Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Not the Gripping Adventure I Wanted: The Solitude of Thomas Cave by Georgina Harding

The Solitude of Thomas Cave by Georgina Harding

Historical Fiction/Realistic Fiction

I will start with what I loved about this book.  I loved the way it was written.  The words are measured and flowing and easy.  Reading it was no hardship and the prose seems to just take the reader like a stream carrying a leaf, bobbing along easily.  It felt as if this book were written decades ago and reminded me of my favorite classic authors, like Dickens. I loved the subject of whaling and the Arctic and eagerly gobble up any books on this topic.  It's such an alien, foreign adventure and I always love to see how people might have survived.

Now, for what I didn't like about this book which, unfortunately, is a longer list.  I wanted to read more about Cave's survival in the Arctic winter.  While there were a few harrowing descriptions, it wasn't enough for me to understand what he went through and what changed him so profoundly.  I also wanted more of a description of Cave's earlier tragedy, for the same reason.  I felt this area of the book existed solely in hints rather than enough detail to help me understand his motivations.  I also really, really didn't like the paranormal aspect of the book, although it was explained at the end.  I felt this cheapened the story and was an unwelcome intrusion on what should have been a quietly moving existence.

Overall, this book was never better than just okay for me.  I will say, though, that I thought the author wrote in a masterful way and I will be searching out other books by her.

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