Wednesday, 13 February 2013

April 2012 - The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna

Many people found this book hard to get into, lots had to push to read past the first few chapters. We thought there would be more about the War in Sierra Leone, which we would have found interesting, but we were left disappointed with the lack of cultural reference. Not all of the characters were well liked but a few people couldn't wait to find out more about them and the crazy things people do for love!
Most readers felt that the research that had been done for the book had been done well, the people and their situations made the plot seem more believable – Aide workers didn't care enough, Elias was two faced. The author made it easy to picture life in both the past and present.
Julius was unemotional, thought by most, he seemed to be obsessed with women but his story didn't flow. We thought that it was a random link between what Adrian done and what Elias done when they fell in love. The local characters such as Kai and his family were much more convincing. Adrian’s story started well but lost impact and readers were no longer gripped.
As stated above we would have loved to have heard more about the war, which would have stood out, Adrian’s nightmares showed the monstrosity of the war. The story behind Agnes, her family and her son in law, was horrific, and most likely the most shocking part of the book.  It would have been nice to hear more about Agnes towards the end as living in her situation was not easy and showed in her frequent visits to the hospital. The strength of women was a strong point throughout the book. Kai was also a role model, always keeping others happy regardless of his own feelings.
Most members would not read anything by this author again, although most struggled to get into the book, some found her writing style began to flow towards the end. It became more poetic and descriptive as the story progressed.
The ending tied up most loose ends so the group were fairly happy, we had a small group of just 7 members scoring this book an average of 7 out of ten with a high score of 8.5 and a low of 5.

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