Friday 3 August 2007

2 Fiction books

Finished August 3
Ice Trap by Kitty Sewell
Published in Britain a couple of years ago, this was released in Canada this year. The book is set in the far north of Canada, mostly in a town called Moose Creek, and in Cardiff, Wales. Shortly after Dafydd Woodruff qualified as a surgeon, he made a huge mistake in an operation on a child. While he was cleared of any blame, he cannot forgive himself and runs to a job in the Canadian north, covering for a doctor on leave. While there he makes some friends, some enemies and finds some peace. Thirteen year later, when he and his wife are unsuccessfully trying for a child he gets a message that he fathered children back in Canada, and yet he is sure that he didn't, until the DNA test comes through.
While his marriage becomes more fragile, he finds himself trying to make sense of the situation, and returns to Canada to face the situation head on. But he finds more questions than the one he came to solve.
I loved the description of the arctic beauty that Dafydd sees and feels drawn to, as well as his confused thoughts and feelings. The story flowed well and although I could guess some things before they were revealed, it seemed to be natural for the characters to miss things because they were too close to the situation. This is definitely a writer I will look for more from.

Finished August 1
In Distant Fields by Charlotte Bingham
This book is set just before and through World War One. It is set around the upperclass family of the Duke of Eden at his estate Bauders. One of the main characters is Kitty, the friend of the duke's youngest daughter, Partita. Bingham involves all classes of characters however and follows them through the course of the war. From the Duke himself to the son of his stableman, the characters are well-rounded and relate well to each other. While love is always a theme in Bingham's novels, she doesn't just concentrate on the young but shows the intimacy of the Duke and Duchess here as well. The difficult scenes of the war are dealt with at a remove of either letters or after-the-fact accounts, but that does not diminish them.
A lighter read for the summer weekend, but still strong enough to hold the reader's attention and interest.

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