This book is written in 2, (or 3?), parts, and I fell in love with the first part. It’s a somewhat tragic but romantic story of a kid making his way in post-war London with a fascinating cast of characters.

But the rest of the book is weird and disjointed. While the first part is completely narrated by the kid, the second part is, I think, sometimes narrated by him but sometimes narrated by an omniscient voice that just appears to narrate sometimes. Or maybe the narrator is still the, (now grown up), kid but he somehow knows stuff that he probably shouldn’t know. I’m not sure if this was done on purpose or if Michael Ondaatje wasn’t sure how to put the rest of the story together. Maybe, because the kid’s life is disjointed and doesn’t turn out how we want it Mr. Ondaatje is doing the same thing with the way he tells the story. If that is the case it was not satisfying to me as the reader, but did disturb my perception of the story to mirror how the narrator’s life was shaken up.

Want to read it yourself? Get from Amazon:

Celtina: La terre des Promesses

The library is offering bundles of books pre-picked for certain groups of people, so I picked one up for the 8-year old. And it had this novel Celtina: La terre des Promesses which was beyond the reading level of the 8-year old. But my French reading level is higher, and this book is just a little bit beyond it, so perfect for improving my French comprehension. That’s how I ended up reading a somewhat-disjointed fantasy novel aimed at pre-teens that relies way too much on deus ex machina. Way too much deus ex machina, pretty much every chapter has some. I’m also not a fan of the way the protagonist is very often referred to as “la jeune fille“, (the young girl), or “l’adolescent“, (the teenager). It is a condescending way to refer to the person who is clearly the hero of the story.

La terre des Promesses is the first of a series. I’m not going to seek out the rest of the series.

Want to read it yourself? Get from Amazon: