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review 2018-06-19 16:44
The Constant Gardener / John Le Carré
The Constant Gardener - John le Carré

Tessa Quayle-young, beautiful, and dearly beloved to husband Justin-is gruesomely murdered in northern Kenya. When Justin sets out on a personal odyssey to uncover the mystery of her death, what he finds could make him not only a suspect but also a target for Tessa's killers.

A master chronicler of the betrayals of ordinary people caught in political conflict, John le Carré portrays the dark side of unbridled capitalism as only he can. In The Constant Gardener he tells a compelling, complex story of a man elevated through tragedy as Justin Quayle-amateur gardener, aging widower, and ineffectual bureaucrat-discovers his own natural resources and the extraordinary courage of the woman he barely had time to love.

 

***2018 Summer of Spies***

So its summer, finally and at last, here in the Great White North. It’s time for some summer fun reading about espionage! This is my first venture into Le Carré’s work and I enjoyed it.

I had expected a rather light & frothy thriller and instead I got a serious examination of big pharma—its use of the unfortunate as test subjects and its desire to put profit well ahead of human kindness. Also explored is the nature of colonialism in Kenya, reminding me a bit of The Poisonwood Bible. Heavy subjects for a popular novel!

I also got a reminder on the nature of marriage—those of us on the outside of a marriage really have no idea what’s happening on the inside. On the outside, Sandy and Gloria Woodrow look like the stable, steady couple and Justin and Tessa Quayle look like a precarious, unmatched union. The book begins from Sandy Woodrow’s point of view and quickly disabuses the reader of the notion that his marriage is solid. Woodrow’s constant search for sex outside his marriage was tiresome and it was a relief when I reached the point where Le Carré switched to Justin’s POV. There we discover that, far from being unstable, Justin and Tessa trusted and loved each other a great deal.

Thereafter followed the labyrinthine machinations that I had been expecting. Who knows what, who is hiding something, what can be done about it all? I can definitely see why The Guardian lists it as one of their 1000 recommended books.

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text 2018-06-11 17:48
Reading progress update: I've read 149 out of 496 pages.
The Constant Gardener - John le Carré

 

Just as this book is really getting going & getting good, I have to set it aside to work on other books, due sooner at the library.

 

At least I'll have this one spurring me on to get those finished & get back to Justin and the investigation of Tessa's death.

 

 

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review 2018-06-08 19:04
Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: A Master Gardener's Guide to Planting, Seed Saving, and Cultural History - William Woys Weaver

An excellent, and extensive book of heirloom vegetables (almost 500 pages!). The author has been saving old vegetable varieties his entire life, with some of the seeds from his grandfather from the 1930's! He also includes a very comprehensive history of people saving seeds. The list of plants is very extensive, from artichokes to yams. Each vegetable gets a thorough discussion.
This is the kind of book that you want to read over and over again, especially when one is stuck inside on a cold winter day, and are dreaming of what to plant in the spring.

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text 2018-06-07 20:10
TBR Thursday
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World - Alfred Birnbaum,Haruki Murakami
The Constant Gardener - John le Carré
Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson
Wizard's First Rule - Terry Goodkind
Dora Doralina - Rachel de Queiroz

I am soooo close to finishing Macbeth by Jo Nesbo!!  This evening I will conquer it, I swear!

 

It's due at the library first.  Then, I'll be working on the books above--I've put them in the order that they are due.  I'll be glad to be caught up and be able to read according to whim, rather than being date-driven.

 

Have a great weekend!

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text 2018-05-30 14:57
Reading progress update: I've read 74 out of 496 pages.
The Constant Gardener - John le Carré

***2018 The Summer of Spies***

 

Believe it or not, I have never read anything by John Le Carré ever before.  He wastes no time, with a body on the very first pages!

 

Maybe its just the African setting, but its making me think of another recently read book, The Poisonwood Bible.  Probably because of the colonial attitudes of the main character.

 

 

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