I seem to have gotten my grove back and have gotten some reading in. I've finished two books, and am two thirds of the way through another. I also have some nice new additions to the library I hope to share later this week.
Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear is the fourth novel featuring detective Maisie Dobbs. I came to this series late, and have been hanging on to the fourth and fifth installments. I don't read many mysteries so when I'm in the mood these fit the bill. I keep saying and I'll say it again - the first book in the series is still my favorite. I loved getting to know Maisie and her history and it did not feel like a traditional mystery book. This book, however, is very much about the case at hand and I missed reading about Maisie's life outside of work. Not that there is ever much of that, but even less here. Maisie seemed a bit lonely to me in this book. Billy was not around as much due to family, and it just seemed as though Maisie was alone quite a bit and there was a slight air of melancholy. I was feeling as though I wished Maisie had a girlfriend nearby to relax with. I found this to be an entertaining read, and made me wonder what Winspear would do with Maisie next.
The second book I finished was A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. I was not a big fan of The Kite Runner, but the subject of this book - women - intrigued me, and I would have read it even if I were not discussing it with my book club later this month. I found this to be a completely engrossing book. I think it was Karen who wrote recently about books that you read without looking at page numbers or clocks - this was one of those for me. I almost couldn't sleep one night I was so wrapped up in it.
I really did not read any detailed reviews or descriptions of this novel before I read it. I am glad that I went into it without any expectations. I will say only that the novel takes place in Afghanistan from 1959 to 2003 and is about two women whose lives intersect. There is great sorrow and a bit a joy. It is shocking to read about life in Afghanistan - public life, life during the war, and life within the home. Shocking to read this account of repression and life's hardships. I felt Hosseini did a wonderful job of writing from a woman's point of view. If you want to read a happy book, this isn't it. But it is an important and eye-opening book and happens to be a page-turner as well. Highly recommended.