Sunday, 21 February 2010

Great Read

Finished February 27
A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks
This is Faulks first novel set in the present and boy does it have a lot packed into it. Taking place over the course of a week in December, from Sunday to Saturday, this follows a number of people, all of whom have some relationship to a dinner party being planned for the Saturday.
We have money-obsessed hedge fund manager John Veals, his wife Vanessa, and their son Finbar; Spike Borowski, a Polish footballer recently signed to a local team, and his new girlfriend; Knocker al-Rashid, lime pickle entrepreneur, his wife Nasim, and the son Hassan, as well as some of Hassan's friends; R Tranter, book reviewer and Victorian writer enthusiast; and Gabriel Northwood, a barrister along with a defendant from his current case, subway driver Jenni Fortune. There are also several other more minor characters. All of these people have their own backstories that we learn as well as their current circumstances. We also see how their lives intersect in interesting ways before the dinner party as well as at the dinner party itself.
There is a lot of social commentary going on here too: we have the economic situation, immigration, prejudice, self aggrandizement, stereotypes and so many people figuring out where they fit in the world.
This is a book with great depth that just flows. This would be a wonderful book club choice as there is just so much to discuss. It is one of those books that you definitely want to reread to see all the lovely things the author has done. I think this may be one of my top books for the year.

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