Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Good Reading

I was just speeding blissfully through the pages of Amitav Ghosh's Sea of Poppies when I realized that if I didn't slow down, it would be over too soon. But then I remembered that it's only the first of the Ibis trilogy, and I worked back up to a regular reading pace. It's one of those novels that truly creates an entire world, one that's populated with the most unlikely but believable characters, and that takes you from elation to tears with nothing but a section break to let you catch your breath. A woman was just snatched from her dead, opium-addicted husband's funeral pyre, made love to by a rescuer (from a lower caste!) whom she promptly marries in a do-it-yourself ceremony and, in an attempt to escape her family (who will not rest! will not rest! will not rest until she and her true love are DEAD!), has boarded a boat headed to Calcutta (and indentured servitude) with her strapping new husband. And that's just one strand of the story! Smack in the middle of it all is the human and environmental wreckage created by colonialism. And coming soon: the Opium Wars. It's just killing me, this novel. It's only 10:58, but I'm headed to bed so I can read some more...

No comments: