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28th May
written by Steph
My review of Eleanor Catton's debut novel (which was long-listed for The Orange Prize!) is now up as a web exclusive at BookPage! I was really excited to read this book as I'd heard so many interesting things about it from U.K. book bloggers (it was just released in the U.S. last week). From the first page I was hooked; I loved the writing especially, but above and beyond that, I think Catton has written an extremely bold and provocative novel about girls on the cusp of womanhood. It is not a simple, straightforward narrative, but I relished its ambiguity and its fearlessness. If this is Catton's first novel, then I can't wait to see what she comes up with in the future. My only disappointment is that the book did not appear on the short-list for the Orange Prize, something I consider to be a huge oversight on the judges' part. Read my review at BookPage for a further thoughts, but please do not let this book pass you by! Rating: 4.5 out of 5


  1. 05/30/2010

    I’ve read a lot about this book recently and I’d love to read it. Sounds like a story I’d really enjoy.

  2. 05/30/2010

    Excellent reviews, Steph! This does sound like a really intriguing read, and also reminds me a bit of Hummingbirds, which I think I remember you have a copy of as well. If you do read Hummingbirds, I will be interested in hearing your take on how these two compare. I am really interested in this book. Particularly the fact that the story is a bit non-linear. I will have to try to grab a copy of this one soon. It sounds too good to pass up!!

  3. 05/30/2010

    @ Mrs. B: Yeah, I was really excited to get my hands on this one and was so happy it didn’t disappoint!
    @ zibilee: I do have Hummingbirds and will definitely read it at some point! I didn’t immediately think of the comparison between the two, but I think you’re right that there may be some similarities. I’ll be sure to report back!

  4. I was very surprised that this book didn’t make the short list – I thought it had a good chance of winning. There was the odd point at which I thought this book was trying too hard to be clever, but on the whole I though it was an impressive book. Those Orange judges seem to have got it all wrong tis year.

  5. 06/01/2010

    @ Jackie: Yes, I was surprised (not necessarily in a good way!) with the short list as well! I really was confident this would make it, so I was really disappointed when it didn’t. I was so impressed with this book – I thought the storytelling was so skilled – and it’s too bad the Orange judges didn’t feel the same way!

  6. kay

    Excellent! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it; my copy arrived in the mail yesterday, and though I only read maybe 10 pages of it, I’m already looking forward to read more of it.

  7. 06/05/2010

    @ kay: I can’t wait to hear what you think of it! I think you’ll really be impressed by it!

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