Saturday, March 22, 2008

Seven Daughters and Seven Sons

Seven Daughters and Seven Sons by Barbara Cohen and Bahija Lovejoy is a retelling of a classic Iraqi folktale passed down orally since the eleventh century. The story is about Buran, the daughter of a poor merchant who was "cursed" with having seven daughters. Buran's rich uncle, however, was blessed with having seven sons which means that they are able to go out into the world and successfully bring income back to the family. Buran decides to help her own family by disguising herself as a man and launching on a trip to become a successful merchant. While Buran predicted that she would be absolutely successful in business, she could not have guessed that she would fall in love. However many risks Buran has taken in her life to help her family, she is unwilling to risk losing her friend who could become her lover, so she returns to her family. Read this book if you're interested in classic folktales, if you like fairy tale elements, or if you're interested in Middle Eastern Culture. I give it an 8 out of 10.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Practical Magic

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman is the story of two sisters, Sally and Gillian Owen, who couldn't be more different. When the girls' parents die, the girls must move in with their strange aunts who live in a large, creepy house and meddle in the love lives of women in the town. Sally and Gillian grow up being taunted by the other children in the town for being strange and weird. Everything that goes wrong is always blamed on the Owens' girls. When they get older, spirited and carefree Gillian runs off with a man while practical and sensible Sally stays behind to raise a family. When Sally's husband dies, she takes her two daughters (also very different from each other) to New York in order to allow them to live a normal life. When something terribly wrong happens to her sister, everything that Sally has worked for in New York might be at risk. I picked up this book, because I loved the film so much. I would have to say that the film was better (for once) and the changing of verb tense in the book drove me a little insane (maybe just cause I'm an English major). All-in-all a fun, quick read. Read this book if you like magical realism, if you like stories about sisters, or if you're interested in a quick, fun read. I give it a 6.5 out of 10.