Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch
As a teen, Jaffy embarks on a whaling ship that has a secondary mission: to capture one of the dragons rumoured to live on an island in the West Indies. It is an eventful trip. British author Carol Birch tells the tale in Jaffy's voice, looking back with the wisdom of years, sitting in the aviary he created.
"You should hear my nightingales. Here in the seedy depths of a Rathcliffe Highway night, they carol like angels. There are no words for that high sweetness. They carol to me that all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well (Jaffy Brown, see, became quite well read), yet I know the tiger's mouth awaits. Come what may, whatever we may say, the tiger's mouth awaits. Every little second is the last chance to savour the time that remains. How I swam here to this rock I'll never know. A canary lands before me on a cherry branch, a jonquil, pure deep yellow."
Jamrach's Menagerie is an adventure story, a survival story, and an exploration of friendship, grief and survival. I loved it.
Readalike: The Life of Pi by Yann Martel.