I rarely read non-fiction and even more rarely autobiographies – I tend to be interested in themes, periods or cultures rather than people. That said, I’ve been curious about Ayaan Hirsi Ali for years and her autobiography successfully tackles issues of history, geography, culture and religion – so I was engrossed.
Oh my. I’d heard a lot of good things about Station Eleven, but I was still bowled over by the understated elegance and resonance of the text itself. It strikes me as one of those stories that underwhelms in synopsis (and in retrospect, the cover blurb is slightly misleading, as it tries to intimate action that never really takes place). So I’m going to say as little as possible other than read it.
Ally is mad, or so her mother assures her. Mad, weak and sinful. Only physical penance and dedication to a good cause can save her.
Religion, art, psychology, women’s suffrage and Victorian medicine all come under the scope in this excellent historical novel about one girl’s journey to define herself and claim her future.