggests, I might write that it is a thrilling journey through that time in the company of people who lived it. All this he wishes me to pen so the reader can decide if this is a novel they might care to consider. Cha, I tell my son, what fuss-fuss. Come, let them just read it for themselves.
My Rating: 7/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: The first half of the book started off strong. I enjoyed the narration, and I enjoyed reading about July's life. I actually liked how much of an unreliable narrator July was, especially considering it was her life and experiences she was retelling. I enjoyed it because it does add some July as a character. I'm not sure if it was something I could say I loved about her character, but it did add something extra to the book. One way I looked at it, at least once I finished the book was how events, people and personal experience, at least the memory of it can change over time. How a person can have a selective memory (whether it's conscious or not) of these events, and of course what they choose to share and what secrets they choose to keep hidden. It was interesting to try to piece what the whole truth of what July chose to share from her life, and whether it was intentional or not.
Unfortunately, I found the second half of the book to drag. It just seemed to take a standstill and took a while to get to the end of the book. I began to lose interest in the book, July's life and what would happen to her. Even some of the "twists", I guess you could call some plot points, didn't have that drive to truly make this a captivating read.
Would I recommend it to read: I would. It was a good story. I may not have loved it, but I think a lot of readers would enjoy the book, as well as the narrator, July. It's also has a much lighter feel to it than other books about slavery. Which could be a turn on or off for readers.
What to read next: I couldn't think of one off hand, so I looked at the list off LibraryThing recommendations for the book, and thought Wide Sargasso Sea, was rather fitting.
Challenges: 12 in 12, 100+ Challenge, Global Reading Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge