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Booker Prize

    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review The Promise by Damon Galgut

    Booker Prize winner for 2021, here is my book review The Promise by Damon Galgut.

    How much weight do we put into a unmet promise? This is the premise of Galgut’s Booker Prize winning novel based in South Africa during apartheid.

    Three siblings struggle separately with their individual pasts as they lose touch with each other following the death of the matriarch of the family outside of Pretoria South Africa.

    Amor, the youngest, witnesses what she believes is a promise made by her father to her mother as her mother lays dying. Amor will spend the rest of her days feeling guilty about this unmet promise.

    Meanwhile, her elder siblings; sister Astrid, resentful to find being beautiful doesn’t always make you happy and Anton the eldest son, bitter about his lost potential. The three siblings drift apart only reuniting when funerals call them home.

    This powerful family saga will captivate you as both this family and South Africa navigate a tumultuous and changing ways. How will this family make their way in the new South Africa and can they find find hope in all their resentment for their family and all that has been lost?

    Thank you for reading my book review The Promise by Damon Galgut.

    ****Four stars for The Promise by Damon Galgut

    Read last week’s review The Lincoln Highway

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    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

    Reading Wednesday

    Winner of the 2020 Booker Prize, Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart is a heart-wrenching tale of childhood in Scotland in the 1980’s amongst addiction, poverty and sexuality. This is my Book Review Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart.

    Reminiscent of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, but set in Glasgow of the 1980’s, we are introduced to Hugh “Shuggie” Bain, a child in search of love in a family of misfits, violence and addiction. Shuggie lives in rundown public housing during the Thatcher era of the 1980’s. Unemployment, drug and alcohol addiction, hunger and poverty are what Shuggie’s childhood is made of.

    Shuggie’s loyalty to his alcoholic mother, Agnes, even after his siblings give up on her and walk away, leaves Shuggie to care for his mother who falls deeper into drink. Agnes spends all the weekly ration money on alcohol, often leaving Shuggie without food for days. Agnes’ search for love in every man who comes along always ends in heartache and rape, taking her deeper into the drink.

    Stuart tells a story of heartache and addiction, a story of his own childhood played out in the pages of Shuggie Bain. Despite the depressing tale Stuart develops an incredible collection of characters who pass through Shuggie’s life, all told with depth and compassion.

    Don’t let the sadness of this story keep you from it – it is an important book to read, and well deserved of the coveted Booker Prize. Brilliant.

    *****Five Stars for Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart.

    Read last week’s review of Anxious People by Fredrik Bachman.

    My current read The Burning by Megha Majumdar

    See this week’s top performing pin here Going to Hana Backwards.

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