Monday, October 30, 2006

Book review - Birds without wings

This book took me a while to read. This is for a few reasons, firstly its really fat (well fat by may standards - about 625 pages), secondly we have not been ready much recently been absorbed by series 5 of six feet under that we bought with us - only 4 episodes left I want to know what happens but do not want it to end!!. Thirdly I found parts of it hard going.

When we were in Italy with Joe's parents earlier this year his mum was reading this book. I was intrigued to read it as she kept giggling to herself as she read.

My history has never been very good so forgive me if I get this all wrong. The book is based (mostly) in a small village in Turkey. Its a happy simple village with Muslims and Christians living happily together. It follows a few families of the village and tells quaint little stories.

The narration of the book keeps changing which at first I found a little off putting but soon got used to. Each chapter heading tells you who is talking so it is easy to follow. As well as following the life of this little Turkish village it also follows the life of Mustafa Kemal. These are the parts I found hard going. I found it so unrelated to begin with. I enjoyed reading about the goings on of this little town and was not to interested in politics. However once the war starts things begin to change. The boys of the village go off to war for many years. Leaving the women and old men to fend for themselves causing poverty and hunger. There is a lot of detail on the war following the boys from the village as well as a good outline of what is happening to that area of the world. This is were Mustafa Kemal and this small village become linked. All the Christians are sent off to Greece and the Greek Muslims sent to this village. It shows the impact this has and follows a few surviving members of the village in to old age.

If you have read and enjoyed Captain Corelli's Mandolin I think you will enjoy this. I would even say it is better. You really link with the families and get a good understanding of what was happening at the time. It has many funny snippets I can see what Glenys was laughing at. It is very well written and witty with some great observations about different charters.

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