April 8th, 2010

[info]seanlily in [info]book_discuss

My last couple of reads

Impossible by Nancy Werlin

I really wanted to love Impossible by Nancy Werlin, but in the end I didn’t. It had many great parts but overall didn’t come together for me.

Lucy Scarborough is a foster child and at 17 she learns the truth behind her mother’s abandonment. Lucy is the latest in the line of Scarborough women who must fulfill 3 tasks, as mentioned in a version of the ballad Scarborough Fair. After a really quiet normal life, everything changes in a night for Lucy. Her mother returns for a visit, apparently crazy and throwing bottles, and after the prom Lucy is raped by her date, who then dies in a car accident. Lucy learns that she is the next in line to be consort to the Elfin King, after giving birth to another girl, who will have a similar fate unless Lucy can complete the 3 tasks. With the help of her foster parents and friend/boyfriend Zach, it’s a race against time.

I loved the premise and I liked how the Elfin King and the fairy world is just there but out of sight and I liked how it was just sort of ordinary, yet in the end it felt very detached. I didn’t feel the urgency of Lucy’s tasks and the end was just there, and it was over. Didn’t live up to my expectations.

My Journey to Lhasa by Alexandra David-Neel

I am in awe of Alexandra David-Neel. In 1923 at the age of 55 she and a companion trekked through Tibet to become the first Western woman to go to Lhasa.  She traveled over mountains, through snow, surviving on butter tea and tsampa (a barley), part of it without a map, beset by bandits but helped by the locals. She was in Tibet for 8 months, 2 of it in Lhasa. Alexandra had been a student of Buddhism, spoke the language, and had a deep interest in the culture.  She writes about politics, culture, history, being chased by dogs, getting lost, telling fortunes for food and the awe she felt when she finally made it to Lhasa.

My Journey to Lhasa is not a light-hearted tale, she goes into a lot of details about things, but it’s an interesting read about a time and place and a woman who did what she wanted to do.