Book Review The Light Between Oceans ML Stedman

I very much enjoyed this book. Tom is a lighthouse keeper on the island of Janus off the west coast of Australia. He is recently returned from the First World War. In spite of some psychological damage he is a good, strong man. He marries Isabel and takes her back to Janus where they live a happy though isolated life. Isabel’s tragedy is she has three miscarriages and her longing for a baby is killing her inside. One day a boat washes up on the island containing a dead man and a very much alive baby….
This book is beautifully written with exquisite descriptions of nature. It is deeply sad but with flashes of hope…much like life.

Book Review China Mieville Un-Lun-Dun

I did not enjoy this book. I have tried to like China Mieville. After all he is so trendy. He wears black. He is a Marxist. He works out. All very cool. He even teaches creative writing so you would expect his books to be good. I read The City and the City and I didn’t like it. This one is a children’s book but the theme is similar. There is a strange parallel London which can be travelled to by means of various portals. This London is where the old, unwanted things of London go. There is rubbish, bus conductors, smog and dead people. Two girls, one of whom is the chosen one, the Shwazzi, find their way to this other London where they meet a range of strange characters and do battle with monsters. The book is imaginative indeed. The fantasy world is grotesque with echoes of Alice in Wonderland. The writing is simple with mostly dialogue and short descriptions. The characters are undeveloped and uninteresting. I found it impossible to care about them. There seems a lack of warmth in the book. I wish I was cool enough to like China Mieville’s work but alas I am not.