Friday, October 20, 2017

November Book

Having not read any of Jamie Ford’s other works, Love and Other Consolation Prizes was a complete surprise, and an enchanting one at that. It’s a story that unfolds like a mystery, with readers trying to put together the pieces of Ernest’s life in the past and match it up to the picture of his present, while retaining all of the heart you’d expect in a novel about first loves. The characters too feel completely real – good humour, bad decisions and all – and even if some of the connections made between the people and places involved can feel a little stretched at times, it never really dips below the line of unbelievability, keeping readers firmly engaged and completely engrossed throughout.
Ford also has a really subtle understanding of time and place and it serves him a great advantage here. Not only does it allow him to root his novel’s distinct periods in their own history, complete with all the attitudes and societal opinions colouring decisions and actions, but he also honours his own Chinese heritage in his characters, their circumstances and their lives, and it makes for a remarkably refreshing read about the kind of real-life experiences at the turn of the 20th century that often went untold.
Love and Other Consolation Prizes is a gem of a novel, and one that’s worth your time. It’s an incredible story of great scope that’s vividly brought to life by Ford’s lyrical writing, combining strong characters and a detailed sense of place and time to create a sweet and moving tale that will stick with you.

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