By Salman Rushdie
In this novel within a novel, author Salman Rushdie pays homage to the 1605 Spanish classic Don Quixote. In Rushdie’s story, a character called Sam DuChamp is an average writer who creates Quichotte, an aging salesman who is obsessed with television and has fallen in love with a TV star. Quichotte, along with his imaginary son, sets off through America to win the heart of Miss Salma R. We learn about Sam and Quichotte’s lives and discover how similar both their personal quests are. I believe that everyone is going to have different experiences with this book as Rushdie is a complex storyteller. I often found myself being swamped with too much detail. With the odd sci-fi tangent, the reader should be prepared for a wild ride. This book has been nominated for the Booker Prize short list.
Allegra in Three Parts
By Suzanne Daniel
This is the story of 11-year-old Allegra. Her life is continuously challenged with the family that loves her, but do not speak to each other. She spends her time trying not to upset anyone and wonders about her deceased mother, who no-one talks about. One grandmother is a hard working machinist, who loves to grow vegetables and cook. She wants Allegra to be a doctor. Next door is her other grandmother, who is a free-spirit. She is heavily involved with the women’s movement, loves to grow flowers and keeps her tears in bottles. Her father is living above the garage and is not given any say as to how to raise Allegra. I enjoyed this book as it was filled with funny, sad and uplifting moments – a window on life in the 70s.