EIGHT MONTHS ON GHAZZAH STREET: Hilary Mantel

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EIGHT MONTHS ON GHAZZAH STREET: Hilary Mantel

EIGHT MONTHS ON GHAZZAH STREET: Hilary Mantel

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Poco più che ventenne, per anni, si dedicò a un grande romanzo che ha come personaggi alcuni protagonisti di primo piano della Rivoluzione francese. This certainly isn't a one-sided book: the Western company-men run the gamut from unashamed racists to those like Frances' husband who want to rise to the challenge of building projects and who also cannot turn down the incredible salaries they're offered. admits, after a few bootleg drinks, that he'd rather have his wife and children brought up in the controlled environment of Saudi Arabia than in a Western culture which decreases his control over them. You might as well say you should respect the customs of cannibals or acknowledge that slavery is legitimate if it's part of the local culture, because the Wahabi perversion of Islam is as benighted and savage. Smoked glass was not dark enough; a Saudi "family car" came with curtains in the back window, with just enough of a gap to give the driver a view of the road behind him.

There is the boredom and paranoia resulting from the narrator being confined to the four walls of her apartment because her husband accepted a contract in Saudi Arabia, and she, as a woman, isn’t allowed to work there. They're the smartest kids in their class, and they forge an intimacy when Connell picks his mother up from Marianne's house. Being kicked out of Saudi Arabia is one of the better outcomes; the worst is having to be in a jail or a hospital, where things happen, things that you can never prove, so officially, they never happened. But the death isn't ruled a murder—and might never have been if one of the gang—a cadging sybarite named Bunny Corcoran—hadn't shown signs of cracking under the secret's weight. Hillary has very successfully managed to expose the many frictions between Islam and the West in this unique and captivating novel.Although this book is listed as a novel, it is a very authentic depiction of life of an expatriate wife in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s. Parts of the book might be considered racist today, but then I guess that was how people were in the '80s.

Rumours circulate throughout the expat community of the terrible things that have befallen other Western women who have gone out inappropriately dressed or been found in the company of a man they weren’t married to. My disinter lived in Abu Dhabi for many years, and while that emirate is certainly more westernised than Saudi, there are parallels, especially in expat life. She is then told that in fact the flat is used by a junior member of the royal family for illicit trysts, but she comes to suspect that is simply a tale put out to satisfy a foreigner's curiosity. We get a few excerpts but given that the narration followed Frances very closely most of the time, the diary didn’t seem to add any new perspective. The Brat Pack meets The Bacchae in this precious, way-too-long, and utterly unsuspenseful town-and-gown murder tale.

I was completely drawn in by her story and everything that happens to her as she attempts to adapt to life in Saudia Arabia.

The unlikeable characters weren’t a problem for me, because there was enough other interest and good writing. In fact, this gothic part of the story is almost a subplot, or a symbol for the much more mundane corruption that is portrayed throughout the novel. Mantel was so masterful in evoking a suffocating environment that the suspense soa(u)red halfway into claustrophobia.There’s been another bit of a hiatus here, I am suddenly really struggling to get anything done on the blog at all. Op elk nivo klopt deze roman: qua opbouw, qua karakters, qua psychologie, qua thema's, qua motieven. What I did like about the book was the foreboding and claustrophobic atmosphere full of secrets and corruption. Adopting a new style of dress was hardly something to complain about, and the fact that men could not speak to me was something of a relief. The tension in the building grows when maintenance men arrive and the sleazy landlord starts knocking on Frances’ door.



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