I started reading the next book on my tour of Historical Fiction Around the World. I’m on page 195 of 351 in the paperback of Echoes from the Oasis by A.R. Tirant. This book is fairly well written and edited, although like most books there are few editorial tweaks I’d make if I’d been tasked with editing the story. There is a Glossary consisting of a few pages of terms, mostly words in the language of The Seychelles, which I found useful to read before since the author sprinkles the terms throughout the book.
The story is written using multiple points of view, not just the one of the primary character, Anna. Instead, Tirant shares views of the places and happenings on the islands of The Seychelles from a variety of people tangentially related to Anna. She’s also jumping around in the timeline as she tells the story of life on the islands. Tirant is well versed and shares within the pages of this story the details of the place, politics, history, and people.
My sense of the book at this point is that Tirant loves life on those islands so much she had to write a book about it. The setting is described in lush details so much that I feel like I can see the place as if in my memories of having visited. I haven’t been there, or even to that part of the world, so her descriptions are truly powerful. There are definitely long passages of description of the area and the food, for example. For some readers, they may find it’s perhaps too much description of the place and not enough of the people, in particular of Anna and her story. I’ll know better how all of this ties together after I finish reading the book, of course, so stay tuned until next time when I can give you my more thorough impressions of the story.
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