Commuting to Seattle by bus five days a week gives me a lot of reading time. Here’s what I read on the bus in November:
There There by Tommy Orange. It was one of those books I loved, but wanted more. I want more book, I want a sequel, I want more of the story, more, more, more, but it was beautiful and tragic and a needed voice. This story centers around the Oakland powwow that takes place at the end of the novel, those who are a part of it, those who want to be a part of it, and those that bring in harm. You have multiple character perspectives and as you read you start to see the connections being made. This book had brilliance and poetry in its commentary on the lives of urban Indians. The author also brings in history and stereotype and blows everything wide open.
The Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras. I don’t know why I struggled with this book at first; it wasn’t until about 100 pages in that I started to feel for the characters. The novel is set in Bogota during Pablo Escobar’s “reign” and centers around the Santiagos –Mama, Papa, Cassandra, and Chula. The chapters are narrated by the youngest daughter, seven year old Chula, and the maid, Petrona, alternating back and forth. Mostly it’s told from Chula’s perspective, and while I loved this young girl’s sense of imagination, I really wanted to know more about Petrona, who forms a close relationship with her. Once I was in the novel I really started to understand how the terror the country was facing saw no boundaries. Everyone was afraid of something, everyone was just trying to survive, and rightly so. One of my favorite lines that really hit me was when Mama heads to the Hills where Petrona lives: “When there’s a tempest, it comes down on all sides equally.”
What are you reading on your commute? Tag your reads on social media #splbusreads
~ posted by Kara P.