Jack Barrett is on the way with his friend Travis on rainy November night to celebrate the latter’s birthday. On their way, they meet with an accident: a truck runs a red light and rams into their car. This moment in time changes Jack’s life forever. With a whole new outlook on life, Jack quits his job, travels overseas, meets the love of his life Maggy, adopts a little girl Ana with her, and grows on to be a leader with many achievements. However, in the end, you begin to question: what is reality and what is a dream?
The book started off in a promising manner for me but then just lost me mid-way. With Jack being so good and so selfless, he was unrealistic. And then his achievements…well, they were like a Hollywood movie. He saves people during an earthquake, becomes governor even though he doesn’t run for office, then becomes president, manages to stop terrorists who have attacked America, brings peace between the Iranians and the Palestinians.
It was not very believable. The ending didn’t grip me either. It left me with a “what the…” feeling. In fact, the ending was one that I remember being told during my creative writing classes that should be avoided if possible.
Having said that, it could just be me because on Goodreads, I found many people had rated it between 3 to 5. So I’m not sure if I’m missing something. You can find out for yourself by entering the giveaway of this book which is coming up.
Until next time,
My review on this book by Steve Waugh— quite amazing actually! Without being biased (since I am a Steve Waugh fan and have the greatest respect for the guy), it is an interesting read into his life as a cricketer and a person — a husband, a father, a friend, a brother, a son.
While he does have connections with India which he has written about a bit (Udayan, a home for girls with leprosy, for those who are unaware), I also realised that I have connections with him! Hehe…it’s not just that I’m in Sydney…but…I’m living in the suburb next to where he spent his childhood. I’ve never had a high opinion of these suburbs in Bankstown but they went up in my estimation now that I know Steve Waugh spent a great portion of his life here. I think that’s something considering this is the first cricketer I liked since I watched the game and that never ended even though he’s retired!
He’s written about how difficult it was to inform a team-mate who was also a friend that he had been dropped. I think I could understand his predicament in that when you are in a position where you are a sort of mediator between individuals who are your friends and a higher authority (like managers), you have to in many cases do what the management tells you. In doing so, you risk a barrier in the friendship. On the other hand, if you piss of management for the sake of friends, well — good-bye job!!!
I think Tugga was one of the biggest reasons the Aussie team is what it is today. He in many ways made the guys believe in themselves and these were the guys handed on to Ricky Ponting. I’d hate to see the current Aussie team retire (Gilly, McGrath, Marto, Langer, Hayden) and I can only wonder about how competitive they will still be. Of course, on the bright side, they will hopefully still have Punter, Clarkey, Lee, Hussey and some of the other guys.
Anyway, once again, I’d recommend Steve Waugh’s book to cricket lovers — which I guess means none of my friends !!!
Till next time,
Set in 410 C.E (Common Era), Written in the Ashes follows the journey of Hannah, a young Jewish girl who is kidnapped and sold as a slave in Alexandria. She is bought by Tarek who is mesmerised by her beauty. Once there, she is adopted as a slave by Tarek’s master, Alizar. Alizar has plans for Hannah which involve educating her. An honour for a slave who is woman. In addition to having a good grasp over education and being beautiful, Hannah also has a divine voice that can capture a person’s heart. As a result, she starts to perform in front of an audience due to listen to a lecture by Hypatia, one of the greatest female philosophers of the time and keeper of the Great Library of Alexandria. However, these are tumultuous times. The Christians led by Bishop Cyril are in the process of killing those they consider pagans. And that includes anyone who is not Christian. Hannah soon becomes the bishop’s target and is sent away in to hide in the Temple of Isis. She is torn between two men she loves and at the same time embarks on a journey to find The Emerald Tablet to help protect the pagans. The journey eventually leads to the Great Library being burnt. And although everything seems lost after that, it may not necessarily be the case.
Written in Ashes is a historical fiction novel inspired by true events. The Great Library did get burnt. But no one really knows how. The history also has its share of mythology which makes it even more interesting. The book is a whopping 400 pages but is captivating to keep you going at a stretch. For a person who is not really into historical fiction, I enjoyed this journey. Reading about Ancient Greek and Egypt and the rise of religious extremism through this book was extremely enlightening. It took me back to my days of studying about Ancient Greek, Rome and Egypt in school. The only history I actually liked. The author has developed all the characters beautifully. Both the good and bad. You can’t help but feel what they are feeling and you will find yourself holding your breath and feeling their fear. Hannah is a wonderful character. Endearing and strong. Confused yet clear. Intelligent yet rash. She is a mix of so many positives and flaws that make her what she is. The author’s writing style is also very captivating. She took 10 years to write this book and one can see why. It involves a lot of research! In the end, she manages to keep you hooked.
This is a work of true literature.
Until next time,