Sunday, December 02, 2007
A Little Sunday Reading v. 5
One of the few books I read in 2007 that was actually written in 2007 is Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones. It is easily one of the best I've read all year. A 2007 Booker shortlist winner, the book is described as

On a copper-rich tropical island shattered by war, where the teachers have fled with almost everyone else, only one white man choose to stay behind: the eccentric Mr. Watts, object of much curiosity and scorn, who sweeps out the ruined school-house and begins to read to the children each day from Charles Dickens's classic Great Expectations. So begins this rare, original story about the abiding strength that imagination, once ignited, can provide. While artillery echoes in the mountains, thirteen-year-old Matilda and her peers are riveted by the adventures of a young orphan named Pip in a city called London, a city whose contours soon become more real than their own blighted landscape. As Mr. Watts says, "A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe." Soon come the rest of the villagers, initially threatened, finally inspired to share tales of their own that bring alive the rich mythology of their past. But in a ravaged place where even children are forced to live by their wits and daily survival is the only objective, imagination can be a dangerous thing.

The story was beautiful. It made you understand the tragedy of war and the beauty of reading. Matilda, the young heroine, escaped a troubled family and political life by throwing herself into a relationship with a special teacher and a special book. I was moved by her relationship with both. I'm not sure how Jones managed but the book was both devastating and hopeful.

I read the book at the same time as Peter. Read his review here.

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I'm adding this to my TBR list. Sounds wonderful.

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