This is the second Book of Bayern so it does help if you have read the first book, The Goose Girl but it is not entirely necessary as the story itself is quite separate. Hale expands on the world she created in the first book, using a secondary character. In The Goose Girl Enna was one of Ani’s “forest friends”, important as friend and helper. In this book Enna is the main character. After the events of the first film she returned home to the forest, her mother died, and she moved back home with her brother. As this book begins he has found a mysterious vellum parchment in the forest and begins to change, becoming hot-headed and rash. At first he begins to argue against the king, saying the forest folk have been too harshly treated and deserve better, but as soon as word comes of a possible war he swings in behind Bayern and becomes a loyal subject, desiring to go to war on his country’s behalf. And then there is the fact that he can control fire.
I first came across a mention of Robert M. Saplosky on Metafilter and I was a little interested, so I did what any librarian might do, and ordered one of his books. To be honest my expectations weren’t all that high. My personal reading challenge for 2010 might be to read more non-fiction, but at the same time I know that non-fiction often requires more concentration and time than fiction, and then there was the fact that Sapolsky is a neurobiologist, and to be totally honest I really didn’t think it’d be all that interested. But I challenged myself, and was I ever glad that I did because from the opening page this really is a delight to read. …
Dina Dalal seldom indulged in looking back at her life with regret or bitterness, or questioning why things had turned out the way the way they had, cheating her of the bright future everyone had predicted for her when she was in school, when her name was still Dina Shroff.
I’m not really sure where to begin with this review. This is a big book, both in the amount of pages and in the amount of ground it covers. Set in an un-named city in India during the State of Emergency after India’s founding it deals with four main characters whose lives intersect in the house of Dina Dalal who hires two tailors and rents out a room to a young student in an attempt to keep her independence.