Page Turners Lockdown Travel Dreams
Readers Transported To Another Time, Space Or Place
Another month, another missed Page Turners meeting, as lockdown in Wales continued into June. Part of the restrictions imposed on us all have been travel limitations. However, many books enable readers to be transported to another time, space and/or place and to experience new and different cultures, scenery and people. The Page Turners were asked to nominate a book they had read which had taken them on a journey to a different, exciting or new place. Without stepping onto a train, plane, car or liner, join us on our trips and maybe find inspiration for your next book or holiday choice…
Alexander McCall Smith’s “No 1 Ladies Detective Agency” was May’s choice. Having been a volunteer teacher for 2 years in Botswana, the book brought back memories for May of the warmth of the Botswana people, glimpses of their way of life and the desert scenery. May felt very privileged to be able to spend time in such a wonderful country.
Sandra chose “Four Seasons in Rome” by Anthony Doerr, a travelogue of the author’s time in Rome. Sandra loved Rome when she visited and felt Doerr’s descriptions of Rome were breath-taking, vivid and real. There is also an insight into events on St Peter’s square after the death of Pope John Paul II.
Babs’s choice was “A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry, set in India in 1975. Babs believes the characters were well portrayed, in a country where caste, gender, poverty and corruption made every day “a fine balance” between misery and hope. Subsequently Babs visited India which she describes as, not so much a holiday, as an assault on all the senses: the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and emotions she experienced will never be forgotten.
Another novel by Rohinton Mistry was chosen by Jenny. “Family Matters” portrays the fictionalised life of a Parsi family in present day Bombay. Jenny thought it was a very moving novel, bringing alive the colours, smells and overpowering atmosphere of a frenetic Bombay. Jenny dreams of visiting Mistry’s India to experience his India for herself.
Another novel set in India was chosen by Tess. This is the longest novel in the English language so stamina will be needed if you decide to pick this book up. The novel is set four years after Independence and is Vikram Seth’s “A Suitable Boy”. Tess claims Seth takes you through Indian traditions and culture with charming endearment, as well as laying bare its faults. If we are still locked down for the next 3 months, this is an ideal choice to keep you inside and occupied!
“Clouds from Both Sides” by Julie Tullis was Lynne’s selection. The book tells the story of how Julie, at the age of 45, became the first British woman to climb an 8,000m Himalayan mountain. It’s an exhilarating account of her courage and adventures in various mountain environments around the world. You’re never too old to climb a mountain!
Sylvia chose Barbara Kingsolver’s novel “Las Laguna”, which is set in Mexico City and Asheville, North Carolina. Having been to both places, Sylvia enjoyed this “great read”, reliving the epic journey described in the book. Sylvia particularly liked reading about the enigmatic Frida Kahlo whose work she finds fascinating.
Helen’s nomination was a “coffee table” book, “Antarctica” by Mike Lucas. It is a lavishly illustrated account of the geology, history, climate and wild life which makes up this area. Helen believes the book is totally inspirational and an evocative read. Helen is lucky enough to have travelled to this continent, and although the panoramas in the book are spectacular, she feels they do not do justice to the reality…..but in lockdown to travel to an ice-covered continent, courtesy of Mr Lucas, would be special.
“One should always have something sensational to read on a train,” wrote Oscar Wilde. I hope you will find a “sensational” book in the list above, that will find its way into your luggage when you pack for your next journey….