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Far Cry From The Turquoise Room Paperback – Large Print, 3 Nov 2011
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About the Author
Kate Rigby has been writing for over thirty years. She realized her unhip credentials were mounting so decided to write about it in 'Little Guide To Unhip'. However she’s not completely unhip. Her punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka! (2004) and Break Point (2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s avant garde magazine Texts’ Bones. Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007) and is now available on Kindle. She has had other short stories published and shortlisted and has put together a collection of these in 'Tales By Kindlelight'. She has many other fiction titles on Kindle and is planning to get her previously published titles back into paperback as well as previously unpublished titles. Details about Kate’s work can be found at her website: http://kjrbooks.yolasite.com/ Or her occasional blogs can be found at: http://bubbitybooks.blogspot.com/
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After almost a year of yearning for their attention, Leila runs away, somehow joins a travelling community, and learns to be streetwise as she dodges the authorities and her parents efforts to find her.
I did wonder how plausible this plotline is, but realised that in reality children go missing in London all the time, and what Leila experienced could be what happens to them.
The story is cleverly written in English as it might be spoken as a second language by a first generation Iranian, and the parlance of a ten year old searching for her place in the world.
Throughout the story I never quite knew what the final outcome would be, and was intrigued all the way through.
I was drawn by the title of this book and enjoyed it as a quiet, fluid, well-written story.
At first I struggled with the writing – it got me a little confused but after the first few chapters I’d got used to it and it didn’t seem to bother me so much. I flew through this book – I enjoyed the characters and the story.
The book switches perspective between the father and the daughter which I loved as it was good to see both sides of the story. Sometimes it’s hard to know how one character feels especially about the themes that are touched upon in the book. I adored the character of Leila, I really felt sorry for her – all she wanted was acknowledgement and love from her father but he only reserved this for her older sister.
It’s an emotional roller-coaster and it’s heartbreaking, I really understood what the characters were going through as Kate has written it so beautifully. Kate has kept some authenticity to Hassan’s speech (he’s Iranian) without it being too over the top. I loved the descriptions of the big house, it sounded stunning however I don’t think I could have lived there!
I felt the book could have been longer, I felt some parts had been rushed and could have been expanded on. However it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book.
It’s a fabulous coming-of-age story that is also a little different to a lot of the reads around. If you’re looking for a good contemporary read that’s not too long, I recommend this one.
I thought the characters were well written and the author has managed to keep the inflections of Hassan’s speech, he is Iranian. The idea of the story I found to be very good and it was a very compelling read. As I made my way through this book I was desperate to get to the end, in a good way, so I could discover the outcomes, but at the same time didn’t want it to end. It was a simple, addictive but very well written story line.
I would happily recommend this book to readers of contemporary fiction. I also think it would make a great choice for Book Clubs / Groups, there are a range of themes in the book that would make for some very interesting talking discussions.
Hassan, a wealthy Iranian businessman living in London, is husband to Samira and father to his two little princesses - Fayruz and Leila - though Fayruz is the acknowledged favourite. When Fayruz is killed in an accident when Leila is eight years old, everything changes.
Leila’s parents are lost in their grief and there is no time or thought for Leila. (Even Fayruz’s cat - a painful reminder for her parents but a comfort for Leila - is given away.) When boarding school is suggested, what is Leila, by now nearly eleven, to do but run away?
The story is told alternately by Leila and Hassan - although the Leila sections are longer. I loved her voice, which is very engaging. Feisty, funny and at times heartbreaking. While I enjoyed the first part of the book it wasn’t unputdownable, but it really picked up pace for me when Leila ran away and from that point I was riveted.
Leila is brave and resourceful but has no idea how vulnerable she really is. She is fortunate to fall in immediately with people who are kind to her, but as she moves on dangers are all around and come terrifyingly close at times. As the mother of an eleven year old girl, it made alarming reading. Leila’s new life is far from the privileged bubble she has hitherto inhabited - far from the beautiful rooms of her home. Will she ever return, and how changed will she be? Meanwhile her father Hassan is on his own journey...
Kate Rigby skilfully inhabits the minds of both characters and has delivered an entrancing read.