Thursday, 13 March 2008

"Don't judge a book by its cover". Part II.

I did a quick entry about this saying (which drives me nutty) a while ago, you can read it here and features an excellent book. I completely judge books by their covers, the same way myself and everyone else judges packaging, whether it's food or toiletries and so on. I have recently finished 'The Russian Concubine' by Kate Furnivall (bought purely on its cover and title) and it has to be one of the best books I have ever read. There are other versions of this cover and I wouldn't have bought the book if I wasn't actually being offered this particular one. The colours caught my attention instantly, which I believe is completely from being in fashion! You can't help but constantly look for interesting colours, combinations and prints. From the title, I had a feeling it would be a bit like Memoirs of a Geisha (excellent book, much better than the film!), but with a Russian girl as the main character which made me very curious! However, it's nothing like Memoirs of a Geisha, and is nothing about a Russian girl being a concubine, it completely exceeded my primary thoughts!

It is set in late 1920's China, and tells the story about Lydia Ivanova, a young Russian girl and her beautiful mother who were exiled from Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution. Lydia is the main character and the story tells us about her struggles to survive in an alien country while falling in love with a Chinese Communist. I honestly can't describe it all in a sentence, I don't think I've done the greatest job so far! ... but Lydia is such a fantastic character, and oozes superheroine qualities, although I don't think she is actually meant to be portrayed as one!

It was so hard putting this book down, each page revealed something new to the story. One frustrating thing though, there was a lot of lies and betrayal throughout the story, and part of me wishes that it 'all came out' in the end, so certain characters knew how things seemed to 'magically' happen, and that they should be thanking certain people, but it didn't. Maybe I'm too used to happy endings. Although at the same time, I wouldn't say the ending wasn't happy. Am I really confusing you yet? I'm trying my best not to reveal too much!

Overall, this is definitely a must-read book, there was some Russian speech which made me realise what a beautiful language it is and I really want to learn it! But unfortunately, by scientific facts, I am too old to easily grasp a new language. I used to do Psychology and my tutor taught me that the best age to learn a new language is when you are 5, somewhere around that age! The ending was left with an opening for a second novel (a bit annoying!), which I think the author is currently doing... and my final words are that sometimes you should most definitely judge a book by its cover!
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