Thursday, May 15, 2008

Review - A Delightful Compendium of Consolation by Burton L. Visotzky

A Delightful Compendium of Consolation is a fictional account based on actual documents discovered in the Cairo Geniza that date back to the ninth century. Several of the characters in the novel are real people, while others are fictional creations. Visotzky organizes his book as a series of letters between four of the main characters detailing the reaction of a family to a daughter's choice to run away with the man she loves, and the daughter's adventures away from the family.

There were parts of this novel that I truly enjoyed. However, I often found the structure to be frustrating - just as I was getting into the story, the narrator changed, which disrupted the flow. I eventually found myself skimming through to get to the parts about Karimah, which I thought were the most interesting. I think my main problem was that I could never quite lose myself in the story because of the abrupt changes. I did find much of the historical information fascinating, and enjoyed learning more about a period of time I know little about. I am not sure I can say that I enjoyed this novel, but I can certainly appreciate the opportunity to read it. Thanks Early Reviewers and Ben Yehuda press!

Finished: 05/13/08
Rating: 6/10
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers program

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