Sunday, February 14, 2010

The View From Brindley Mountain & Small Kingdoms

The View From Brindley Mountain by C. Eugene Scruggs

Pages: 532
Publisher: BookSurge, 2009
Review Copy received from publisher

This book is a trip down memory lane. Cullen is a town in Alabama that was founded for immigrants from Germany. As I read through the book I watched the town grow and evolve. I have always loved reading about this era. Some of the things were familiar to me even though I wasn't born until the latter 50's. Growing up on my great-grandmother's farm without a lot of modern conveniences gave me the experience of watching things evolve in my own life. This is a trip back in time to what some may say was an easier time but in reality was just as difficult but maybe less stressful in many ways. I felt like I was in one of the little towns surrounding where I grew up, a town where life was a little slower in pace.
Small Kingdoms – Anastasia Hobbet
Pages: 344
Publisher: Permanent Press, 2010
Received review copy from publisher

This is the story of five people whose lives usually would not cross. This story is set in Kuwait after Saddam Hussein has taken over. We are given an opportunity to view the different lives, prejudices, and cultures that shape these people. For example, Kit is the American wife of a businessman. They have moved to Kuwait with their two children. Kid has built walls around her to keep her safe and protected in this foreign land. She feels like a fish out of water in this strange place and must reach out to total strangers if she is to survive.

Hanaan is considered one of the lower class people. She is Palestinian by birth. She at one time was a linguist at the university. It is because of this we meet Theo. He is introduced to him as he shows up for his first appointment with Haanan to learn Arabic. She is considered an outcast because of her Palestinian heritage as well as the fact that she brings men into her home. It doesn’t matter that it is to teach them Arabic. She is looked down on.

The fourth person is Mufeeda. She is considered to be upper class. Her husband is a doctor so she has a lot to live up to as far as the duties of a wife of this class. She is a devout Muslim and questions her husband’s religious beliefs. She has a servant/cook who seems ill-suited to her job. She is a cook in Mufeeda’s household. It seems that bad luck follows her everywhere. She is from India and she is holding a secret that will involve all of the characters if she is to survive. The stories of each character are intertwined in such a way that we get a good snapshot of life in Kuwait. We see the prejudices based on where the people came from and their religious beliefs. Each of these people will risk everything they have to help Emanuella, the young cook. It could be very costly to all involved. This was a good book. I felt it was well written. It presented you with one character and their point of view.

No comments:

Post a Comment