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The Bones of Grace Audio CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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Audio CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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'One of the most impressive novelists of her generation.' Author: The Times
'Anam deftly weaves the personal and the political, giving the terrors of war spare, powerful treatment.’ Author: The New Yorker
'Anam's prose is glowing and graceful.' Author: The Guardian
From the award-winning, nationally bestselling author of A Golden Age and The Good Muslim comes a lyrical, deeply moving modern love story about belonging, migration, tragedy, survival and the mysteries of origins.See all Product description
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I bought the book because of style of the prose and the deep personal feelings of the main character. I was not disappointed, The powerful portraits of lives lived in South Asia, the disassembly of great ships along with the longing to know who you are. All measured against the immense time scale of life as studied by a paleontologist makes this a fascinating read which leads the reader ever onward.
I give the book and the author my recommendation.
What makes this book so impressive is Anam's narrative control and her ability to view the world and characters with complexity rather than reductively. It's a mark of her sophisticated vision that the place of greatest human abuse is also where Zubaida experiences her greatest happiness; that the haunting image of the skeleton of a prehistoric whale is matched by the vision of a ship being stripped back to its bare timbers beached on the sand.
It can be difficult to create empathy for a protagonist who is inclined to passivity but here, too, Anam pulls it off: Zubaida's motivations are sometimes
opaque but its precisely this quality which makes her feel so real. A gorgeous, graceful piece of writing that confirms Anam as a writer to watch.
I found myself a little muddled about who the main character was at times, with different chapters/sections, moving the focus from one person to another but it certainly didn't put me off reading entirely. I should point out that this is apparently a book in a series (the 3rd in the Bangla Desh series, I believe) so its not a standalone novel as such, which no doubt, if in part accounts for why I felt a little confused about who was who and what the full background to the story was. Hence if this interests you then it may be worth doing a bit of extra research online in case you want to read the full series of books but in any case I still enjoyed reading the book regardless.
I felt it was quite a symbolic read - its perhaps, if in part, an allegory of sorts, to do with people from non-Western cultures who feel the need to try to discover themselves, find their identity, that sort of thing. I read it quite quickly and I enjoyed it as a read, although there are some sad moments in the story but it felt, to me, like a well written book, with a good flow to it, if you know what I mean.
Some may feel it to be a bit long winded or overly complicated, with a confusing chronology at times but even when I was a little muddled about some of the more smaller plot details etc., I still felt compelled to keep reading and see what would be discovered next, so it didn't stop me from reading it. I found it especially gripping during the last chapter and so I'd recommend it on that basis, although if your an impatient reader then this won't be for you, it just depends on what you like and if you have the time to sit and read through it (it took me 3 days during a holiday to read it in full).