16 Apr 2015



BACK COVER BLURB: Three very different men struggle with thoughts of belonging, loss, identity and love as they attempt to find a place for themselves in Britain. The Magistrate tries to create new memories and roots, fusing a wandering exploration of Edinburgh with music. The Maestro, a depressed, quixotic character, sinks out of the real world into the fantastic world of literature. The Mathematician, full of youth, follows a carefree, hedonistic lifestyle, until their three universes collide.

FIRST SENTENCE {Edinburgh: The Magistrate}: There was a knock on the door of the last house on Craigmillar Castle Road. 

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 93}: Chenai walked up to him and hugged him. It was like she was trying to draw poison out of a wound. He almost cried, but men don't cry, real men never cry. He felt the weight of his age pressing down on every joint as he released her. His little girl giving him relationship advice, the wheel of life turning.

SOURCE: Received for review from the author.

MY THOUGHTS: Revolving around three different characters, all from Zimbabwe, all far from their homeland, all facing their own challenges, their individual stories entwining as the novel progresses.

Though set in Edinburgh - its landmarks ingeniously mapped out by the author courtesy of the music played through The Magistrate's Walkman - The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician also lends itself to an insight into the politics and economics of a not too distant Zimbabwe.

A very human story that isn't afraid to deal with issues both big and small. For me the most memorable (and perhaps poignant) being the case of 'The Magistrate' in which the reader gets to consider a man, a 'somebody' in the land he left behind, reduced to a life of housework and 'menial jobs' in his adopted home.

Amongst the best novels about migrants and the plights that they face that I have read. The only concern I have (small though it may be) being that the characters were each written in a very different style which though great as a means of setting them apart as individuals somehow just didn't work well for me.


Suko said...

This book sounds beautiful and profound, Tracy. Sensitive and well-written review!

Kelly said...

Having been alerted to this book on Yvonne's blog, I've looked forward to getting your take on it as well.

It sounds beautiful and one that will have to go on my list to read.

Kelly said...

Thinking about it a little more... would it make a good choice for my book club when my turn to pick comes around again? Maybe spark some interesting discussion?

Gina R said...

Wow. It sounds like this one really spoke to you Tracy. Glad for it! I'm not certain it's for me but definitely delight in the share.

Claudine G. said...

When I read the blurb, I didn't feel like this book was for me, but reading the memorable moment made me change my mind. I like the part about the weight of his age pressing down on his joints.

Brian Joseph said...

This sounds really good.

I need to read more books about folks who are from cultures other then my own.

Brandi Kosiner said...

Does sound like it handles an important topic in a good way

Sherry Ellis said...

Those are three interesting professions to group together. Fascinating concept.

Betty Manousos said...

hi tracy, thank you so much for your honest review.

this sounds like something i'd enjoy.

have a relaxing weekend~

big hugs!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Although it didn't completely work for you, I might enjoy it. I like that you say it feels like an honest portrayal. Brilly review.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I have been waiting to see what your reservations were about this story and I have to agree with your observations, even though I am still only half way through the book myself. At the moment 'The Magistrate' really does seem to be stealing the show for me, so I am hoping that the other two characters will come to the fore sooner rather than later.

Kelly, I don't know what Tracy thinks, but I suspect that this book will have the makings of an excellent choice for a book club discussion :)

Thnaks for sharing your thoughts and sorry I don't read a little faster, so that we might have compared views sooner!

Have a great weekend both of you.


Tracy Terry said...

Like Yvonne I believe that this holds enough material to make for a good book club read. On the whole a group that enjoys debating characters rather than plot I should think my book group would enjoy this one for the characters alone.

Literary Feline said...

I am glad you liked this one, Tracy. As I read the description, I became more and more interested--and then your review! Now I know I have to seek this book out.