Another good Bryce Courtenay story, Four Fires is nonetheless a difficult story to listen to, especially the lengthy recapitulation of the horrors of his Borneo POW experiences as recounted by the protagonist's father. The tale's strength lies, however, in the complex, somewhat dysfunctional, but still powerful family relationships. Definitely a worthwhile read, which I found enriched by Humphrey Bower's performance and vocal characterizations (although he may be improving in this regard, I object to his accents for white Americans--nearly as bad as most BBC actors').
Considering how very little is known about Mary Magdalene, this is a masterful imagining of her story. It brings to life what it must have been like to be one of Jesus' disciples, and their struggles to understand Him, their fear at His arrest, and their desolation at His death. The one part I could have done without was the too-lengthy post-resurrection story of her attempts to find her daughter, and their many mis-communications: it was long and somewhat tedious. I understand its necessity in the story but just didn't find it compelling.
Lovely book: very evocative. Made me realize how impoverished most American eating habits are--plus it should have come with samples!
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